We often forget that our landscape plants need to be fed the same as our lawns. In most cases, the plants that we purchase at the local garden center or home improvement center are not native to where we live and where we decide to plant them. To make sure the plants will continue to grow and prosper, they need deep root feeding at least once a year, and fall is a good time to do so.
Why Is Fall a Good Time for Deep Root Feeding?
As long as the ground is not frozen, there is still time to root feed your trees and shrubs with fertilizer injections. Tree and shrub roots will continue to grow into winter. The roots will absorb a good deal of the fertilizer that is applied at that time. What fertilizer is left will be available for the plant the following spring. Deep root feeding is best accomplished by injecting a fertilizer solution into the top 3 to 9 inches of soil around the base of the tree. To make sure you apply an adequate amount of fertilizer to each plant, you should make the injections in a grid pattern.
What’s the Best Way to Deep Root Feed My Trees and Shrubs?
Deep root feeding works best if you start your fertilizer injections about 1 foot out from the base of the tree and make an injection about every two feet and six inches deep in a circular pattern. Move out to about half way from the trunk to the outer edge of the tree and make another circle of injections. Finally, make another circle of injections around the outer perimeter, or drip line, of the tree branches. For smaller shrubs, make one injection for every foot of shrub height or width. These fertilizer injections should be made as close to the base of the shrub in equal spacing around the perimeter.
How Much Fertilizer Do I Need?
The basic formula for the amount of fertilizer you should provide to your plants is about .2 pounds of nitrogen per inch of trunk diameter or one foot of shrub height or width. If you are using a commercial root feeder, follow the manufacturer’s directions. The same is true if you plan to use fertilizer tree food stakes.
Of course, the easiest way is to contact your local Spring-Green office and have us do the job for you. Your trees and shrubs will appreciate it. We also offer specialty injections directly into the trunk, which provide crucial nutrients and work to protect against disease, as well as a cost-effective two-step tree program. Learn more about how we make your landscape as healthy as possible!