People often ask about fertilizing in the spring, but many ignore how Nature fertilizes and amends soil. There is no little Fertilizer Fairy flitting around the woods and fields pouring blue liquids or time-release pellets. Nature amends soil, and fertilizes, by organic matter that rots from the top down. So why don’t we gardeners take a hint?
One of the best things you can do in the spring is to amend your existing plantings by spreading compost. Be it your own homemade compost, composted manure or bulk/bag compost purchased at your local garden center. An inch is enough and you can spread it any time. But if you want to fertilize with an organic fertilizer, a good system is to first sprinkle the fertilizer and then top with the inch of compost. For those who want to mulch, an inch or two (at most – more is not better) of mulch can be spread on top of the compost or composted manure.
You’ll be amazed at how well your plants respond.
If you’re growing veggies, apply an inch or two of compost on top of the soil. Those who are using the no-till method will leave this as is, and plant at the appropriate time. Those who turn the soil every spring will till that compost or manure under. Either way, it’s a win-win.
It’s not sexy, and it takes some amount of lifting and raking, but when we use the same methods Nature does, our gardens thrive. So it’s worth it.