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San Diego

Finding the Right Fertilizer for Your Plants

Posted by San Diego Landscaper on Wednesday, 29 July , 2015

Plants may need extra nutrients in order to grow and remain healthy. Soil is often deficient in one or more important nutrients, so adding fertilizer may be necessary. However, there is such a wide range of fertilizers on the market, how do you choose the right one?

At Juniper Landscape Company in San Diego, we help you keep your landscaping healthy with the right fertilizers and treatments for a vigorously growing yard.

The pH Question

It is important to remember that pH level, which refers to acidity or alkalinity, affects the ability of soil to release fertilizer nutrients. That means that the first step in choosing the right fertilizer is determining your soil’s pH levels. There are many at-home test kits that can provide you with this information, or you can ask your landscape professional to test your soil’s pH level.

Types of Fertilizer

Once you have determined the pH levels, it is important to consider:

  • If you are going to be growing plants in containers or in the garden
  • If you need fertilizer that works immediately or is released over time
  • If you need an all-purpose or specialized fertilizer

There are many different fertilizers on the market, but most can be grouped into three main categories, including:

  • Organic – This type of fertilizer contains lower nutrient levels than chemical fertilizers. It is also less likely to cause damage to plants. Organics are also slow-release, so the fertilizers are broken down by soil microorganisms over time.
  • Water-soluble – This type of fertilizer works best for annuals and plants in containers. This type of fertilizer is easy to apply and immediately provides plants with nutrients.
  • Synthetic – Those who are growing vegetables or perennials should use granular synthetic fertilizer. This is the most popular type of fertilizer because it releases a small amount of nutrients each time the plant is watered.

As you can see, the plants you choose to grow and how you choose to grow them will be a major factor in determining the right type of fertilizer for you.

Applying Fertilizer

Just as the type of plants you have determine the type of fertilizer you use, they also dictate how much fertilizer to apply. It is important when applying fertilizer to follow the directions for the plant you are fertilizing. If you apply too little, the plant will not have enough nutrients. If you apply too much, you can harm the plant.

Special Fertilizers

Within the three main categories of fertilizers, there are many specially-created fertilizers that are designed for specific plants:

  • Flowers – Many specialized flower fertilizers are higher in phosphorous and contain equal amounts of nitrogen and potassium.
  • Vegetables – Fertilizers that are formulated for vegetables are often granular and are controlled-release.
  • Roses – Rose bushes need more fertilizer than other types of plants. This specialized fertilizer contains a special mix of phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium which encourages blooming.

When you are trying to choose the right fertilizer, trust the experts at Juniper Landscape Company in San Diego. Our team’s extensive experience in landscaping can help you choose the right plants as well as teach you how to properly care for them.

Juniper Landscape Company is a provider of professional landscaping services in San Diego, we strive to make San Diego a beautiful place by doing business with integrity and creativity.


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