Posted on 21 February 2013 by urbangardencasual.com

Fertilizing for the Absentminded Gardener

Photo Credit: Happy Bokeh Wednesday! Garden Style by Matt Harris used under CC BY-NC 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

As an avid gardener, I have tried many different approaches when it comes to fertilizing.

I have made my own fertilizer with manure and compost.

I have also gone plain Jane and just let incorporated compost fertilize the plants.

While both approaches have worked, I have longed for an easier way. This is when I found Winchester Gardens products.

Getting older and busier has forced me to look for ways of doing things easier. I use self-watering containers and mulch gardens so that I do not have to water as often. I choose disease-resistant plant varieties so that I do not have to treat for plant disease and/or pests. I also choose to use a once a season fertilizer program and that is where Winchester Gardens comes into my planting scheme.

In my vegetable garden, there has always a Shakespearean conflict between fertilizing for vegetative growth and flower production. High nitrogen fertilizer is great for my greens while detrimental for my tomatoes and peppers. A fertilizer high in phosphorus is great for fruiting plants while not so great for my basil. So what can a gardener do who plants a garden that is a mixed bag of plants? The answer is simple and that is precision farming on a micro-scale.

One may wonder what I am talking about and completely confused. What is precision farming and how do I do that on a micro-scale. Precision farming consists of giving each plant what it needs as far as nutrients. On the farm, this is accomplished with computers, remote sensing software, and sprayer booms. Each plant is analyzed by computers who then prescribe how much fertilizer and/or pesticide each plant will receive.

This same concept can be achieved in the urban garden without computers, booms, and fancy software. All that is needed is fertilizer spikes.

To create your own precision farming schedule is easy. The first step you will need to take is to plan your garden space. Once the plan has been completed and planting day arrives, it is time to bring out the fertilizer spikes. These spikes are good for 8 weeks of worry-free fertilizing. No need to fret that your plants are getting too much or too little fertilizer.

Once the garden has been planted, it is time to apply the fertilizer spikes. Winchester Gardens have a wide variety of choices when it comes to these spikes. They have traditional vegetable fertilizer spikes and organic vegetable fertilizer spikes. Both of which are wonderful additions that are economical and easy to apply. Simply apply two spikes per plant. After that is done, you are on your way to a season of carefree gardening.

So until we blog again, gardening no longer has to be a chore with Winchester Gardens products.

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