Tips and Tricks for Fertilizing Your Vegetable Garden


Hello everybody and welcome to the Row by Row Garden Show we’re live from Hoss Tools headquarters here in Norman Park, Georgia, I’m Travis. I’m Greg and we’re glad you’re with us today On today’s show we’re going to talk about fertilizers How much fertilizer to use what kind of fertilizers you could or should be using and the different devices you can use to administer those fertilizers But first we’re going to have our little show-and-tell Session that we have every week and do our little tool of the week segment show you something we really like So let’s get into what we’ve got going on in our Gardens right now. I just picked these this morning These are some top bunch collards and in my opinion these are pretty much the best variety of collards out there to grow if you’re going to grow and Get the smaller leaves which a lot of people like nowadays because the older collards the old varieties and everything that we used to grow Had a big lot bigger leaf and matured later this top bunch variety makes a lot more smaller leaves and that you can gather earlier and they have a lot they don’t have a Strongest taste as the old variety a lot of people are eating the collards nowadays with a smaller leaf on there so I like them a lot better to and not only I like growing but like to eat them a lot better and these now the seeds on these have been pretty hard to find the last couple years that Whoever’s the seed producer for these top bunch collards. There’s been a few crop failures, so had to dig Pretty far to find a little bit of seed for these guys this year But I really like these they grow well and you just crop them off like you do kale and they’ll just keep growing and growing Now these guys, probably bolt here in the next month or so But we’ve been getting some really good harvest from from these top bunch collards here That is a this is the f1 hybrid So it is a hybrid it’s not an heirloom and this is the variety if you go to the grocery store and buy collard Nine times out of 10. This is going to be the variety you buy there It’s the most popular one out there right now top bunch So we’ve got those collards and we’ve also got some beets still growing now. This is a red variety I can’t remember if this is Detroit red or red ace but this is a red variety I’ve been growing this year and I’ve been letting them get a little bigger than this before I pull them we’ve got some nice nice greens on these right here now I’ve got these planted on kind of the edge of my garden and I didn’t put drip on them I’ve just been hand watering them but the heats been really getting to these guys and especially the gold ones I have planted I almost haven’t been able to keep enough water on them. Thankfully we’ve had a little rain the last few days That’s helped them out, but I think it’s getting close to the end of the beet window But I believe we’re gonna be able to squeeze these in here towards the tail end of it actually I think you have some people eat the tops of these. I’ve never tried the tops of beets, of course I’m kind of new to beets this year. But a lot of people eat the tops may be something I try Yeah, they’re good raw. You can put them in a salad and it’s almost identical to Swiss chard cuz beets and chard are very closely related. So cooking the leaves they taste a lot like Swiss chard leaves So, you know, you can eat the whole plant almost which is really nice We’re on our second crop of squash in our garden We’ve already had one plant come through and harvest it and start fixing to start on our second Crop of squash. We got zucchini. We’ve got a Golden Dawn which never tried. It is a yellow zucchini We’ve got golden dawn. We’ve got some Gentry’s which is the regular yellow squash coming along and they’re doing really good We also got corn tasseling out sweet corn tasseling out now One thing I do want to say about squash is the last few days for the last week here We’ve had a weather pattern come in. We’ve had a lot of rain one two three times a day We’ve been getting these showers and it’s really caused a lot of havoc in our garden and it’s been a concern to me With the powdery mildew and downy mildew on these squash and watermelons and things like that So we’ve been having to keep a lot of disease Pressure out there. We’ve had a lot of disease pressure and we’ve be spraying a lot with some fungicides Been using some stuff for powdery mildew and downy mildew which is the bicarb is the one I use for that and Even if I get a little window out there I run out there and spray it because with these high humidity days We know we gonna have a lot of disease pressure. So we’ve been fighting that with squash. I got some winter squash that I’ve really be concerned about and Just every time you go out there and you spray them for that seems like an hour or two later you get a rain But that’s all you can do these type situations So with these weather patterns like we have had when you know that they’re coming in You’re going to have rain you’re going to have high humidity. You’re going to have cloudy days You’re gonna