erins327
Senior Member
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:21 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Let's talk a little bout fertilizing

Here's the backstory-

I have a pretty good thriving Spring garden. Moved last Fall, so had to start raised beds over- filled four 10x5 beds with 'Vegetable' mix. However I have to say the quality was not as good as I'm used too, so the plants are a little slower to get going and not as lush as Im used too.

We compost- but had to start from scratch too, so have only dumped one wheelbarrows worth a month ago. Second batch is cooking.

Pertaining to fertilizer, I use Osmocote Vegetable slow release 15-15-15, sprinkle every 3rd month or so. I also sometimes use HastaGrow liquid 6-12-6 every other month or so.

My question is: Am I wasting my time with the HastaGrow? Its a pain to apply (because I hand water with rainwater), much more expensive, and not as a good nutrient rating.

Whattya think?
#foodisfreeyall

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Let's talk a little bout fertilizing

If you mulch and once you get more compost coming, I wouldn't think you would need the extra fertilizer. Mulching helps keep the soil cooler and conserve moisture, which both are important in Houston, and then it breaks down to feed the soil.

I rarely fertilize at all, just mulch, compost, and compost tea.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11119
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Let's talk a little bout fertilizing

A lot of that depends on the quality of the soil you have to start with. I use osmocote in potted plants but in ground vegetable gardens, I follow my soil test recommendations. The cost of the test is minor compared to what I save on fertilizer I don't really need and the soil test tells me what kind of fertilizer and how much much I need to add. I add compost, but I only need nitrogen for my gardens, literally for years.

Over time, as your soil improves, organic matter and the soil microbia can be enough. You can help by balancing your plantings of heavy feeders like tomatoes with light feeders and legumes. Green manure cover crops can add nitrogen (if they are legumes) and biomass to help build up the organic matter in the soil faster.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

erins327
Senior Member
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:21 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Let's talk a little bout fertilizing

Thanks for y'alls replies.

Yes, I do mulch too of course, I forgot about that. The soil I started with was pretty bad. Alot of sand and almost like wood cork in there. The plants suffered a little in the beginning until I could amend it. With more compost and maybe a little peat moss (it drains too quickly) I think it will be ideal.

I was also planning on doing a cover crop when summer is over. However in the winter half of the beds are fully shaded, so Im not sure if something would thrive there. All we can do is wait and see?!

Yall also made me think when I plant again I will soil test again and can start depending more on that info, thanks for the reminder.
#foodisfreeyall

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Let's talk a little bout fertilizing

Nitrogen, "N" is the thing most often lacking in soils. If you have had some soil tests done you will know what is lacking. Here I just plan on getting some ammonium nitrate fertilizer and spreading it on the area before planting in the spring. Yes, grass clippings and leaves from the trees can go on in the fall and be tilled in. When I kept animals the manures went on in the fall too.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/- Plant a Garden

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”