best time to fertilize?

sunny_daze_gardener(5 MI)July 29, 2012

I haven't fertilized my flower gardens yet this year because of the high temperatures we have had.

Then I read an article in Better Homes and Gardens magazine, July 2012, of a woman who has beautiful flower gardens, featuring daylilies. Her recommendation is to fertilize once a year, in the fall. For some reason I had the idea it was best to fertilize in spring. Any advice? Thank!

Nancy VB

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Julia NY(6)

I usually do daylilies in the spring. I don't fertilize dls in the fall given that I really don't want them trying to grow when we are heading into our winter here.

Was the person who wrote the article for BH&G from a northern climate? Different climates require different methods.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 1:34PM
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sunny_daze_gardener(5 MI)

Well, I thought the same. I didn't think I should promote growth when we were headed into winter. The woman is Karen Watson-Newlin and she is in Wisconson, very close to the same climate as Michigan.

Nancy VB

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 2:45PM
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I also fertilize only in the spring, I want the growth then and not in the fall. Did she give a reason for fertilizing in the fall? Marg

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 3:32PM
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sunny_daze_gardener(5 MI)

Doesn't give a reason, just listed under 'Here's how to maximize bloom'. I thought I'd check with you experts...I'll stick to fertilizing in the spring.

Nancy VB

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 3:38PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I always fertilize in the spring and I also like to give them a bump after bloom season wuth some Neptunes Liquid Seaweed or Fish Fertilizer. Then that is all for me.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 3:46PM
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shive(6b TN)

I rarely get anything fertilized in the spring or the fall - too busy and too cheap. But horticultural experts recommend fertilizing all perennials, including daylilies, in the fall with a fertilizer that is high in phosphate but low in nitrogen to boost root growth. The one year I fertilized a raised bed in both the fall and spring, I had outrageous bud counts - approximately two-thirds higer than what I normally get. I also had plants in that bed exceed hybridizer's registered bud counts and tons of rebloom, even on plants that are not known as rebloomers.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 4:12PM
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jean_ar(z8 Ar)

I have always read to fertilize during active growth, which woud be spring and ealy fall I guess.I fertilize when I feel like it and when I am able to do it.I did use fish emulsssion in early spring and a couple times during the summer, too, on days when it wasn't as hot. sure going to be hot here this coming week.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 4:22PM
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The last time anyone discussed this at a club meeting that I attended, the word was that around here (San Francisco Bay Area), one should fertilize both in the fall (which maybe helps with bud setting? I forget) and again in the spring. If I remember right, the message was that if you could only fertilize one time a year, to do it in the fall.

That said, my daylilies are lucky to get fertilized once a year - and that's when I get around to it (either spring or fall). Generally I use Osmcote or Nutricote - whichever I can get - and pile it on. New daylilies or transplants (either to a bigger pot or into the ground) get fertilized at planting time (spring or fall), and they also get Liquinox (a Vitamin B-1 transplant solution), followed up later by liquid fertilizer (Sea-Max). Any daylilies in dire need of rescue (there have been some such, sigh) mostly get potted and put into the shade - but shade or not, they are treated fertilizer-wise as a new daylily regardless of the time of year.

(The only time I have lost plants due to rot here (those that weren't still sitting in tubs of water in the middle of summer!) has been due to potting them in small black plastic pots, in the sun, and fertilizing them and watering heavily in hot weather. Potted in the shade, or in-place, in-the-ground, in-the-sun, I have not had problems with fertilizing in the summer yet. But then, that is thanks to our dry and mostly moderate climate.)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 10:03PM
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sunny_daze_gardener(5 MI)

So I think the article should have informed us with the full fertilze in the fall details. Thank you so much for the input. I will try to find a fertilizer with low nitrogen and give it a try.

Nancy VB

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 6:54AM
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