SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – The weather is becoming more plant friendly, and gardening will soon be underway. Picking the right fertilizers and what plants and flowers may need more attention is important as people are getting ready to start planting.
There is a difference between an organic fertilizer and a commercial fertilizer.
An organic fertilizer has lower amounts of nitrogen and potassium than commercial grade fertilizers. You will also get a quicker response.
For commercial fertilizer, especially for potted plants, you have a time release. You can put the time release at the top of the pot and every time you water your plants it releases fertilizer in the plant. You will not have to think about fertilizer for weeks.
If you want to fertilize your annual garden bed, you can incorporate a granulated fertilizer into the ground and it will release slowly. If you want to give it another boost at some point in a month or so you can add a water soluble with your hose or watering can. Granulated fertilizer lasts a long time.
Owner of Randall’s Farm in Ludlow, Karen Randall, told 22News how potted plants are different.
“Mixed containers, patio pot, those kids of things, they’re going to need more fertilizer because you’re watering them all the time. They have a limited amount of soil. They need their nutrients restored on a normal basis,” said Randall.
As for perennials, you want to fertilize early on in spring and that’s enough for all season long. Anything in a container or pot needs more water.
Plants in the ground have more advantages between the natural rainfall and in some cases a sprinkler system, which will help keep your plants wet. However raised beds and plants in pots need a little more attention than those in the ground.
“A raised bed on the other hand is a little bigger, you plant your vegetables in a raised container. A good soaking every couple days, sometimes once a week depending on what kind of weather we’re getting,” said Randall.
As for plants in containers, check them every day especially hot days, than you might need to water them even twice a day.
Some people question if there is an advantage to planting annuals over perennials and you should know there is certainly a difference.
Perennials come back every year and they have a short bloom time. Having a strategy of what perennial is going to bloom is important because they bloom at different times of the year, depending on the plant.
Annuals you plant in the spring and they will bring you wonderful colors all summer long. If you like to garden, some people enjoy layering their landscape.
“Around your house start with trees and shrubs and layer like your layering your clothes, they’re like the foundation. Then add your perennials that come back every year and then flash it up with your annuals,” said Randall.
Now that we’re nearing Memorial Day weekend, pretty much all planting is a go. It looks like our chances for frost is done.
Randall described this in the best way. Add jewelry to your garden, which would be ornaments, a bird bath, or wind chimes, to spice things up.