Spring is the best season to go sightseeing around the city. It gives a burst of the color array after white winter with cold temperatures. Not only do humans love spring, but plants are also fully awake in this season. Hence, gardeners and farmers often rely on the season to prepare for fertilizing. Spring fertilization is indeed crucial to give a boost of energy after long winter dormancy. However, only a few understand what is the best spring fertilizer to flourish their garden. That’s understandable since garden fertilizer is now available in many types in the market.
For that reason, we have sourced the website to give you some clues about the best fertilizer types for your spring garden. They include granular spring fertilizer, liquid spring fertilizer, and organic spring fertilizer for those who prefer non-synthetic spring fertilizer.
But before we further discuss the best spring fertilizer to flourish your plants, we will walk you through why spring is the best time to fertilize your flowers, veggies, and plants in general. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- Why Fertilize In The Spring?
- Different Types of Spring Fertilizers
- Factors To Consider When Choosing A Spring Fertilizer
- How To Apply Spring Fertilizer?
- Tips for Maximizing The Benefits of Spring Fertilizers
- Best Spring Fertilizer Products
- Common Mistakes To Avoid When Using Spring Fertilizers
- Final Thoughts
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why Fertilize In The Spring?
It’s not without reason that gardeners and farmers prefer to fertilize their crops in the spring. This is because spring is the right season when the frozen ground has started to melt. The dormant plants also started to rerun their metabolism after a long dormant period in winter.
Also, spring fertilization promotes healthy growth because the fertilizer supply given after the dormancy period will help plant roots grow more robustly. When the roots develop well, they will absorb nutrients and water optimally. Furthermore, winter dormancy also causes the soil to lose a lot of nutrients.
Therefore, fertilizing in spring with the proper NPK ratio for spring fertilizer is necessary to replenish nutrients and address nutrient deficiencies that may occur during winter. In addition, this method allows a rapid boost of plant growth after obtaining additional nutrients from spring fertilizer. It also helps boost seedlings, transplanting, and recovering after growth breaks in the winter.
And for those who plan to prepare the soil, introducing fertilizer in spring will ensure a successful gardening, knowing the planting area is fertile. Besides, fertilizer also improves soil structure, lowering the chance of runoff and loosening compact soil.
Different Types of Spring Fertilizers
If all this time you only know granule and liquid fertilizer, you need to broaden your insight into different types of spring fertilizers. There are several best spring fertilizers that you can try to improve your plant’s growth by supplying essential nutrients. What are those types of spring fertilizers? Check them out below!
1. Organic Fertilizer
Organic fertilizer is often referred to as natural spring fertilizer. It is made of natural sources, including manure, compost, food waste, lawn, leaves, and more.
This kind of fertilizer not only slowly releases its nutrients to the soil, but it also improves the soil structure and boosts availability of soil microbes. No wonder organic fertilizer is beneficial to start sustainable gardening and considered as an environmentally friendly option.
2. Liquid Fertilizer
This fertilizer is preferable if you want to give a rapid nutrient boost. Since it is liquid, plant roots can quickly absorb the nutrients, allowing faster growth. In addition, you must dilute the fertilizer with water to reduce the strength. Just follow the direction labeled on the packaging to ensure you get the proper composition.
People or gardeners commonly add fertilizer and water mixture to a sprayer and use foliar spray methods to feed the leaves. Furthermore, liquid fertilizer may come from organic spring fertilizer or synthetic spring fertilizer.
3. Balanced Fertilizer
As its name suggests, the composition of this fertilizer is balanced. Generally, the ratio will be 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. It consists of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that help your plants grow stronger roots, denser foliage, and enhance flowering and fruiting. This balanced fertilizer, or well-known as NPK fertilizer, can be applied widely to various plants, including vegetables and flowers.
4. Slow-Release Fertilizer
While synthetic spring fertilizer is generally fast-release, compost is one example of slow-release fertilizer. This nutrient boost will deliver nutrients gradually at a steady pace, preventing shock in plants especially for those which just woken up from dormancy.
