How To Fertilize Vegetable Garden Soil

Fertilizers, whether they are organic or inorganic, are vital for the plant growth and product yield. However, it is also important for a gardener to know the process of fertilizing a vegetable garden because improper addition of fertilizers leads to decreased yield and reduced quality of the product.

Fertilizing a vegetable garden is to be done in a two-stage process. While the first stage commences before planting the vegetables, the second stage commences during the middle of growing season.

Broadcast fertilizing: This is the first stage of fertilizing vegetable garden soil. At this stage, the gardener must replenish the garden soil with nutrients using a complete fertilizer. A complete fertilizer can be described as an incomplete fertilizer having nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the percentage of 10-10-10. However, it is recommended to get the soil tested at a registered testing center before adding the fertilizer. It is important to distribute the fertilizer evenly. This can be done using a hand spreader or a tiller. Gardener can also use some amount of organic fertilizer so as to improve the texture of the soil. The first stage of fertilizing provides the plants with essential nutrients required during the initial stages of growth.

Side Dressing: As the plant grows, many of the nutrients in the soil get used up. Hence, a second stage of soil fertilizing is required so as to provide the plants with essential nutrients and elements required to complete the growth cycle. You can use the same type of fertilizer that was used during the first stage of fertilizing. However, you have to apply the fertilizer on the sides of the plant without disturbing the roots. A deep trench has to be made around the plant with a hoe. Now, the fertilizer can be applied in the trench and the trench is covered with soil. The fertilizer gets soaked up into the soil once the plant is watered.