Shrub fertilization schedule.

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by grassmasterswilson, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,537

    I installed some new shrubs to my existing landscape and I'm looking for a "dummy proof" fertilization schedule.

    Based on what I've found from my local university they recommend a spring fertilization before new growth and a fall fertilization after the first hard frost. They recommend this at 1 lb N per 1000 or based on a soil test. I'm assuming something along the lines of 10-10-10 or 16-4-8? I want to go with a granular.

    I have been using a foliar fertilizer about once a month to keep them healthy since I had some leaf yellowing which much have been a nutrient defeicentcy. I believe it was a 20-20-20 with micros.

    Is this adequate? How is my timing? Tis is for my personal landscape and being a lawn guy I'm not too familiar with shrubs/trees.
     
  2. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    Wilson,
    Irrigation system or no?
    I granular fertilize my non irrigated accounts twice per season--spring and then fall. I use 12/6/6 with micros.
    This is a safe regimine for me and is purchased locally as pro fert.
    My watered accounts will get a fert treatment after each trimming......done 3 times per season. I dont want to flood growth so i stay away from the high nitrate material. Forgot to mention my fert is SCU at 50%. Sorry.
    I deal greatly with rocks, heavy clay subsoil and loam topsoil.
    As far as yellowing goes, could be nitrogen loss and considering this seasons heat and rains, it has flushed out. Plant shock often will occur before
    Hot extremes.
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  3. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,537

    Thanks. Seems I am on the right track. The shrubs are irrigated but not by drip lines. They get coverage from the lawn heads.

    Nutrients could be leaching after tons of spring rain. Plus I've had to hand water .... especially the hydrangeas.

    I don't care to force a lot of top growth but would like to feed the roots so I could cut back on watering. I would be fine with shrubs growing at their normal rates over time.

    I will look info a similar Fert that you mentioned. I assume about a cup or so per plant is adequate?

    If anyone has any books or links I would be interested.
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  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Fertilization of woody plants in not a good idea, unless there are actual deficiencies... water shoots and rapid weak growth becuz of fresh N invites disease and insects...

    Hydrangeas benefit from some fertilizer, but cherry bushes for example will become weak and require special care for their entire pathetic lives... :)
     
  5. I only fertilize plants that need it on the regular. Ixoras, gardenias, etc will get hit 4x/year. Most plants with blooms will get 3x/yr. However, im not going to fertilize something like cocoplum...it just results in more trimming. How about researching the plants and see what the actual needs are.
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  6. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    This information is devestating to those reading about fertilizing their lawns with trees and shrubbery competing for life.
    I don't believe in giving a nutrient when symptoms appear, then it is sometimes too late.
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  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Not sure what you are saying... grass is completely different than woody trees... Seldom are there deficiencies and Nitrogen is never one of them... There is an entire world of old growth forests that have never been fertilized yet grow to be ancient...
    Why do you think so many trees that are brought into landscapes are so prone to disease and early death??? :)
     
  8. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    Axe,
    I never finished my training as a arborist. I did finish the accreditation for injections. And soil treatment apps. Anyway, I was meaning to say, yes the urban suburb is doomed from the get go. Most often there isn't a shred of viable soils used to build up a low laying site. All the frills, bells and whistles is installed to make a spec home. At most 50% of the shrubs or trees will perish in the first 3 years around here.
    When the organic floor is removed from a forest, it is doomed. All the symbiotic relationships is destroyed. The mychorrizael fibers is destroyed. When all these living things is taken away, trees-plants-grasses will only plunder in time.
    I stated that when trees is introduced to compete with turf, who and what is going to live first? Typically, it is the grass unless the tree survives, then the turf will fail. Useless pruning is done to trees to keep grasses alive. They both need feeding in the competition network.
    All I mean is---soil reports will dictate a particular site or crop
    Of choice. In the case of a tree-- advice is given. The same goes for turf grass. The two advices will be somewhat the same if growing in the same space.
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  9. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    One more thing to clear up my rambling. I prevent fertilize with unbalanced fertilizers that is designed for trees and shrubbery. Irrigated accounts lose nitrogen quicker from the soil and can lead to nitrogen yellowing. I find that others will say that it is iron chlorosis. Big difference in causes and easy to treat--temporarily.
    If all living things has a proper growing environment..... Nothing should be applied at all. But we all know that a perfect world of growing conditions doesn't exist outside of the forest.
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  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    During the 30's and 40's of the previous century we lost a lot of topsoil due to wind and rain erosion,,, known as The Dust Bowl Days...
    The farm I grew up on was riddled with canyons and their walls were made up of blow sand from top to bottom... then,,, in the 60s we planted red pine right up to the rim of the larger canyons providing cover for the soil and the young native saplings struggling to survive...
    Today those trees are thriving and the pines have been thinned out several times... No fertilizer, no forest floor, no water holding capacity in the blow sand,,, However,,, Even the oak trees are huge, straight and strong... Slow growth makes better wood... :)
     

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