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Do My Own Gardening - How to Fertilize a Garden

By DoMyOwn staff

The plants in our raised garden bed are really popping up. All of the rain that has rolled through has really helped them thrive. In this video, we will talk about how to fertilize a raised garden bed. We will also talk about the different types of fertilizers you can use and how often to use them.

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Video Transcript

Before jumping into today's topic, lets take a look at how good this gardens doing.

For starters, our super sweet tomatoes when we first planted them were just barely over this first rung. Our last video they were barely over the second rung. Now they're starting to peak their head over the entire cage.

Not only that, we're seeing some good flowering in all of our plants, not just the super sweets.

Our early girls, although they're not growing up, they are starting to grow out, a lot! And again, seeing some flowering occurring on those.

All the pepper plants are starting to get nice and tall, and we got a couple little peppers starting to grow in.

All of the basil still doing really well. I've even harvested some sweet basil and lime basil this morning.

One of our pepper plants, however, is not doing so good. Which is a good segue into today's topic.

Let's talk about fertilizer. If you'll remember, when we took the plants and put them into our raised garden bed, we did a bit of side dressing with some 10-10-10 to help reduce the shock, and give them a little bit of a boost, once they were in the bed. It's been a few weeks since we did that, and we reached out to our extension office, and asked them how often and what kind of fertilizer should we use going forward?

Their recommendation was every three to four weeks, or at least once a month with a generic 10-10-10. So just like before, we're going to side dress each plant with some 10-10-10 and then soak it into our bed.

I'm going to use a watering can to water in the fertilizer around the base of the tomato plants because I don't want to risk getting the leaves wet. Again, that's going to set it up for disease so I'm just going to watering can.

These two pepper plants are the same. This is the one that already has some peppers sprouting on it. And this is the one that's struggling. Not doing so good. I'm going to give the one that's not doing so good, a direct foiliar spray fertilizer and see how that helps it. With the one that's already sprouting some peppers, I'm going to go ahead and sprinkle some 10-10-10 fertilizer around the bottom of it, like I did with the other plants.

So for this particular foiliar fertilizer it says to shack the bottle well, and then spray healthy plants once a week and then for ailing plants we have to spray twice a week. So for our one that's struggling, we'll spray it today, wait one day, and then spray it again.

A little hard to get the fertilizer down around each plant with all of the mulch in the way, but all I did was just simply scoop the mulch back from each plant, try to get the fertilizer at least six to eight inches away from the base of each plant around it, watered all of it in, and then put the mulch back on top.

When I go to fertilize again, I'm going to take the foiliar spray and spray it on two of the different types of tomato plants that we got. Again, to just see how they react and see how well the liquid foliar fertilizer is going to do versus the granule fertilizer that we put down.

So real quick let's talk about the different kinds of fertilizers that you can use for your garden.

Let's first talk about slow release fertilizer. Now these fertilizers will feed for six to 12 months with just one application. The down side is that they do cost a little bit more than general purpose fertilizers.

Versus quick release fertilizers that cost a lot less and go to work a lot faster than a slow release.

A complete fertilizer is going to have all three elements present. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. An example of this might be a 16-4-8.

An in complete fertilizer is only going to contain two of the major elements. For example, a 15-0-15, which is only going to contain nitrogen and potassium.

Then you've got a balanced fertilizer, which again is going to contain all three major elements, but it's going to have equal parts of each one of those, like the 10-10-10 that we put down. 10 parts nitrogen, 10 parts phosphorus and 10 parts potassium.

As far as which fertilizer you should use for your bed, the best advice we can give you is reach out to your extension office and get their opinion. We did that and they said to use just regular 10-10-10 for our particular bed and the plants that we are dealing with.

Again you can do granula or you can do liquid. It all depends on your particular situation.

For tomato seedlings and transplants, the extension office recommends that you use a fertilizer at half strength. Some people will even go a quarter strength fertilizer. Your tomato seedlings and your transplants, they don't need the full strength fertilizer.

The plants are small. And most fertilizers, especially liquid fertilizers have a ratio N,P,K, nitrogen, phosphurs and potasium, that are just too high for those small seed cells and plants.

Now tomatoes are medium feeders, and they're going to require more fertilizer than the initial starter solution.

It's best if you're not using a pre mixed soil solution, like what we've got, to do a soil test through your extension office to see what kind of fertilizer is best going to suit your needs.

And just to re emphasize, we're going to fertilize every three to four weeks, or once a month.

If a liquid soluable fertilizer is used, be careful not to apply too much and too often as this could lead to access nitrogen. This is a very common problem that I've found out and if you do that, you put too much nitrogen into the garden bed, you'll get a lot of vegetation growth but you won't get a whole lot of fruit growth.

So there we go! That's all there really is to fertilizing. What's crazy is, since our initial planting, I haven't done anything to this bed. We've had that much rain, it's watered the bed for us; I haven't had to do anything and the plants are really starting to sprout up.

It's going to be fun to see how well our plants are going to react to the 10-10-10 fertilizer that we side dressed them with. We'll see what happens. They're looking really healthy, I'm seeing some flowering, even seeing some peppers pop off these plants, so, everything's looking good.

I hope this video was helpful and we answered some questions on fertilizers for you. If you have any other further questions, as always, you can leave them in the comments section below, email our customer service staff, or pick up the phone and give us a call.

On our next video, we're going to cover some general maintenance tips on taking care of our raised garden bed. We'll talk about how to keep our plants growing in a nice upward manner, we'll talk about pinching off suckers, what those are, why we pinch them off. All that good stuff is going to be coming up in the next video.

So I hope you'll continue to follow along with us by clicking this button to subscribe to our channel. You can click this playlist to see all the videos in the gardening series. And also click this playlist to see the Do My Own Lawn Care video series.

And as always, thanks for watching!