What To Fertilize In Spring

Tips for Feeding Your Spring Garden

What Fertilizer To Use In Spring-a-garden-design
A garden design

Appling fertilizers to your spring garden along with your lawn area is so important, during the spring months grass turf as well as garden plants are actively growing which means they need that extra boost or push to grow and perform their best. This practice of fertilizer application will supply your soil with the right amount of nutrients that your garden plants need including your lawn to grow healthy.

Depending on the soil alone to supply the number of nutrients to support plant life is not enough, there are many soil types that are considered poor when it comes to the availability of nutrients that are found.  For example, sandy soils are gritty and light to the touch, this soil type is formed by the finest of particles and is known as the poorest type of soil for growing plants and for agriculture because of its poor water-holding capacity and nutritional value.

Nitrogen is a major element that is a major component of chlorophyll, the compound by which plants use sunlight energy to produce sugars from water and carbon dioxide which is known as photosynthesis. This major or macronutrient is also a component of amnio acids the building blocks of proteins, nitrogen however leeches very quickly from the soil and must be replaced ( fertilizer application). From these examples, it is clear that spring garden fertilizer application is very important.

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What to Fertilize Spring

Types of Fertilizers

Slow Release Fertilizers: Slow release or time release is as the name says, these fertilizer types are released over a period of time (6-8) months as moisture is applied to the soil. Slow-release fertilizers come in granular form, what I love about slow-release is not having to worry if the application is too heavy because these fertilizers are known not to cause plant burn. However, caution should be taken and only apply according to the manufactures directions.

Liquid Fertilizers: Liquid fertilizers are fast acting, these fertilizers come in powered form where water is added or concentrated.  These fertilizers are fast acting and are taken up immediately by the plant’s roots when applied. Liquid fertilizers can also be sprayed onto the plant leaves and absorbs into the plant, extreme caution should be taken because if used incorrectly or overused can cause plant burn. Before applying fertilizers read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for the best results.

Dry Fertilizers: Dry fertilizers can either be pellets, powder, or granules, these fertilizers can be applied to a garden flower bed or early spring on shrubs trees, and lawns.

Manure or Compost: Manure or compost is derived from plant materials, what I love about compost is it’s an all-natural organic so you don’t have to worry about burning your plants or food contamination. Adding compost to your garden beds will encourage microbial activity that’s beneficial to soil and plant life. This fertilizer type can be used in the spring as well as in summer and fall gardens. I believe that manure and compost are the perfect fit especially when growing an edible garden.

Fertilizing Flowering Plants

Flowering plants that are kept healthy can bring much beautification into your garden, one of the key components of a beautiful garden is an effective fertilizer program. But choosing the right fertilizer, the timing of fertilizer application, the amount of fertilizer that’s required, and the method by which fertilizers are used play a key part and will make a big difference in how your plants including your lawn respond.

A slow-release granular fertilizer is ideal to use on garden plant beds, this fertilizer should be applied at planting time in early spring before flower bloom starts and should be spread evenly over the top of the soil and around the base of the plants. Once the fertilizer is spread evenly on the soil surface work the granular in the few top inches of soil with a handheld rake or trowel followed by giving the flower bed a thorough soaking of water. Ensure when applying fertilizers avoid making contact with the plant’s leaves. Then apply fertilizers again 2-3 times during the summer months to continue those healthy flower blooms. For the best results read and follow the manufacturer’s directions on the label.

Fertilizing Shrubs

Shrubs play a major role in our gardens these plant species not only add to the aesthetics of our landscapes but are beneficial to many wildlife (creating a natural habitat) including birds that use shrubs as a place of shelter to hide from the (elements) rain and also as protection from predators and to raise their young. Shrubs also provide shade, enhance air quality, and improve soil stability.

A slow-release granular fertilizer with a single application in early spring is ideal, Once you have made the application water immediately. Hardier woody shrubs and bushes respond best to fertilizers that are high in nitrogen. Synthetic blends with four-one-one-parts nitrogen or three-one-one part nitrogen of pre-planting shrubs post-planting can receive surface applications  Always read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for the best results.

Fertilizing Grassturf

Maintaining a healthy lawn has so many benefits from aesthetics to increasing our property’s value, our garden lawns can’t be left out we must give this area of our landscape some attention also. Your spring lawn fertilizer application should begin in mid-April with a granular fertilizer using a manual drop spreader that disperses fertilizer pellets at a low and slow rate.

Fertilizers can first be applied around the perimeter of your lawn followed by moving toward the middle getting complete and even coverage. Rotate and apply layers perpendicularly. Continue fertilizer application every four to six weeks. Dry fertilizers can stain pavements, walkways, and driveways so sweep up fertilizers that might have reached these areas and place them back in the fertilizer bag. Now that you’ve fertilized your lawn give it a good soaking of water.


Growing an edible garden is a great way to eat healthy by growing your very own food crop and can save you money, when growing an edible garden I prefer to use organics to feed my plants since I am growing plants that will be consumed. When applying compost work 1-2 inches into the top 3-5 inches of soil, start by spreading the compost evenly over the soil surface followed by tilling it into the soil. Or put a handful of compost in each hole where plants are to be installed.

Garden Herbs

I love growing herbs, the flavors and the aromas are so pleasant and can really take your favorite recipes to the next level, it’s best to apply compost evenly over the soil’s surface before planting. Once the compost has been spread work compost in the top few inches of soil or place a handful into each planting hole followed by installing your herbs.

Fruit Trees

Who doesn’t love fruits with their sweetness and their nutritional value, it’s recommended that as long as a fruit tree is small, an organic fertilizer should be used combined with mulch or compost. The ideal time to fertilize fruit trees is during the spring months which is the growing season, starting early in spring around bud -breaking which is when green tissues appear through the bud scales. Fertilizing too late in the season will encourage lush new growth that will be winter damage or winter killed.

The final word on what to fertilize in spring.

The spring months are the perfect time to fertilize your garden as well as your lawn area, this is the time of the year when plants are most active and need a little boost to help them perform their best.  I hope this guide will help your time spent in your spring garden to be enjoyable as you reap the rewards by connecting with nature outdoors. Working in our spring garden can be filled with so much activity and excitement so if you haven’t started as yet then I encourage you to get into your spring garden and experience how great it feels working outdoors.


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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.