Meteorological spring, which is March through May, has begun. That means it is time to fertilize if you desire top performance from your garden and landscape. Generally, fertilizer is applied three times a year to established plantings in March, May and September; more often for production gardens.


Different areas of the landscape have different nutritional needs. Growth is demanded from the lawn and to get leaf production so nitrogen is required. Nitrogen is represented by the first number in a fertilizer analysis. A typical lawn fertilizer will have a formula like a 16-0-8. The amount to apply will be on the product label.


Most people don’t bother to weigh out the amount of product that is recommended. A formula to remember is that a pint is a pound. So, 2 cups of fertilizer should be about a pound.


People often under feed their production plants like citrus. Citrus older than three years should be fed at a rate of 1 pound of fertilizer for each year of the tree’s age. For instance, a citrus tree that is 7 years old would get 7 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer in three separate applications for a total of 21 pounds per year. When I tell this to people, they usually confess to giving the tree a handful of fertilizer once a year. No wonder why their citrus crop is limited.


Young plants need more frequent feeding than mature ones. Trees older than five years require no fertilization if the plantings around them are fed regularly.


A production garden such as an herb or vegetable patch or flower bed should be fed often but lightly as opposed to seasonally. These areas can be fed monthly with a granular product, twice as often with a liquid one.


Fertilize your plants for peak performance. Remember a pint is a pound so apply the proper rate to your plants.


Readers may e-mail questions or contact Keith at: keithfuller602@att.net.