Fertilizing Flower Gardens
Many flower gardens will thrive under Kansas City conditions with little or no added fertilizers. In some cases an added boost of nutrients will help the garden grow increasing the quality of the plants and flowers.
A fertility program should begin with a soil test. A soil test is the basis for making informed decision on the quantity and type a fertilizer to use in the garden. Please refer to other InfoLine topics for proper soil testing.
As a general rule of thumb the flower garden will require one to two applications of fertilizer during the growing season. The first application should be made in early spring as growth begins or when planting. Apply a balanced fertilizer such as 13-13-13 or 10-10-10 at the rate of one pound per one hundred square feet of garden area. Lightly work into the soil where possible.
A second application can be made to promote additional development. This application should be made in early summer. Apply one half the spring rate or one half pound of 13-13-13 per one hundred square feet.
Organic sources of fertilizer can be used such as blood or bone meal. These products contain a small amount of organic matter helping to improve the soil.
Water soluble forms of fertilizer are also available and commonly used in the flower garden. Many people prefer them for their convenience but they must be applied frequently and are more costly to use. When using these products follow the label instructions.