Gardening Tips: Rainy weather makes it a good time to fertilize

Have we had summer yet? It is hard to tell here in Fort Collins. This has been an exceptionally mild summer, with some very warm days. However, for the most part, we have enjoyed cool and rainy weather. These kinds of conditions are excellent for fertilizing trees, shrubs, garden and any other plant. Adding some kind of fertility to the soil for the plants to utilize is an important way to ensure they are healthy and “stress free” during winter months. Adding fertility also helps plants emerge in a strong and vigorous fashion this coming spring.

Most all fertilizers describe their use information on the label itself, and generally consist of three major ingredients for plants: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). The product you purchase will most likely have three numbers listed in bold text. These numbers correspond to the amounts of each nutrient (N-P-K—in that order) contained in the bag.

There are many lawn and gardening publications which describe what fertility means for plants and the fertilization process itself. Several sources of information recommend the application of fertilizers in two or more separate periods, most commonly fall and spring. Dividing the total plant-necessary fertilizer into several parts makes sense from plant-nutrient availability, economic and environmental standpoint. You would fertilize annual plants (flowers and vegetables) more often throughout the summer because they produce for a short period of time.

Colorado State University Extension has a host of fertilization materials relevant to the lawn, tree and shrubs, etc. Refer to Consider doing something as simple and easy as fertilizing the plants that provide us with so many benefits.

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