Farmer Phil's Veggie Varieties
Farmer Phil's Herb Varieties

Fertilizing Basics

Most plants need some nutrients, and these are given to the soil by adding them during planting. Adding compost is one common method for putting more nutrients into the soil, although sometimes more is needed, and this is done typically with fertilizer. Plants, particularly vegetables remove nutrients from the soil overtime. If you’ve been planting for a number of years and notice that some crops tend to get worse, this might be a result of exhausted soil. Nevertheless, the method to give plants enough nutrients is to mix fertilizer into the dirt or a bed when planting and periodically during the season.

Liquid and granular are the two options available for fertilizers, although granular is generally recommended for lasting longer. The amount needed for each plant varies, however, but this amount should be listed with the plant or on the fertilizer package. Too little fertilizer will not help and too much may cause the plants to grow excessively and not give any fruit. Fertilizer amounts fall into three categories, including:

  • Light, in which only a small amount is needed at the beginning of planting. This is common for bush beans, mustard greens, peas, and turnips.
  • Moderate, in which, combined with drainage and mulch, a medium-sized amount is added during planting. Such plants needing this amount include beets, carrots, okra, pole beans, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
  • Heavy, in which a significant amount is added during planting and then at a later date. Most vegetables fall into this category, including tomatoes, onions, and peppers.





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