have days with prolonged witness on those leaves prepare yourself that you gonna have some disease problems and get out there ahead of it and Spray them with some of these fungicides and that’ll help you a lot Because it’s going to happen and go ahead and mark it down somewhere You’ll make a better garden in a dry year than you will a yet year taters need to be dug down. It’s just to wet to dig them. So we’re fighting these this weather pattern I hope it straightens up pretty quick so we can make a good garden right and Next week on next week’s show we’re going to dig into the squash Topic a little more kind of show you some of these varieties we’ve been planting that we really like to eat and you know kind of breaking away from just the traditional crookneck or Yellow squash that most people grow show you some some stuff that you might want to try in your garden Our my corn you can see in this picture right here my corn. I’ve got silks, tassels Just really pretty looking sweet corn really happy with the way. It’s it’s grown this year and Personally, I think it is a direct result of having that clover and then that chicken tractor out there grazing that clover I think yeah, it appears to me to be the corn crop The sweet corn crop seems to be about a week to two weeks earlier this year then what it has been in the past so so adding those that those nutrients to the soil that clover that Nitrogen fixation and then having that chicken manure on top of it seemed to really help the corn it all kind of tasseled out evenly The silks came in at the right time and we even had a little rain and wind these last few days Which is going to help get that pollen from that tassel down to that silk get good Pollination and get some really good full ears. Yep on our sweet corn I planted that ambrosia this year Which I planted one time last year in a test garden that we’ve got but haven’t planted ambrosia in several years They’re really turned out good last year So I got ambrosia sweet corn planted this year and it’s tasseling so a couple weeks we’re going to have some corn to eat Yeah, hopefully we’ll be able to show you guys some corn pretty soon Alright, so that’s what’s going on kind of in the garden this week. Let’s talk about our tool of the week This week we want to tell you about these guys right here and these are called TubTrugs pass a couple of those to him We’ve got several different sizes of these that we sell we’ve even got some that are bigger than these but these are made out of a kind of a Flexible hard plastic and we’ve got the colander where you can wash your vegetables off We’ve got these shallow ones here. This is the smallest one. We just got in a few days ago This is a new new size. Yeah, yeah Yeah, they call that the mini shallow and then we’ve got this small one here. So each size has its own color associated with it and These things are incredible. They they don’t get brittle and crack They’re flexible. You can tote them with one hand The small ones are really nice. If you going out to the garden just to pick a few things for supper Like you’re just going to get a few squash a few peppers, maybe an onion for supper Some of these larger ones really good for sorting and processing vegetables washing them off I like to just Pick all my peppers at one time put them in here and then I’ll sort them later. And these these shallow tubs really work Well for that Made in Spain from a UV resistant material so if they do sit outside they’re not gonna get brittle like Travis said and if you run over them or Step on them or whatever they just collapse and they just spring back. These things are extremely popular People love them, you know, heck we even washed the babies in them water the dog in them whatever you need to do We’ve used them for several things. Yeah, so if you want some harvesting containers that are gonna last you forever and Really pay off these these tubtrugs I gather some I dug few taters and One I’ve got this a few days ago A couple days ago and then I just washed them off and got most of dirt off of them before I carried them inside so that’s really handy for me so Check out those tubtrugs You can see them in on our website where all of our harvesting containers are all the different sizes and colors we have Alright. So let’s dig into the main segment this week where we want to talk about fertilizing your vegetable garden Now this is probably since we started carrying Fertilizers a year or so ago and some fertilizing equipment probably one of the most frequently asked questions we get on our customer service lines email stuff like that how much fertilizer do I use and and There’s no real Concrete answer because this can get pretty complicated if you do a little online research for it You’ll start to see a lot of terminology like this Ppm, which stands for parts per million ppm that that term doesn’t really mean a lot of things or mean anything to a lot of people because it parts of what per Million of what. If you break it down ppm really means milligrams per liter So the milligrams of fertilizer per liter of water But I don’t really like to