|Florida is known for having sandy soils, but depending on the location characteristics can greatly vary. It's important to know the type of soil you have prior to planting, to insure plants are getting the proper nutrients. Below is a listing of frequently asked questions from local residence that may be helpful to you, as well as links to related University of Florida publications and resources.|
What is the best type of fertilizer?
This depends entirely on the type of plant and the circumstances. The numbers on the bag (6-6-6, 10-10-10, 16-4-8) represent the percent of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potash in the product. It is also recommended that the fertilizer also contain trace or micro-nutrients such as iron, manganese, sulfur, etc. These nutrients are listed on the label as secondary plant nutrients. For a "long lasting" fertilizer, select one that contains "slow-release" nutrients.
What is the best fertilizer for spring garden plants?
A 10-10-10 or a 5-10-5 for most spring annuals and vegetables.
What does "100% Organic" mean?
When the term "organic" is used on a fertilize label, it means that all or part of the nitrogen is in an organic form. This form must be identified as synthetic-organic and/or natural-organic, and the respective percentage or each must be specified (for example:70% synthetic, 30% natural).
Synthetic organics are organic compounds which are chemically synthesized such as Urea Nitrogen. Synthetic organic nitrogen is identified in the guaranteed analysis as Water Soluble organic nitrogen and/or Urea Nitrogen.
Natural organic nitrogen comes from natural sources such as manure, seed meal, sludge, dried blood, etc. The percent of natural organic material is listed under Water Insoluble Nitrogen. Recently, many forms of water insoluble nitrogen have been developed (sulfur-coated urea, ureaformaldehyde, Isobutylidine dilurea-IBDU, etc.). These sources act like natural forms in that the nitrogen is slowly released.
I have recently moved to a new home with an established yard. When should I fertilize?
Your plants will benefit from two feedings per year, one in March and another in September. Remember that fertilizing equals more branches, more stems, more leaves, more roots, therefore, more maintenance cost, more cutting, more clipping and more pruning. If you are happy with the size and appearance of your plants, why encourage it to change?