Fertilizer: A Basic Guide to Feeding Your Plants


♪ [music] ♪ – [Beverly] Hi, welcome to
The Arbor Gate. I’m Beverly Welch here with my
dear friend, Angela Chandler, of the Garden Academy,
our partner in education. – [Angela] Good morning,
Beverly. – Good morning. So, Angela, you know,
every year, every season, people ask so often,
“What do I feed? What do I do?” And, you know, their garage
shelves are lined with bags, and bottles, and products. They’ve got dates on their
calendar, under stress, in a hurry, “I’ve got to do this
now,” process of feeding our flowers, our vegetables,
our herbs. But we can make that
process much more simple. – We really can, Beverly. You know, one of the issues with
that is it gets very complicated when you think, “Well,
my fruit trees need this. My azaleas need that. My vegetable garden needs this.” So you have multiple products,
and then, as you say, you have that calendar
confusion, as I say, and then it’s finding
the time to do it. Then you go out in the yard and
you’ve got a whole wagon full of products. And everything in your yard has
to be fertilized differently. It’s really not achievable
for most of us. – No, it’s not. – And, you know, you and I kind
of share an approach to the way we fertilize so I think we
decided to bring it to our viewers and see exactly how
simple can we make this. – Exactly. So, you know, when you come out
to the Arbor Gate, you’ll notice these gardens, they’re all built
with the Arbor Gate Soil Complete and they’re all fed
with the Arbor Gate Blend, have been for years,
23 years to be exact, and we have never sprayed these
beds for insect or disease and we have no irrigation system. I will not say that we
never water because in times of drought or if we go
a week or two in the summer with no rain, we’ll soak the
beds, but, you know, the approach…and the reason we
made these products is we want to keep it simple,
yet, effective. – And it really is. You know, I think, one of the
questions people have is when they get to fertilizing is,
you know, they don’t understand how to fertilize
because they don’t really know why they’re fertilizing and
the goals of fertilizing. And unless you’re a golf course
manager where you have a lot of turf to manage, your garden
is going to be a blend of many things, from turf to
trees and everything in between. So, really, our goal of
fertilization is to replace what our plants are taking out
of the natural soil. So, if you kind of approach it
like that and you think, “Okay. It doesn’t need to be
quite as complicated. I don’t need to start doing
all the mathematics. I just need a constant little
replacement of what my plants are using to sort of keep
everything in balance all year long.” – Right. And, you know, you
say the constant. When I’m out in the yard,
I keep a garbage can full of blend, open, you know,
with the lid closed, ready to go. I get a bucket. I get a scoop or a coffee can. And every time I’m working
in the yard or working in the gardens, I’m constantly
throwing this food down. And again, it’s not
calendar-driven. It’s not variety-driven. It’s just feeding the soil. – It’s because you’re out there
working and you know that your plants are constantly
removing and so you’re constantly providing. That’s really what
it boils down to. So, it can…you know,
you want to…there are certain times you want to do things. Bed prep, of course,
you want to make sure you’ve got ready for a good kickoff. And then between color changes,
if you’re a person that changes your color a couple of times
every year, for vegetable gardeners, it’s between crop
change outs when we’re planting in succession. We know we want to do those
things, but for the rest of the garden, it’s just a
matter of when you’re out there working, I kind of
generally know that I hit everything about once a month. I’m not afraid at all to
fertilize in November, December, January, because I’m not over
fertilizing and I’m not using a water-soluble synthetic that my
plants are going to uptake all at once in a time
of their stress. – And organics are
unaffected by temperature. – They are unaffected.
– They work all the time. – Right. When the moisture and
temperature are right for the plant to receive those
nutrients, they’ll receive those nutrients. Other than that, they’re just
going to stay there available. Another great thing about
organics is that they do not migrate through the soil as
quickly as synthetics do, so we’re not going to dump
a lot of that stuff off into our water system. It’s going to stay in our
gardens available for our plants when they need them. – Perfect. So, really, all we need,
good soil… – Start with good soil. – …good food… – Replace when needed. – …occasionally some acidifier
and we both like this sulfur. – We do. You know, that’s the other
thing, too, is not needing all those different fertilizers. If you keep it simple and then the few things that do
need a little acidifying, you can add to that a
couple of times a year. And then, in general,
your minerals, this has a great mineral package in it for soil
minerals, follow that up with a good foliar feed to apply
minerals to the leaf that keeps everything robust and healthy. Other than that, that’s pretty
much all your garden really needs. – So we can keep it simple. – We certainly can. – Thanks, Angela. – Thank you, Beverly. ♪ [music] ♪

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