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Archive date:  May 1, 2015


April has slipped away; things to consider in the garden

Even though spring actually starts in March and ends in June, it seems to me, that spring exists primarily in April and May.  With April now stepping aside, we are for all intents and purposes at the midpoint of spring: Halftime.  In sports, halftime is a time of assessment of what has taken place already, and what adjustments need to be made to insure success.  It appears some sports teams have failed to get that memo.


So, what do you need to do now?  Again, that depends on what you have already done, or not done, to this point.  If you have already done extensive planting, it may be you have failed to consider the nutritional needs of these plants.  That is where it can get murky.  There are numerous choices of fertilizer on the market. I am not talking about brands of fertilizer; I mean to discuss types of fertilizer. 


First, there are the standard chemical fertilizers.  They come in many forms and in many different analyses.  The nutrients are derived from non-organic sources.  That does not necessarily make them bad, it does make them lacking as they add nothing of long-term value to the soil.  One popular type of chemical fertilizer is water soluble.  Miracle-Gro is an example.  If you wish to effect quick nutritional infusions, they do work quickly, but last a short time.  One more reminder: there is no ‘Miracle’; it is simply fertilizer (f/y/i, Magic Markers are not ‘Magic’ either; they have ink).  Organic fertilizers have become the overwhelmingly most popular choice with informed gardeners.  In addition to nutrients, you also get great microorganisms that add ‘life’ to your soil.


Another preparation to make is for pests.  We all know they are here.  A watchful eye and organics such as insecticidal soap or Neem oil will do for most gardening pest problems.  The key is being on the lookout.  That is what you should be doing now, regardless of whether you’ve planted or not.


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David Bates