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Rites of Spring

Spring is best for fertilizing trees and shrubs!

When trees and shrubs begin new growth in Spring, it’s is a great time to fertilize them. While there are basically two types of fertilizer – chemical and organic – a wide variety of fertilizer blends is available on the market.


Some chemical fertilizers are also designed to become liquids with the addition of water, being best known for their faster uptake by plants and sometimes providing trace elements. Organic fertilizers are typically slower acting, requiring the action of soil microbes in seasonably warmer soils.

In this new video I demonstrate how to fertilize shrubs and trees with a basic garden fertilizer known as “10 – 10 – 10” or “Triple Ten.” The first 10 indicates 10-percent nitrogen, the second 10 indicates 10-percent phosphorus, and the third 10 indicates 10-percent potash (by weight). Since all three major nutrients are present,  this is considered a “complete” fertilizer.

While this time of year is great for fertilizing trees and shrubs, it is best NOT to fertilize them after the 4th of July in Canada and northern regions of the United States, since woody ornamentals need time to “harden-off” new growth before winter cold arrives.

It’s really great to see leaves back on the trees, felt like a very  l-o-n-g winter!


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Poison Hemlock