best time to apply fertilizer

fertilizer

Signs Your Plants Need Fertilizer

Plants make homes more welcoming, desirable, and add value to properties. From trees to flowers, plantings need to have their needs met to remain healthy and vibrant. They typically obtain nutrients through the soil, but there are times when that source is insufficient for their needs and fertilizer will be required.

Even if you began with ideal soil, over time the plants will absorb those nutrients and they will need to be replaced with an application of fertilizer. Each plant has specific nutrient needs and no fertilizer is a one-size-fits-all solution.

There are signs that plants require certain nutrients, but fertilizing plants should be done carefully. Over fertilization is one of the most common mistakes that gardeners make. Plants with a deficiency will demonstrate the following symptoms.

Nitrogen

Plants in need of nitrogen will have new growth that’s light green in color and it will typically be spindly and stunted. Leaves will also begin to drop and new growth will be weak. A lack of nitrogen also affects blossoms and fruit. Both may be delayed and the fruits and flowers produced will typically be smaller than usual.

Phosphorus

A lack of phosphorus will cause plant leaves and stems to take on a dull green appearance. Older leaves will show the effects first and may turn a purplish hue. Tips of leaves will begin to brown and die. The plant’s root system will be weakened, resulting in smaller plants and few or no flowers.

Potassium

When a lack of potassium is the culprit, you may see small spots on the undersides of leaves. Those spots will get larger over time and expand into significant areas of discoloration. Leaf tips will become yellowish colored, curl, and plants will often have a scorched look. The development of roots, seeds and fruits will be reduced.

RCH Landscaping is a full-service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians has an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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South Florida Winter Lawn Care

Residents of South Florida are fortunate in that they still have the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities even in the winter while their counterparts in northern climates are buried under a blanket of snow. A green lawn in winter begins with proper preparation. The following are some tips to help keep lawns healthy and green.

Fertilizing

Stop fertilizing in September or October. Grass growth will naturally slow during the winter months. Fertilizing during that time will undo all the care taken during the summer and if the grass doesn’t die, it can be severely damaged.

Seeding

Overseed the lawn with grass that grows well in the winter to maintain a green yard in the winter. The winter grass will die off and disappear by the time summer grass begins to grow again. Be sure to mow the lawn before seeding. Remove any weeds and debris and attend to any fungal concerns. Ryegrass is an inexpensive winter option that has a good germination rate and it’s a fast grower.

Watering

Individuals will want to alter their watering or irrigation patterns for winter and it’s a good time to have irrigation systems checked. There’s less evaporation occurring during the winter. The same watering habits utilized in the summer will result in standing water and can lead to disease and fungal infections in the lawn.

A good way to identify when to water is to observe the grass blades. If they’re folding in half longways or footprints remain visible in the grass after walking on it, it’s time to water.

Colorants

Individuals also have the option of lawn colorants that provide the appearance of a lush, green lawn during months in which maintaining the desired coloration can be a problem. It’s the same technique employed on sports fields and golf courses, but coloration should only be performed by a lawn care specialist. Using a colorant is a short-term solution and a regular lawn care regimen will still need to be maintained.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Fertilizing Plants vs. Grass

Fertilizing isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Different types of plants each have their own nutrient requirements and should be fertilized at varying times, and in different quantities. Some fertilizers promote root growth, while others encourage flowering.

Additionally, standard recommendations for other parts of the U.S. are often inappropriate for South Florida’s unique climate. It’s one of the primary reasons that many homeowners prefer to hire a professional landscaper that has in-depth experience and knowledge of South Florida weather conditions and plant species.

It’s important to understand the composition of fertilizers. They will feature three numbers, such as 12-12-12, that indicates the primary nutrients and the quantity. The first number indicates the amount of nitrogen, the second is the amount of phosphate, and the third is the amount of potash/potassium. Fertilize is typically needed more during the warm, wet growing season and less in the cool, drier months.

Nitrogen promotes photosynthesis, rapid growth, lush foliage and fruit. Phosphate is required for respiration, energy, root growth, and strong, robust plants from seedling to maturity. Potash aids plants in absorbing moisture, utilizing a range of nutrients, boosting disease resistance and hardiness, and producing abundant blooms.

Bushes and Trees

In general, established bushes and trees do well with two or three applications of fertilizer each year. Typically it’s applied about February and October, with another during the summer if needed. Fertilizer for trees and shrubs should be applied at the drip line, not around the trunks or base.

Grass

Fertilizer should be applied to lawn grass in the spring, but only when it’s actively growing and creating new shoots. That typically happens about mid-April. Use a time-release formula before any fertilizer restrictions go into effect and applications should take place approximately every 6-8 weeks during the summer. It’s better to err on the side of caution when fertilizing the lawn and take into account the type of grass and its needs.

Flowers

Perennial flowers and bulbs can benefit from occasional fertilizing, but be careful when applying it near newly planted flowers. It can be a good idea to give them a little time after planting to acclimate and become established before fertilizing.

Native Plants

Native plants, grasses, and flowers have adapted to the prevailing conditions and generally require little fertilizer – if any. Fertilizing native species can actually do more harm than good.

 

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Best Times to Fertilize the Grass

Many homeowners have fertilized their grass, only to see it slowly wither, brown out, and die – or show no improvement at all. While the problem may be the type of fertilizer used or the amount that was applied, it can also be the result of improper timing.

Florida lawns are different than those in other parts of the U.S. and standard guidelines often don’t apply due to the state’s unique climate and weather. It’s important for homeowners to know that warm-season grasses will brown out when temperatures dip, it’s normal, and they often spring back.

The best time to apply fertilizer is in the spring when grass begins to grow and throw out new shoots – typically around mid-April. Fertilizer provides essential nutrients to maintain health and replenish elements that may have become depleted in long-established lawns. It supports healthy root growth and enables grass to recover from conditions ranging from pests to hurricanes.

Florida contains some areas that restrict the use of fertilizer during months when heavy rains are a concern. People living in those areas can still feed their lawn with a time-release fertilizer before the restrictions go into effect that will nourish the lawn throughout the season.

To be effective, fertilizer must have the time to release nutrients and for it to be absorbed into the soil where grass can utilize it. Just as it’s important to know when to fertilize, it’s equally essential that homeowners understand when not to apply it. Fertilizer shouldn’t be applied:

  • When a storm – especially a tropical storm – is expected within 24 hours
  • If more than two inches of rain is anticipated
  • When new turf grass has just been planted
  • After mid-September to mid-May

Fertilizer will typically need to be reapplied to the average lawn every 6-8 weeks throughout the summer, but be careful not to over-fertilize. Err on the side of caution. Fertilizing too early can promote weed growth, while fertilizing when the weather is extremely hot can weaken and damage grass. Getting it “just right” will ensure a lush, green lawn throughout the year. Whenever possible, utilize the experience of a lawn care professional.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more