Use best fertilizing practices as seasons change

By Gregg Eyestone

Like many gardeners, plants are hot and tired of the gardening season.

The plants and gardeners are looking toward a cool down and moisture. There are a few plants that will have a burst of vigor prior to relaxing into the fall growing conditions.

There are some plants that will benefit from an early August nitrogen fertilizer application. Moisture is required before and after the application. Take that into consideration fertilizing.

Warm-season turf grasses could be fertilized now. I’m going to give my buffalo grass one last application. I will have given it two pounds of actual nitrogen this season. Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass could get some now, as well. Tall fescue and bluegrass are fertilized in September.

Annual flowers will continue to grow and bloom if they have enough nitrogen. Continue to supply them with nitrogen by liquid or granular nitrogen applications. Continue until frost for a constant show of blooms.

Most perennials only need nitrogen in either early spring or fall. Mums, hardy asters, astilbe, daylily, garden phlox, and lupines may benefit with additional nitrogen after bloom. They don’t need much. My June bearing strawberries are still alive. If I can keep them going, nitrogen in mid-August is recommended. It will aid in flower bud development that takes place in September. I use urea nitrogen at a rate of 1.5 pounds of that product per 100 feet of row.

House plants start to slow down growth as the daylight becomes shorter. Nitrogen applied now will aid in food storage for the winter months. Keep them well-fertilized for the next two months. Shrub roses may or may not need nitrogen. Monitor their growth and bloom output. My hybrid tea roses get one more application so they will produce up to frost.

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