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Should I be fertilizing my plants now (in the Fall)?

Answer

The short answer is no, now is not a good time to fertilize. Fertilizing perennials, shrubs and trees in September or October when the temperatures are still warm and the plants are still growing, encourages new growth that will be killed by the first frost. That is not good for the plant. A good time to fertilize is about a month after the first killing frost when all the leaves are off the trees. At that time the root systems of plants take the nutrients from the soil and put them into development of new roots getting ready for spring.

In the spring, you should fertilize in April or May. Sprigs & Twigs uses an organic slow release fertilizer then that is good for the whole season. The exception to that are roses that should be fertilized once a month from April/May until the end of August.

When you fertilize, sprinkle a small amount around the drip line of the plant (the outer edge of the plant where the rainwater would drip off) and not next to the stem. Rake it into the soil and water it in to help get it into the root zone. Do not assume that more fertilize is better, because excessive fertilization can actually hurt the plant and the soil.

When it comes to your lawn, now is a good time to have Sprigs & Twigs put a final application of organic fertilizer on your lawn. It is also a good time for a soil test to check the basic chemistry of the soil. If your lawn hasn't perked up and started looking good after the rains in recent weeks, it's time to find out why. Give us a call.

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.

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