In the fall you cleaned out your garden and readied it for the winter. In the winter you organized and planned your garden. In the spring you got everything ready and planted your garden. Now summer's here and it's time to enjoy the garden you've put so much work into. However, to get the most out of it you still need to maintain your garden throughout the summer—perhaps even more carefully than any other season.
Fertilizer Summer is all about maintaining your garden. With the heat of summer, feeding your plants is even more important.
Remember—just like people and pets, plants need feeding. Regular feeding can greatly increase the health of your plants and the production of flowers and/or fruit. And, just like people and pets, over feeding can be very bad.
If you have a planting guide for your plant, it's important to reference it and carefully follow its instructions for feeding. Some plants, like SunPatiens®, enjoy feeding more often than other plants. If you don't have a planting guide, find a reliable source on the Internet or a book on gardening that you can trust. Typically fertilizing your garden every two to three weeks works well.
A general fertilizer will work fine for your entire garden (any feeding is better than no feeding), but using plant specific fertilizers can enhance their performance even more. Take a good look at your fertilizer and most likely there are three numbers somewhere clearly marked on the label. They represent the amount of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium that are blended into the fertilizer. These are the nutrients plants need most. Somewhere on the container will be a list of other nutrients blended in lesser quantities. The mix of these nutrients (primary and secondary) in varied quantities specific to the needs of the plant is what makes fertilizers effective. The proper mix and amount of nutrients applied to your plant at the correct intervals can produce amazing results.
For many plants a simple 15-30-15 mix will work as well as any blend. Other plants perform better with a more specific recipe. A fertilizer blended for fruit and vegetables is likely to give you more fruit than a general fertilizer. A fertilizer for acid-loving plants would produce richer/bluer hydrangea. Again, your planting guide (or gardening information source) will help you decide what's best for your plant.
Dry, liquid and water-soluble fertilizers work pretty much the same, but there are advantages to dry and to liquid or water-soluble.
Dry (granular) fertilizers work best in long-term soil enhancement. Fertilizing with dry fertilizer when first setting up your flowerbeds in the fall (long before plants will be added) can help enrich the soil for the spring. Granular fertilizer, when used as instructed on its container, can sometimes be a better solution for very large, well established trees since it takes longer for the fertilizer to work its way to the roots.
In most cases, you will benefit from a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer. Dry fertilizers have a much greater risk of burning your roots. Liquid and water-soluble fertilizers, so long as you keep your plants watered and don't over fertilize, shouldn't burn your plants' roots and can reach their roots much quicker than granular fertilizers.
Finally, not all fertilizers were created equal. Go with a brand you trust. If you buy an unknown bargain brand you may not get the full benefit of feeding your plants. This may be a shameless plug, but Cottage Farms' Bud-N-Flower Boosters are water-soluble pouches especially formulated to give your plants exactly what they need.
For obvious reasons we recommend using one of our fertilizers. However, if you should decide to get your fertilizer elsewhere, don't trade a little savings for quality. A fertilizer from a reputable company gives your plants a better chance to reach their full potential. And as we stated earlier, a plant specific fertilizer can improve your plant's performance even more.
Click here for more detailed information on Fertilizing and Plant Nutrition
Click on the links below for more information about our Bud-N-Flower Boosters (even if you use a different brand, the information on these pages can give you a good idea of what nutrient ratios will work best for your plants):
Bud-N-Flower Booster 15-30-15 Bud-N-Flower Booster for Acid Loving 21-7-7 Bud-N-Flower Booster for Fruits Vegetables 15-10-30 Bud-N-Flower Booster for Roses 18-24-18
Fertilizing Grafted Tomatoes
Summer heat can really put a strain on your plants. Grafted tomatoes are hard-working plants that require plenty of fertilizer to grow and produce at their best.
To keep your plants happy and healthy, we recommend applying a granular 8-8-8 tomato fertilizer to the soil surface, then using a water soluble fertilizer such as our Bud-N-Flower Booster for Fruits and Vegetables a few days later. Repeat this procedure weekly to ensure your plants receive the nutrition they need to produce a bumper crop of juicy, homegrown tomatoes.
Fertilizing Roses Have your roses stopped blooming or begun to look tired this summer?
One of the most common reasons roses undergo a summertime slump is improper nutrition. Roses lacking essential nutrients will suffer and fail to flower, while those given high-nitrogen fertilizers will produce lush foliage with few or no blooms at all.
Keep your roses looking their best by feeding them with a well balanced fertilizer like our Bud-N-Flower Booster for Roses once every 7 to 14 days during the growing season. Its formula of 18-24-18 and essential micronutrients will meet all of your roses’ nutritional needs, and you will be rewarded with a long season of beautiful blooms!

Summer Garden