Beware Pre-Fertilized Growing Medium (Soil)
By servantheart, Editor-At-Large
You know Spring has sprung when you see your local “Stuff Mart” start to line their outdoor corrals with new season gardening “stuff”. One of the products you are most likely to see is many bags of growing medium, i.e., “potting soil”. But there are so many; which one is the right one?
Well, the answer to that question depends on several factors, including what it is you’re trying to grow. Flowers do not need the same kind of fertilizer as vegetables, and even vegetables vary in their fertilizer needs from one variety to another. What works for one does not work for another, so avoid those potting soils that are pre-fertilized. Most are intended for flowers, and not all flowers want or need the same mix; worse, it may actually do harm to your vegetables. Even if the label tells you use for both, DON’T!!
I learned my lesson the hard way. I thought I’d container grow some tomatoes one year; I bought plants; I bought containers; I bought potting soil – pre-fertilized seem like such a good idea at the time!
Unfortunately, the fertilizer mix was not suitable for tomatoes; what I got was tall, beautiful, emerald-green tomato plants – and almost no “fruit”! They produced picture-perfect greenery, and a few tiny, tasteless tomatoes!
There are some other important considerations in choosing the necessary amendments to improve the soil in your garden, without which even the best fertilizer will be of little use. An important one is, where are you growing? If you live in Georgia and have red clay, for example, the “amendments” necessary to make your soil produce well will be very different from what you might need in the sandy loam of Florida.
As you can see, when it comes to soil and fertilizer requirements, there is no “one size fits all”. Know your region, know your soil, and know the needs of each individual plant before you grow. This information is readily available in gardening books, on thousands of good internet sites, from your local farming organizations, and certainly from your local outdoor gardening specialty store.
Here’s to a bountiful yield! Happy gardening, y’all!
1 Cor. 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. NKJV
Grace and Truth, John 1:14; 1:17; 2 John 1:3 Sha’alu Shalom Y’erushalayim (Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem)
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