Slow-release fertilizer is also beneficial to ensure strong roots, knowing it has a longer nutrient supply. In addition, they typically come in granules or pellets which later will be broken down slowly in the soil.
5. Controlled-Release Fertilizer
Similar to slow-release fertilizer, controlled-release fertilizer will supply nutrients at a steady pace based on the predetermined period. For that reason, they are commonly coated in granules to allow the nutrients to be delivered slowly.
This kind of fertilizer benefits those who don’t want to deal with frequent fertilizing. It is also useful for preventing fertilizer burn because of intense nutrient boost in a short time.
6. Specialty Fertilizer
Just like its name, specialty fertilizer is formulated to fulfill nutrients of specific plants. For instance, there are fertilizers intended for cacti, roses, veggies, and acid-loving plants that require particular blends of nutrient boost to support their growth.
Usually, they consist of two primary micronutrients and an additional one to maximize the yield of your plants. For example, potassium nitrate 13-0-45 to boost physiological maturity in crops.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Spring Fertilizer
Before you decide to buy or even make natural spring fertilizer for your plants, it is better to consider several factors in choosing the best spring fertilizer. This is important so you don’t put your crops into trouble by giving them nutrients they don’t need.
Here are some fertility factors you must know when choosing a spring fertilizer:
1. Plant Species and Growth Stage
The needs of each plant will vary according to the type and growth phase. Therefore, considering these two factors is very important so that the nutritional supply matches their needs. For example, a nitrogen boost may be necessary for the initial growth phase to accelerate plant development. In addition, giving phosphorus-rich spring fertilizer to your flowering plants is the best choice if you expect more blooms.
2. Nutrient Requirements
People are sometimes too excited to provide additional nutrients by fertilizing their plants regardless of their nutrient requirements. In fact, each plant requires different specific nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium). You can examine their needs by conducting a soil assessment to address the deficiency properly.
3. Soil Conditions
With a soil assessment, you can find out the soil’s pH, compactness, fertility, and its organic matter content. Checking soil conditions is essential because there are some fertilizers designed for acid-loving plants or those that work better in alkaline soil. In addition, this practice is recommended if you expect higher crop yields or want to provide the right nutrients needed.
4. Fertilizer Types
Farmers and gardeners commonly use Several types of fertilizers, such as liquid, granule, powder, and spikes. While all of them work great, they differ in practicality. Plant roots absorb liquid fertilizer better than granules which need time to break down in the soil.
However, liquid fertilizer is more efficient when applied using the foliar spray method. It is also widely used for hydroponics. Meanwhile, the granule one is excellent for wide application directly on the ground.
In addition, you can consider slow-release or fast-release fertilizers. For steady supply of nutrients, slow-release is preferable as it provides organic matter gradually without burning the roots. Meanwhile, fast-release is great to address deficiency rapidly, particularly for spring application after a long winter dormancy.
5. Environmental Impact
If you consider environmental aspects in gardening or have even started a sustainable garden, natural fertilizer is the right choice. It is made from natural sources, such as manure, compost, leaves, twigs, and many more.
Besides, they can break down slowly in the soil, allowing gradual delivery of nutrients that won’t shock the plants. Furthermore, natural fertilizer also improves soil structure and erosion, preventing excessive runoff. In addition, such a kind of fertilizer provides organic matter for beneficial microbes to multiply in the soil.
How To Apply Spring Fertilizer?
When discussing the best spring fertilizer, we can’t just stop at the factors influencing the decision to choose specific fertilizers. But, we must know how to properly apply the best spring fertilizer to add nutrients without hurting our crops.
Though every fertilizer has a different application, we have made a simple step-by-step guide to offer fertilizer for your plants in spring. Check this out!
- Read the instructions! Many skip this part simply because they are used to applying fertilizers. Unfortunately, every brand has its own step-by-step guide to ensure your plants get the best nutrient boost they need to thrive and grow. Hence, make sure you read it and follow the instructions to avoid mistakes.