use that Terminology Iike I said it can get a little confusing there. We’ll leave that to the chemist So when we talk about fertilizer, we like to think about it in pounds per square foot now fertilizing can get really complicated as Travis and Trav’s got a background in biology and I got a background and Let’s just say I got a background, okay leave it at that But what we want to try to do is explain this in a situation or in a context So it’s easy to understand and you don’t have to think a lot because if you like me when I’m out their gardening I don’t want to have to think a lot, I just want to do it So we want to give you good practical information on these fertilizing on how you can do it Quick easy and not make it complicated and make it work for you. Okay, so so let’s use an example here so let’s think about our 20 20 20, which greg has here this Blue fertilizer so our 20 20 20 that means it has 20 percent nitrogen 20 percent Phosphorous and 20 percent potassium. Okay, so 20 percent of each so that means in one pound of this that are actually 0.2 pounds or of nitrogen, that’s great, or this is a 10 pound bag so in this 10 pound bag you got 2 pounds or 2 units of actual nitrogen two pounds of actual phosphorus and two pounds of actual potassium To break it down there. We sometimes we talk about the actual product as in pounds or has in units Right. So if I want to put a pound of nitrogen on my garden, I’m going to use five pounds of this and Just to give you a good rule of thumb in my garden is about 5000 square feet and I use about three pounds of this For that 5,000 square feet and that’s probably the upper limit of where you want to go Yes, let’s talk about what this actually is for just a minute This is the exact same product that they sold in the big-box stores for years Called Miracle Grow and it’s all blue, if you’ll notice it’s blue Thing about this is when you mix it up it’s blue so you can see what you got there But this is a great product been around for a long time. It’s marketed under several different brands such as Jack’s Miracle Grow and several others out there But most of time it is a 20 20 20 Sometimes they do have some different analysis on there but this product right here works great and all we did was buy it in bulk and Repackage in these 10-pound containers cause we thought it should be more affordable then going to Walmart or the big-box stores and buying a little bitty Jar of it or whatever and paying a lot for it. So this is a lot more economical to buy in these 10-pound containers I mean 10 pound bags right here Now this product what makes it so good is it has two different types of nitrogen in it It has Ammoniacal and nitrate nitrogen in there so and it’s all soluble, so when you put this on that plant it has two different forms of nitrogen or two different modes of actions or it gives that plant two different types of Nitrogen to feed and there’s nitrate nitrogen and the ammoniacal does different things to the plant So that’s the reason this product here has always worked great and they actually named it Well when they said miracle grow years ago, but it works wonderful and we’re big proponents of this now This is not organic fertilizer. This is a conventional fertilizer, but it is a hundred percent water soluble nitrogen potassium phosphorus or nitrogen phosphorus and potassium Right since it’s 20 20 20 equal parts of all three, that’s what we call a complete fertilizer. That’s right Yep, so your nitrogen is soluble so you’re nitrogen can run through your plant that’s the reason your soil test Do not measure nitogen because nitrogen is soluble it runs through. It’ll leave out pretty quick your phosphorous, which is your middle number there is not soluble it’s there when you put it there It’s there till it’s used up the potassium, which is your last number There is somewhat soluble but it’s not near as soluble as the nitrogen is so your first number your 20 nitrogen your last number, which is your potassium Both of those are soluble your middle one is not and when you inject this stuff right here I mean you can it don’t take long to see some see some great results oh, yeah it’s used by home gardeners it’s used By big farmers it’s used everybody use it because it works so well, and it’s got it’s place Now when you’re trying to hit crops such as corn which takes a lot of nitrogen what we do is we like to use this We also like to supplement with a different type of nitrogen there to feed that plant So you don’t want to use all your you don’t want to use this for all your fertilizer Requirements you need to use this particularly on corn Some and then you need hit with some straight nitrogen what we like to use there is Chilean nitrate So what I’ll do sometimes is I’ll hit it with 20 20 20 the following week I’ll hit with something like some straight nitrogen Chilean nitrate a lot of people use ammonia nitrate, which does the same thing Nitrate, let’s see calcium nitrate is a nitrogen source, a lot of people like to use on potatoes Tomatoes and peppers because it has that calcium in the nitrate as well Yeah, and just to just to