Old 04-10-2010, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 226
Garden fertilizers?

So the boyfriend and I have just created our first garden. We have planted: better boy tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, cayenne peppers, spinach, okra, red onions, squash, and watermelon. Are there any special fertilizers we should use to really kick-start them? Any old fashioned tips?
Old 04-10-2010, 07:09 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 20,334
I use something with NPK = 12-12-12, plus micronutrients. That gives me LOTS of tomatoes per bush.

The standard lawn fertilizer you see at hardware stores is vastly enriched with nitrogen compounds (N) relative to phosphorus and potassium. It doesn't work so well for veggies around here.

Peppers like some nitrogen, but you'll stunt them if you give em too much.

Around here, tomatoes like their P and K, but your soil may differ. Ask at the local greenhouse, or just watch to see what the little old ladies buy.
Old 04-10-2010, 07:28 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 14,221
To do this right, you have to have your soil tested, to see what fertilizers it needs.

Here in Minnesota, you can just take a sample of the soil, mail it into the University Soil Testing Lab with a check ($5-$10 per test), and in about 5 days they will send you detailed results. Then you know for sure what nutrients your soil needs, and can add those fertilizers cheaply & effectively.

You don't indicate where you are, but something like this is common in many states. You might check in your area.
Old 04-10-2010, 08:11 PM
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Wisconsin USA
Posts: 16,843
Fish emulsion is great if stinky. It has other nutrients the standard granular doesn't.

Granular garden fertilizer is usually even across the numbers. 7-7-7 or 10-10-10 or 20-20-20.

A water soluble in low doses every watering works great. Use a quarter or half teaspoon per gallon instead of a tablespoon like the directions say for applications every time you water. Using the full dose is a waste if you do it multiple times a week.
Old 04-10-2010, 09:56 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orygun forest
Posts: 4,606
The time to add granular fertilizers is before planting, mix into the soil. After you have planted just buy a soluble fertilizer like Miricle Grow. Personally I prefer Peters Professional 20-20-20.

But if you just planted them do not hit them with fertilizer until they have established themselves, rooted in, and begun to show new growth. Transplanting is quite a shock to a plant and newly sprouted seeds are delicate. You can burn them by adding fertilizer at this time. Ad some soluble fertilizer in about a month once they are growing again. No 'kick starting'.

I have used soluble fish fertilizers, the company I used to work for made the product that was bottled under the Alaska Fish label. A couple things to realize is that is will attract insects and unless you have secure fencing other animal critters may try to dig up your plants trying to uncover the hidden fish at the bottom of the hole.
Old 04-12-2010, 03:30 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 226
Thanks so much everyone, I think I'll give them some time to grow on their own before I try anything. Much appreciated!

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