- Measure the fertilizer. After reading the instructions, you must correctly measure the amount of fertilizer you need for your plants. It is crucial because too much nutrients will result in fertilizer burn. One of the most common signs of fertilizer burn is browning leaves.
- Apply the fertilizer. For granules or powder, you can broadcast the fertilizer on the soil surface or mix it with the soil by using a fork. Meanwhile, you must dilute the liquid fertilizer with water before transferring into a mister for foliar spray. The dilution is required to reduce the strength of your fertilizer. That way, your plants won’t be shocked because of the intense nutrient supply.
- Water the soil. It is essential to dilute the granular or powdered fertilizer. Thus, the nutrients will be easily absorbed by the roots. But remember not to over water the ground to prevent waterlogging that will lead to root rot.
- Keep the fertilizer properly. Please read the label on how to store the fertilizer. Make sure the storage area is dry and clean to prevent mold growth or pests invasion.
Tips for Maximizing The Benefits of Spring Fertilizers
Whether you have the best nitrogen fertilizer for spring, apply high phosphorus spring fertilizer, or buy potassium-rich spring fertilizer, they will only work well if you consider the factors in choosing the best spring fertilizer we have discussed above.
Apart from that, we also recommend trying the tips to get better at the potential of this fertilizer. One of the spring gardening tips we love is doing a soil test. Even though it sounds trivial, this soil examination will help you find out the condition of the soil. It is vital because certain fertilizers perform best in specific needs, such as alkaline or acidic soil.
Moreover, consider the ratio of your fertilizers according to your crops’ type and growing stage. If your plants produce fruits, you will need high phosphorus spring fertilizer and potassium-rich spring fertilizer to enhance flowering and fruiting. Contrary, nitrogen-rich fertilizer is great for accelerating leaf growth, making it an excellent pick for leafy vegetables.
In addition, the time to apply fertilizer is also the most vital part to ensure your plants absorb the nutrients better. Instead of night, morning fertilization is preferable because the air humidity and temperature are proper to increase the availability of nutrients from the fertilizer. We also recommend setting a watering schedule so you can maintain soil moisture. Humid soil also improves nutrient uptake by the roots.
After fertilization, we will usually monitor how the plants respond to adding these nutrients. You can expect fertilizer burn if you see browning on the leaves and your plants seem wilted. It means that you are giving too much fertilizer. On the other hand, the plants will thrive well when the fertilizer you provide is correct.
Best Spring Fertilizer Products
Elevate your garden this spring with the best fertilizer products, expertly formulated to nourish plants, boost root growth, and promote lush foliage and vibrant blooms. Discover the perfect match for your garden’s needs and watch it flourish.
1. Expert Gardener Texas Turf Lawn Fertilizer
One part of spring lawn care is applying spring lawn fertilizer. Suppose you are looking for spring lawn fertilizer but are still confused about which one to choose. In that case, we recommend Gardener Texas Lawn Fertilizer.
This chemical fertilizer has a ratio of 15-15-10, where nitrogen and phosphorus dominate to enhance the growth of the lawn. Meanwhile, it also features 2% zinc, making the yards appear deep green. Hence, you can add this early spring lawn fertilizer to make your garden look denser and greener. It is also recommended for those who plan to grow lawns in the garden and provide the best spring lawn care.
Moreover, this early spring lawn fertilizer comes in granules, so you can add it directly to the soil. But, we encourage you to mix it with the ground using a fork to broadcast more evenly, and the roots get the best benefits out of the fertilizer. Based on the reviews, this product is good for money, where you can get 30.2 lb for only $19.68!
2. Expert Gardener Tomato & Vegetable Garden
Calling for farmers and gardeners who grow tomatoes and vegetables in their fields! In case you are still trying to decide whether to buy or look for a replacement for your fertilizer, we have a product that could be your choice: Tomato and Vegetable Garden Fertilizer by Expert Gardener.
