Q&A – Should I fertilize my shrubs in the spring?

Should I fertilize my shrubs in the spring? So, what do you think about that, our horticulturist? – Well, absolutely, yeah, you wanna fertilize
in the spring. Now, timing’s varies on some, particularly
things like azaleas. We tell people to fertilize after they bloom,
and so the blooming time can be very wide. The only reason is the flower bud is set at the very end of last year’s growth,
and if you fertilize early and force that growth out, you cover your bloom, so we don’t fertilize azaleas until after they
bloom and then usually again around the first of June. Most perennials I like to feed every 60 days or so up until about July
or so. Lawns, once a month, you know, they’re heavy
feeders. Roses are heavy feeders, wanna fertilize those once a month. – What are you fertilizing your shrubs with? – Well, you know, it’s kinda hard to tell
you. I use an all-purpose, a 12-6-6 formulation. You know, when you walk into a store and you see fertilizers says rose food
6-10-10, 12-8-4, all these different numbers and they’re specifically for roses, well there’s no way they can tell you
exactly what you need ’cause they don’t know your soil. What they’re doing is getting you to fertilize and that’s the most
important thing is getting some food down on that plant and getting it growing and that makes you happy, okay, so you’ll
see the results that you want, whether or not it might be exactly the right nutrients, who knows, but it works. – It works. – Yeah. – Mr. D, anything to add to that? – The only thing I would, again, I’d go back
to soil testing you know, since soil test is the only way that you can be sure, and when you go with a routine fertilizer
like that, you need to keep in mind that phosphorus is more stable than any of the other elements, and if you continue to put
that third number, that phosphorus out there, two or three years in a row, then it is very likely that your phosphorus levels
will get to excessively high levels, and if you have excessively high levels of phosphorus, it can interfere with the uptake
of your other nutrients, so potassium on the other hand, it doesn’t stay there that long, it will leach out over a
period of three or four months, nitrogen, four to six weeks, unless its sulfa coated or you know, a slow release type, so
just kinda keep that in the back of your mind that the phosphorus is very very stable and it can tend to accumulate over
time and that’s why you do need to check that soil every once in a while, and if that’s the case, then you’re gonna need to
go with somethin’ that’s gonna be like 6-6-0 or, you know, you go with somethin’ that doesn’t have any phosphorus for two or
three years… – …you were talking about the pH that like
a pH up around 6, 6.5, azaleas, hollys, dogwoods like a pH 5.5 and down, blueberries 5 to 4.5, so, you’ll wanna make
sure that you’re fertilizing with the right thing, you don’t wanna bring the pH down in your box woods or raise it in the
other ones. A good classic example are hydrangeas, you
know, put a little, make ’em acidic, they turn blue, make ’em alkaline,
they turn pink, and it takes just a little bit of stuff to make that swing.

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