NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

June 4, 2014

Tim's Tips: Make sure plants and lawn watered, fertilized

People have gotten around to feeling that the weather is warm enough to plant their gardens. For those of you who haven’t done your planting, there is still time to get those plants into your gardens and containers.

We are coming into the warmer weather, and it may be time for you to fertilize the lawn before the heat of the summer really hits. If you feed your lawn with an organic fertilizer, the nutrients will slowly release and help your lawn have the food it needs to stay green through the summer.

The other thing that your lawn may need now is some water. Despite the cloudy, cool and sprinkles we had during May, it didn’t amount to a lot of rain. Depending on the mixture of grasses that makes up your lawn, you may need up to an inch of water per week to keep your lawn healthy.

If you have planted your gardens or your containers recently, you should make sure that they are getting adequate water, too.

Plants in your garden need moist soil in order to get a strong root system into the soil. If you planted in containers, the smaller containers will dry out faster if they are in sunny and or windy locations. Larger containers will hold more soil, so early on, plant roots won’t be tapping into all the moisture that is in the soil.

Soil that stays too wet all the time can lead to the roots rotting in the soil. Ultimately, the best way to know is to take your finger and poke it into the soil to a depth of about an inch. If the soil feels dry, then give your plants some water.

Fertilizer is equally important in getting the roots to grow. If you look at a fertilizer container, there are three numbers on the package. The middle number is phosphorous. Phosphorous helps the plants form roots, and it helps in the formation of flowers. If you keep your plants fertilized on a regular basis, the phosphorous will help keep those roots growing strong.

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