This slow-release fertilizer contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in a 12-10-5 ratio. With these proportions, this fertilizer ensures better fruiting and flowering for the tomatoes and abundant greens for the vegetables. It also has a blend of other micronutrients, such as calcium, sulfur, zinc, manganese, and magnesium, to ensure the quality of your crops.
You must add 2 tbsp per plant every 6-8 weeks to use it. Then, add water evenly to facilitate the absorption of nutrients. Customers love this vegetable fertilizer for its affordable price, only $5.97 for 4lb!
3. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble
For those of you who are lazy to look for specific fertilizer for each plant you have, we have got you covered! This fertilizer will answer your worries because you can apply it to all types of plants, including vegetables, flowers, shrubs, and trees!
Apart from that, MiracleGro All-Purpose Fertilizer can also be applied to indoor houseplants. Furthermore, it comes in a powdery form, making it easy to use. Besides, powdered fertilizer also allows better absorption because it will dilute quicker than granules. You can also add it to the water, then spray it on the foliage of your plants.
To avoid fertilizer burn, use this fertilizer every 7 to 14 days and observe plant growth. We also love that it is relatively cheap, only $12.22 for 5 lb, with these fantastic features!
4. Miracle-Gro Liquafeed Bloom Booster
Folks who are looking for spring flower fertilizer, you look better no further than LiquaFeed Bloom Booster by Miracle-Gro. Instead of granules or powdery, it comes in liquid form, which makes it more practical to apply. However, you need a mister to fertilize your flowers because adding it directly from the bottle increases the risk of spilling, which can cause fertilizer burn.
You can simply shake the bottle, add the product to the sprayer or Miracle Gro Feeder, and it’s ready to use. For the best results, you better give a 7-14 days gap from one fertilizing to another. And when you fertilize, make sure to do it for about 15 minutes without a break for a maximum of 400 square feet.
As the name implies, this spring flower fertilizer is suitable for encouraging more blooms of various types of flowers, both outdoors and indoors. This NPK fertilizer has a ratio of 12-9-6 to ensure better flowering. If you want to buy this product, it costs $10.98 for 16-oz.
5. Espoma 1 Cubic-foot Organic Land & Sea
Some gardeners and gardening enthusiasts prefer natural fertilizers over chemical ones. And if you are one of them, Espoma Organic Land & Sea Gourmet Compost is your best bet. Not only is it made of peat and humus, but this fertilizer also includes crab and lobster shells for an additional nutrient boost.
And interestingly, the compost is suitable for plants, flowers, vegetables, shrubs, and trees! So, you don’t have to bother looking for fertilizers for your other plants. In addition, it belongs to slow-release fertilizer, which prevents fertilizer burn because it will not overwhelm the roots with intense nutrients in a short time.
For its application, you can add it directly to the ground and mix it with a fork. Regarding the fertilizing schedule, we highly recommend following the instructions so that you get the best results. As for the price, it is pretty affordable, costing $23.89 for one cubic foot.
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Using Spring Fertilizers
Now that you are aware of the factors for selecting fertilizer and how to apply it, we will further talk about the common mistakes that often arise in the fertilization process. The first thing to be concerned about is ignoring the instructions.
Most people choose not to read the label on the fertilizer packaging because they think the dosage of one fertilizer and another is similar or even the same. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Each brand has its own way of application that is adjusted to the type of plant, growing stage, and environmental conditions where it grows. Thus, the generalization of fertilization can be fatal for plants, such as failure to thrive or even withering to death.
Furthermore, poor timing in fertilization also has a negative impact on plants. While the morning is the best time to apply fertilizer, many still consider the night to provide additional nutrition for their crops because it feels more humid. Hence, they hope that the absorption of fertilizer will be better. In fact, high moisture can lead to fungal diseases. Not only that but applying fertilizer, especially liquid one, on the foliage can cause leaves to burn and damage the plants.
