Monday, February 20, 2012

Tree & Shrub Fertilizing Early Spring Organics

My Bald Cypress sent out new growth since last week. When I see that new growth, is when I start applying organics to my yard in a big way. The Bald Cypress always “leaf’s out” before the Crepe Myrtles, my Fig tree, the Vitex, and just before the Bottle Brush put on their big spring bloom.

Since the microorganisms in the soil must convert the nitrogen in the organics into a form that is usable to the plant and these organisms are not real active when the soil is cold, you can add organics without worrying about flushing lots of new growth that could possibly be damaged by a late frost.

When the trees and shrubs are putting out new leaves, good nutrition is important to a healthy plant. A tree is going to do about 85% of its growing for the year in the next 2 months (depending on which PHD doctor you believe), so by using organics or some other products that rely on this conversion to usable nitrogen by the microorganisms, your tree will be most appreciative. Since Crepe Myrtles bloom on new growth, what you do for them now will impact what they will do for you later (please – no topping) in the form of blooms.

As with any fertilizer keep the organics off of hard surfaces like driveways, streets, sidewalks, and any other area that might ‘run off’ into our storm water. Blow or sweep these areas before watering in and you might avoid some staining as well. Another beauty about organics is that once they are in the soil the nitrogen and potassium do not leach through the soil or volatize into the atmosphere like conventional fertilizers. If we have some much needed rainfall, the organics will stay put better than most chemical fertilizers.

Professionals with sprayers can mix up their own custom ‘witches’ brew’ and inject the mix directly into the soil. Applying directly into the soil loosens the soil and keeps the fertilizer and other soil amendments in the ground where they will not get washed away during a rain event. A professional might not want to share their exact ‘witches’ brew’ with you. Just understand some cocktails contain everything and the kitchen sink and some contain just the washer in the faucet. Pricing can vary greatly depending on what goes in the tank.

I hope my stores have some broken bags SeaHume, Cotton Burr Compost, Flower Bed Amendment, Nature’s Blend, Corn Gluten, Composted Chicken Manure, Composted Cow Manure, Alfalfa Meal, Blood Meal, Milorganite, 03-01-05, 08-02-04, 05-05-05, …, so I can start spreading.