benefit from an annual application of fertilizer in spring or early summer (March through
June). Slow release (WIN - Water Insoluble Nitrogen) or organic
nitrogen is a better choice than quick release nitrogen since it feeds a
shrub more gradually and reduces the chance of fertilizer "burn."
Don't fertilize shrubs in
the midwest or northeastern US after July 4th since it may encourage a late
"flush" of new growth that might not get "hardened off"
before winter cold. It's best to apply granular fertilizers around the base
of a shrub without putting any in contact with the foliage or the trunk.
Liquid fertilizer is
different than granular products, with label recommendations often calling
for applying it over the foliage for additional uptake of nutrients through
the leaves. Early morning is a better time than the heat of the day for
these sorts of applications.
Always read and follow
fertilizer label instructions. More fertilizer is not necessarily better
since many fertilizers have a high "salt index" which increases their "burn"
potential on plants. It is always a good idea to water fertilizer into the
soil following an application. If you use wood mulch regularly it is a good
idea to use nitrogen fertilizer annually to help offset what the breakdown
of wood mulch robs from the soil.
will benefit from the use of a product like 'Miracid', especially if they are showing any signs of
chlorosis (yellowing between the darker green veins of the leaf). Chlorosis is
often caused by a
shortage of iron or other micronutrients Miracid contains. Miracid
gets mixed with water
according to the label directions and sprinkled over the root zone and foliage, since some of
the fertilizer is absorbed through the leaves.
A cool morning is better than
a hot afternoon for this sort of foliar application. An application of Miracid once a
month in April, May and June should be adequate for shrubs with
chlorosis. These liquid feedings can be
supplemented with a single application of an organic fertilizer like Milorganite during that same time period.