go back to the amounts of fertilizers needed Just just to be clear here on granular fertilizer Slow-release stuff you’re going to be able to use a lot more of that than when you’re direct injecting this water-soluble stuff There’s a lot more risk and burning with this water-soluble stuff. Especially direct injecting it So you want to be careful not to use too much of this Whereas you’ve got a little more leeway, if you’re doing the granular side dressing because your your release is gonna be a lot slower Yeah, this product right here is meant for what we call spoon feeding Which is hitting it once a week once every ten days and we get the best results by doing this spoon feeding method where we get a little bit at a time If you’ve seen these wonderful plants that the commercial guys grow in the greenhouse the way they get those Nice full looking plants is by spoon feeding They give that plant just a little bit every week to keep it going and that works better than hitting with a granular product Two three two or three times because when you’re doing that you’re giving it a surge of that fertilizer It dosen’t have an even feeding like you do when you start spoon feeding with some of these water-soluble fertilizers So so that’s a conventional fertilizer and we talked about One organic fertilizer with the Chilean Nitrate, there are several other organic fertilizers out there a lot of people use the fish emulsion The guano stuff. We actually carry yeah this is product we carry fish and guano solution here some people use blood meal bone meal milorganite and then you’ve got your your compost that people use but but with the with the organic Fertilizers. You should just have the expectation that the reaction The plants react to the fertilizer is going to be a little slower Yeah It has convert those those nitrates in those organic fertilizers over and it takes a little longer process than it does some of these with the exception of the Chilean nitrate that Chilean nitrate is 15 percent nitrogen and it’s water soluble and it’s quick as well And it’s the only one out there that I know that’s an organic fertilizer that is quick So I like to use the organic stuff you know compost I’ve used milorganite before I kind of like to use that as a pre planting soil amendment and Then once my plants get establish, I want to hit them with that that quick stuff actually you used some chicken manure this year Yeah, I got my buddy that’s got a chicken farm, and he the They scrape the floors of those chicken houses and it’s chicken manure and peanut hole and man it’s really been working great Gotta be careful with it. Now. You can burn your stuff up with that chicken manure because it’s fairly hot You want to do it you want if you’re using that you want to put it out probably three to four weeks before you Plant careful not to overdo it, you can always come back add some more but you can burn it up some of the chicken manure Yeah, I’ve been been sure to put it in and kind of use the wheel hoe to work it in Before I plant to give it a little time to kind of lose some of its heat. Yep So we’ve talked about some of the stuff now, let’s give some practical advice of how to actually fertilize. Alright, so we’ve got Three different main ways maybe four that you can apply this Fertilizer and and some of these we have some devices that can really help you As some of it you might end up just do and we actually got a couple tricks. We’re gonna share with you Alright. So the first way probably the most popular way people fertilize is through side dressing and so side dressing just means taking a Granular fertilizer like you see here or like our Chilean nitrate and just going down Kind of not on top of the plant but right beside the plant and usually you’ll throw dirt Over the top of it some people even put this down While they’re planting or before they’re planting it a little furrow. So it’s there for the plant when it starts so this is a pint jar right here and if I got a fertilizer in there such as this which is a 10-10-10 analysis this pint jar holds one pound now my fertilizer requirements on sweet corn and Tomatoes and pepper is around a hundred and fifty units per acre Well, I’ve broken that down for you and give you an idea what you would do on a ten by ten area So let’s use a 10×10 area here and if I had sweet corn on that 10×10 area three jars of this per growing season will be your nitrogen requirements for that ten by ten area that is for Tomatoes and corn and pepper as well So if you was using a twenty twenty twenty you’d have to cut that in half But three pint jars of ten ten ten is gonna give you the right amount of nitrogen for that growing season Now I would split that up in at least three different applications That gives you an idea how much fertilizer you should put on a particular spot Now you do the math. If you’re area I mean if you’re growing your corns bigger than 10×10 if it’s 100 by 100 or whatever you can still use the same formula Three pint jars per 10×10 area per growing season So that was twenty twenty twenty it be one in a half, one and a half. Okay Alright. So