Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fertilizing Your Veggies

Grow Bigger and More Productive Plants
Jul 15, 2014 - 11:54 AM
Fertilizing Your Veggies
I’ve always heard a lot of complaining about vegetable gardening in the Wood River Valley. Zone 4 doesn’t make for the easiest growing conditions, but with a little sweat and elbow grease, you can grow more food than you could ever eat. Starting in early July and throughout most of the summer, regular fertilizing makes your vegetable plants grow big and strong, and increase productivity. Throw away your traditional fertilizer with a N-P-K that isn’t specific to our soil and use some natural products to maximize your yield. All of the products I mention are available at Webb Landscape.

Here’s my recipe for maximum vegetable production:
Early in the season you want to increase the Nitrogen in the soil to accelerate growth. We mix a plastic tub (about 15-gallon) with full strength Alaska Fish Fertilizer and Monty’s Joy Juice Growth Formula according to the instructions. Water your plants at the base with about a cup of the fertilizer and repeat your mix until your entire garden has been fertilized. A light watering before you fertilize helps the plant “drink up” the fertilizer. Repeat this fertilizer mix every two weeks until your plants have significant blooms.

After there are numerous blooms, change the fertilizer mix to increase the Phosphorus and Potassium, which encourages fruit growth. If you continue with the original mix, you will have bushy, green plants, but little fruiting. Your second mix should be half-strength Alaska Fish Fertilizer and full-strength Monty’s Root and Bloom. Fertilize like the first mix and repeat every two weeks until the fall.

These two mixes should take care of the majority of your garden for the whole summer. Tomatoes, lettuce, melons, squash, beans, strawberries and other veggies will show significant results almost immediately.

For chiles, we have a little different method: I am from Texas and my husband is from New Mexico. Almost needless to say, we love hot chiles, which we have struggled to grow over the years. It doesn’t get hot enough in Idaho to produce a lot of the traditionally hot chiles, but we have found the right varieties and the right fertilizer to keep our freezer full over the winter.

The chile fertilizer requires foliar feeding (pouring over the top of the plant). Every two weeks, mix 1 teaspoon per liter of Epsom Salt (yes, like the stuff you use in the bath), one teaspoon per liter of liquid kelp, half-strength Monty’s Joy Juice Root and Bloom, and Yucca extract, which is a surfactant. Foliar feed this fertilizer in the evening for maximum intake (stoma will be open) and the plant won’t sunburn. Repeat every two weeks.

These two fertilizing recipes may seem exhausting, but they’re not really time consuming and makes for a beautiful and productive garden. You can like Crazy Guy Tomatoes on Facebook and we’ll remind you when it’s time to fertilize. Happy Gardening!

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