Help Calculating Fertilizer

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Mikeranc, May 23, 2021.

  1. Mikeranc

    Mikeranc New Member

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    New member here ... and rookie : )

    I bought a house in Ottawa Canada with a nice big mature cedar hedge along the backyard. It's about 50 to 60 feet long and 12 feet high. I would like to apply some fertilizer but I'm confuse how much to apply for fear of damaging it. I bought the following product and the instructions just say to mix 1 taple spoon to 4 liters of water. There is no indication how much coverage 4L provides and I have no idea how much my hedge requires. Any help in calculating would be appreciated. I have a hose end sprayer with a reservoir and dial that can be used to apply this in concentrate I think:

    https://www.supergreenproducts.com/product-page/tree-shrub-cedar-30-10-10

    I also have this miracle grow product which seems a bit more straight forward, but again I'm still left wondering what the proper application is for my hedge. I assume I just shake it along the hedge drip line walking at a slow walking pace to get a good amount in to the soil:

    https://www.miraclegro.com/en-ca/pr...hake-n-feed-flowering-trees-shrubs-plant-food

    I've scoured the internet trying to solve my problem to no avail. The lack of information makes me think I'm missing something obvious and I'm a complete moron : )

    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I suppose it is possible to overfertilize, but I don't think it is a concern that comes up very often.
     
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  3. Mikeranc

    Mikeranc New Member

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    Thanks Daniel, I read a few posts on another site where someone over fertilized and almost ruined their hedge, the hedge started turning brown. I suppose applying it liberally will not cause any damage. I ended up using the miraclegro product. So far so good and the hedge looks healthy. Not sure if the amount I applied did anything. I would still like to learn how to determine the appropiate amount of water soluable fertilizer to apply as the other product seems to be better quality and specific to hedges.
     
  4. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Perhaps it should. As Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott so often reminds those who follow the WSU Hort Myths website (Linda Chalker-Scott | Washington State University), we should not fertilize unless a soil test indicates the lack of specific nutrients. Most soils are not deficient in either phosphorus (P) or potassium (K) so it's usually nitrogen (N) that may be lacking. Commercial fertilizers carry the N-P-K ratio on their labels so (unless a soil test indicates otherwise) look for a high N and low P and K. Keep in mind that manures are often high in Phosphates (P) and inhibit the development of mycorrhizal fungus. http://pubs.cahnrs.wsu.edu/publications/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/publications/FS269E.pdf

    The trouble with overfertilizing is that the excess chemicals end up being washed away to potentially pollute elsewhere. If not necessary, it's also money wasted. I believe the horticultural industry has conditioned gardeners and homeowners into believing that chemical interventions are necessary for the well-being of their plants when that is often not the case. (PS 'Chemical' includes so-called 'organic' applications.)

    Fertilizers — a cautionary tale

    If you have an otherwise healthy looking hedge, give it a top up of arborists' bark chips every year or so and leave it alone. Water regularly, especially during dry spells and get to know it . . . if it starts looking down-in-the-mouth, start by applying a little nitrogen fertilizer and monitor. Consider getting a soil test if you think there may be other nutrient deficiencies.
     
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  5. Mikeranc

    Mikeranc New Member

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    Thanks for the great information. I was looking into possibly using manure and bone meal / blood meal with a top up of soil but a soil test first make sense to understand the existing soil composition I will certainly look into that.

    The hedge did look like it could use a little pick me up this spring but otherwise it seems to be a healthy mature cedar. I will look at adding arborists' wood chips as well.
     
  6. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Most hedges do look a little peaked right after winter. New growth is just beginning in the spring.

    If you do go ahead with a soil test - and I know it can be a bit pricey - please share the results here. I, for one, would be very interested to know.
     
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