so side dressing a lot of people do side dressing there’s some higher-level Equipment out there to do that with but most home gardeners We know just kind of put it in a cup and sprinkle it by hand now the way we do most of our fertilizing now is through Injection and we you know talk to we blue in the face about how awesome Drip irrigation is and if you’ve got drip irrigation You should definitely consider coupling that with one of these easy flow fertilizer injectors So got a nice this tank right here. It’s solid really thick and The way it works is you’ve got a coupling you hooked up you hook up On your faucet between your faucet and your water hose and that has a line coming in here So it’s going to be pumping water in and then pumping water and fertilizer out So when you set this thing up, you basically dissolved the appropriate amount of fertilizer in here Fill it up with water and then this is going to shoot water in here and then shoot water and fertilizer out Through your water system into your drip system, whatever you could use this with an overhead system But it would be a little bit of a waste because you’d be fertilizing middles, rows and stuff like that So it’s really really effective with a drip system. I’m on my Fourth year now using one and and it I can I can go out I get home from work I can go out there and in less than 10 minutes have this thing up and running My fertilizer to my garden it’s quick easy to set up and we really like so one of the common questions we get Trav And I’m gonna let you answer this, is how much fertilizer do I put in my tank so for my garden which is 5,000 square feet I put About three pounds of that in there three pounds of this in there now how do you measure out three pounds three pounds Well I use I’ll say this. I I know I use about a third of this bag every time okay Because usually after three fertilizations I’m done with a 10-pound bag so Yep Now it will dissolve Better if you’re close to warm water when you put this in there if you got some warm or hot water to put in there It will dissolve better in Warmer waters, so I’ll do that if I can you can’t do it. It’ll still work, but it just dissolves Better it’ll be a little bit quicker You have to fill your tank all the way up with water with liquid before it starts working So it has to be completely full after we put our fertilizer in there and we dissolve it fill it all the way up Then you can start seeing the blue come out the clear hose there you know, you’re get fertilizer out then Alright, so that’s that’s the preferred way. We do it okay, so You know, maybe you just got a small garden and you don’t want to get in all that you just want to fertilize your garden But you want to use this water soluble 20-20-20 now, this is the way you can do it with limited resources if you got a small garden hold this right here So this is my two gallon sprayer that I have used in my garden for a couple years You can tell I’ve stepped on the wand other things So what I will do is I will mix me four ounces which is about a half cup of this in my sprayer and I will take the tip of my sprayer off and that way it doesn’t throw a fan but throws a straight stream out there I will take this tip off and I will shake it up good mix it up good one cup By the gallon in a half water and I’ll run down next to my root system with this wand and I will side dress My plants with this sprayer right here right next to the root system I do this every seven days So it’ll do the same thing probably only take you a little bit more time And I wouldn’t recommend this if you had a large garden because it can get time-consuming but if you got a little bitty garden and you just want to give it a pop this is an Ideal way to do it One cup gallon and a half of water run that stream right next to the root system Try not to get any on the foliage if you can because you liable to get a little bit of burn Try to keep it on the root system run down through there and you’ll see some pretty dramatic results Do it every seven days, right. Right, great for small garden Something quick, you know, you got a large garden that’s gonna take you a long time you gonna have to keep filling up the tank so so Keep in mind the scale here and the appropriate piece of equipment for your scale and then if you you know If you got a big garden You got one plant that you need to hit and you can tell you need to hit it with some fertilizer and you don’t want to Go to the trouble mixing everything up just do it in that sprayer there and hit that and you done with it Alright, so hopefully some great information for you there as far as fertilizers go how much What to use when to use it and the equipment to use it So now we’re getting towards the end of the show And we want to answer a few of your questions from last week as always if you have questions put those in the comments below and we’ll Select a few of those every week to answer if we do answer your question on the show make sure you send us an email to [email protected] with your shipping address and we’ll send you one of our Hoss koozies one of the highly coveted Highly