Best ways to fertilize Raised Garden Beds should be chosen after careful consideration and planning. This is because the method should be according to your soil type and the type of plants you have. Fertilizing is a process of adding nutrients, to the soil in order for it to sustain life. There are two types of fertilizers – one that are chemical in nature and the other which uses organic substances for the fertilization. While choosing the first, you must choose those that have a low toxicity level. You can use these for plants that do not need much frequent application, such as vegetables and flowers.
1. Crop Rotation
Different types of plants require different types of fertilizers. Crop rotation is one of the effective ways to fertilize raised garden beds soil, especially if done after seeding the first crop. This will ensure the soil has the right amounts of nutrients needed for the next crop.
2. Applying Fertilizer Directly to the Soil
Fertilizers can also be applied directly to the soil. This method is more effective because it has a higher delivery rate than that of inorganic fertilizers. However, this method also has a downside. Because it is made of natural materials, it may have unwanted effects on the soil. This method also takes a longer time to deliver results because of the slower rate of nutrient absorption in the soil.
3. Fertilizing in Winter and Spring
Once you have decided what type of fertilizer to use, it is important to know how to properly apply it. It is advised that heavy applications are done on the winter and spring seasons. Apply fertilizer just before the first frost. Be sure to remove all snow from the surface before applying fertilizer to prevent damage to the lawn.
4. Depth of Fertilizer Application
Be sure to dig a hole eight to ten inches deep. The depth of the fertilizer application will depend on the amount of grass you have. Also, keep in mind that you should always go over the grass with a spade. This will help ensure the best results come from the fertilizer. After digging, cover the area with a plastic tarp. This will help keep dust or other debris from accumulating.
5. Placing Layer of Organic Mulch
After the area has been treated, place a layer of organic mulch in the hole. This will help condition the soil and provide nutrients to the grass. Mulch also keeps weeds from growing and adds an extra layer of protection for the soil.
6. Fertilizers for Alkaline and Acidic Soils
Make sure you know your soil’s needs. Use low nitrogen, high-phosphorus and high-potassium fertilizers for acidic soils, and potassium (caustic) and magnesium (precipitate) for alkaline soils. Different fertilizers have different effects on the garden beds. Fertilizer concentrations, additives and amounts can be found on the package, or by talking to a garden center representative.
7. Applying Organic Fertilizers
Be sure to use organic fertilizers. While these tend to be more expensive, they are also better for the environment. Be careful, though, to mix up the fertilizers and use caution when applying. Test the fertilizer and make sure it is mixed thoroughly before using. If unsure, test the soil first, then make your application.
8. Applying Fertilizer Granules
Fertilizer granules are convenient because you can sprinkle them on the soil, put them in a bag and apply with a garden hose. Be sure and mix up the granules well, though, or they will not remain fluffy and release nutrients. Fertilizer granules also save time in the composting process. Add the granules to your compost bin early in the morning or late in the evening before turning in the bed.
9. Applying Slow-release Fertilizer
A slow release fertilizer, which releases slowly over several weeks, is the best choice for grass and for covering hard surfaces like stone and concrete. This type of fertilizer granules is easy to use and does not burn the soil, so it is good to have around during the spring and summer. Another advantage of this slow release fertilizer is that you do not have to wait for a lush green lawn to appear before applying it. You just add it, leave it seeps into the soil over several weeks, providing the nutrients and moisture needed to make the grass grow back and bloom.
10. Combining Fertilizers (Best Method)
One of the best ways to fertilize Raised Garden Beds is to combine fertilizers. If you use different fertilizers, you may end up with depleted soil that is not healthy. By combining fertilizers, you give the soil the essential nutrients for a healthy lawn and garden. Fertilizers used together to make the soil more nutrient-rich than any other materials. In addition, mixing fertilizers will help keep the cost down of using these fertilizers over time.