In addition, neglect of soil conditions is also often done to save time. Unfortunately, this makes plants unable to utilize the nutrients from fertilizer to the maximum. This is because specific fertilizers require particular conditions to release nutrients well. Besides soil conditions, watering frequency also affects fertilizer performance.
Moist and well-drained soil is preferable because it makes it easier for the fertilizer to break down, allowing the roots to use nutrients better. But be careful not to overflow your plants with too much water if you don’t want them to suffer from root rot.
Fertilization in spring is recommended. Apart from the fact that the soil has started to warm up, the plants are also getting ready to grow after being dormant for the winter. Moreover, the process must be supported by good fertilizer quality and proper application methods. It is crucial since plants, veggies, shrubs, and trees can get the maximum nutritional intake to thrive.
However, you also have to pay attention to the factors that influence fertilizing to choose the right spring fertilizer, for example, water supply, soil conditions, fertilizer types, and so on. It is also important to avoid fertilization mistakes.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What fertilizer to use in spring for a vegetable garden?
Suppose you are confused about which spring fertilizer types are suitable for your vegetable garden. In that case, you can start with a balanced fertilizer. This garden fertilizer generally consists of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Our recommended NPK ratio for spring fertilizer is 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 because the proportion is suitable to help their growth.
However, you can add nitrogen-rich spring fertilizer for leafy veggies because the minerals boost growth. Meanwhile, vegetables that bear fruits will thrive better with phosphorus-rich spring fertilizer. As for the form of spring fertilizer types, you can go with granular spring fertilizer or liquid spring fertilizer.
Should you use slow or fast release fertilizer in spring?
Basically, slow-release spring fertilizer and fast release fertilizer are great to use in moderate combinations during the season. It’s because slow-release fertilizer provides a steady nutrient supply for your plants. Thus, it doesn’t shock your beauties after a long winter dormancy.
Meanwhile, fast release fertilizer helps your plants to get back on track by delivering nutrients to deal with deficiency. But be careful not to over fertilize to prevent fertilizer burn. You must also pay attention to the instructions on the label whenever you want to apply fertilizer.
When should you fertilize your soil in the spring?
Generally, the best time to apply spring fertilizer depends on several factors, including geographical location, climate, and general growing requirements of your plants. Nonetheless, gardeners prefer to apply fertilizer in early spring when the ground gets warm and melted. This one of the best spring gardening tips practice has some considerations, such as frost risk.
Suppose you apply fertilizer too early in March. In that case, there is a higher chance that your plants may suffer from low temperatures, resulting in plant damage. During this month, the soil is still cold. Thus, it is tricky for you to incorporate the soil with plant fertilizer. Hence, April and May is the best time to apply spring fertilizer.
Is it best to fertilize in the morning or evening?
Based on general practice, the best time to apply plant fertilizer is in the morning. During the daylight, plants have sun exposure to undergo photosynthesis optimally. In this process, your plants can absorb nutrients from fertilizer better.
Moreover, spring fertilization in the morning prevents excessive nutrient evaporation. Contrary, applying fertilizer at night will increase the risk of fungal diseases due to higher humidity on the leaves. In addition, morning fertilization prevents foliage burn, especially if you apply nitrogen-rich spring fertilizer. On the other hand, adding fertilizer at night with high moisture and cold temperatures increases the chance of burning.
Why is slow-release fertilizer better?
Slow-release spring fertilizer is way better than fast-release fertilizer for some reasons. One of the main reasons is that your plants can get a steady nutrient supply, reducing the risk of fertilizer burn. Considering this fact, slow release fertilizer nourishes your plants for an extended period.
Moreover, it also prevents nutrient loss due to excessive runoff. Your plants will be able to slowly absorb nutrients before they are washed off, making them the best fertilizer for sustainable gardening. In addition, a controlled nutrient boost allows the soil microbes to better use the fertilizer’s nutrients.