coveted Hoss koozies yep Give us your questions You’ll have a chance to win a koozie if we answer your question send us an email so we can send you that koozie Alright, so let’s get into our first question Which comes from Nicole who asked us a question on our YouTube channel And Nicole wants to know what’s the best way to keep bean beetles off your beans? She says she usually has a problem with Mexican bean beetles but having a problem with bean leaf beetles right now, Mexican Mexican bean beetles right on her beans right okay So I hate to sound like a broken record But the control here is the same way we talked about before you’ve got to keep your garden clean after you get through and your beans are over with make sure you get rid of them because these Insects can overwinter and residue so make sure you get a clean garden And as you can see right here those are what the eggs look like now when you see these eggs all underneath the leaf on this plant here is when you need to start with some type of control they’re easy to kill when they’re in this egg stage and they’re coming out of this egg stage and in the nymph stage if they get To this adult stage that you see right here You’ve got problems and your not gonna be easy to solve these problems. So Hit them early. You can use dish soap you can use insecticides soap Horticultural oil you can use Neem Oil you can use pyrethrin any of those You know what we call Organic methods will kill this insect and disrupt that lifecycle and this egg in this nymph stage So hit them early is the key there and if you can try to tilt the wand Up, so you get as much you know you can’t lay on the ground and spray them obviously But try to get as much on the underside of the leaf as you can, that egg is going to be if it’s a nymph it’s gonna be on the underside that leaf so with these organic controls coverage is Absolutely critical that you get good coverage underneath It’s actually a lot more critical to get that spray underneath the leaf than it is on top of the leaf So make sure that you spray from the bottom up as much as you can today that spray come up and cover that leaf Alright, Nicole. So thanks for that question. Send us your Address so we can get you that koozie in the mail. Yep. Alright our second question And our last question of the day is from YouTube as well And Jason says I’ve been having a garden in the same place My grandpa had his and wanting to get the soil healthier says he’s in North Texas already, you know Dug his taters and just didn’t have a very good crop this year compared to what he’s had in the past, yeah Potatoes are of the nightshade family Which is the same as tomatoes in the nightshades can harbor some disease if you plant them in the same place year after year so Jason what I would tell you if you can to start a rotation where you’re rotating your not planting nightshades in the same place every year may want to switch it up plant a legume one year or You may even want to give that spot a rest for a couple years And let it rest and then come back and move move back in but you need some type of rotation. Do not plant tomatoes watermelons potatoes in the same place every year You just setting yourself up for disease also implement some cover crops in there when you’re not growing something that helps with You know to lessen the disease pressure So the takeaway here is rotation rotation rotation and working those cover crops when you can And I like to tell people instead of having Say your garden your your area you have for gardening is a 100×100 Don’t just make that one huge hundred by hundred plot Break it up into small subplots and it’s way easier to manage and way easier to rotate so if you’ve got these little say 20, 25×25 Subplots, you can say okay. I’m gonna plant all my nightshades here this year This other plot I’m gonna plant all my squash here this year and then I can rotate that around whereas if it’s one big garden area It’s gonna be hard to manage and control a rotation because you’re just dealing with these long rows And you’re gonna have things stacked in beside each other more often than not. Yeah I do the exact same thing in my garden I got small plots and make myself notes of what I planted there last year and this year early in the season I started mapping out what I want to plant there For the rotation to make sure I’m not gonna be planting the same thing in the same spot again And it may be a point where you won’t to let an area rest a year, just grow a cover crop out there and let it rest a year that helps a lot to with disease pressure Yeah take you know, you can either take notes in a notebook. I just like to take pictures of my garden on my phone Yeah, and I can go back last year say okay. I remember I had this so, uh Photos on your phone, you know that you post to the Row by Row group. Yeah Those are good pictures to have for records for future years. Yep Alright, so that’s gonna do it for us today. Thank you for watching We’ll see you next week yep and get off that couch and get out there and get something done.

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