Fertilizer Spike Dangers

bearstate(9A)June 20, 2007

I suppose enough folks have seen my posts to know and understand that I am a relative newcomer to gardening and still somewhat naive. Some of you can gather from my posts also, that I dive in with both feet and am trying a lot of things rather quickly, often with failures in abundance.

I figure what I just discovered is worth sharing, both here in the California Gardening Forum and in the Plant Propogation Forum. It regards fertilizer spikes and then too, mixed additives.

TOO MUCH CAN KILL. It's easy to do with some of the products available.

Mixes recommend a teaspoon of mix to about a gallon and applied every 2 weeks. That's easy to follow, but if you get impatient and think that adding it more frequently will help, forget it and just dig your plants up and toss them. Mixtures otherwise won't get you into trouble.

It's those spikes. Certainly, there are small spikes that well, likely won't get you into trouble. It's those big old tree spikes that you buy to add fertilizer to a fruit tree in your yard that will make a plant murderer out of you. These things are about 6 inches long and an inch in diameter and though they won't kill a mature tree is placed correctly, they can kill anything the area that is growing close to where you insert it.

Be careful folks. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Your plants will not survive a tree spike as they disolve away very quickly in water and super saturate the soil with stuff that small plants will gag on unless it comes in small doses. New seedlings will likely not survive lethal concentrations of plant food released en-mass from a spike.

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