Gardentalk – Feed me, Seymour!

Front of bag of 16-16-16 fertilizer specifies proportions of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash.

Front of bag of 16-16-16 fertilizer specifies proportions of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

The carnivorous plant Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors” feasted on blood and body parts so it could thrive and grow. But you don’t need to sacrifice one of your own limbs just to feed your trees, garden vegetables, or lawn.

Master Gardener Ed Buyarski explained in latest edition of Gardentalk that fertilizer or compost may be all that you need.

Listen to the April 19 edition of Gardentalk about fertilizing trees, plants, and the lawn:

 

Buyarski started the segment by answering a question from a listener, Sam, who writes:

“We have a sunset maple and are wondering if we should fertilize it in the spring and, if so, with what? Or, is compost enough?”

Buyarski said, yes, now is a good time to fertilize trees because their buds and roots are all growing. Either compost or a balanced fertilizer would work just fine for Sam’s maple. However, fruiting trees may need more.

He doesn’t recommend placing compost or fertilizer around the trunk of the tree. Instead, he suggests placing it under the tree’s drip line or below the tips of the branches because that is where the roots will be most active.

Tree spikes or granular fertilizer will also work.

Every package of fertilizer specifies the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that may be important for a specific tree variety or a grass lawn according to the season.

10-12-10

Back of bag of 10-12-10 plant fertilizer specifies proportions of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

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