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Posted by jennypat Zone 3b NW MN (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 15, 06 at 21:47

I am wondering if it is to late in the year to give my perennials a dose of fertilzer? I am in zone 3b, in the NW corner of the state.

I am particularily wondering about my endless summer hydrangea. This is the first full year I have had it, I planted in spring 2005. It did bloom, but I think it got to dry while I was out of town for 3 weeks. All the flowers dried up. I have dead headed it, and am right now giving it a nice deep watering. But am wondering if I should put some miracid down.

Jenny P

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: fertilize?

Just published today in the Extension Service's Yard & Garden News. (I would treat shrubs the same as trees, emphasis added is mine.) See link to full newsletter in another post on this forum.

"Water your trees now because they need it now most of all. Trees are starting the slow shutdown process for winter so an inch of water per week is critical. Water stress interferes with hardening-off for winter and results in winter injury. We saw a lot of that this year! Read all about watering at:

Renew mulch around woody plants. It should be two to four inches deep around woody plants and at least several feet out from the trunks of trees. The ideal is to mulch to the dripline. For young trees, the mulched area should be a minimum of three to four feet in diameter. Be sure keep 2 inches of clearance between mulch and stem. Do not pile mulch up the trunk of trees-aka "volcano mulch"; it will kill the trees.

Fertilize trees ONLY if they need it. Need is evidenced by yellow leaves, low soil fertility based on a soil test or stunted terminal growth. Mature trees should have annual shoot growth of six to eight inches. If it's less than that, fertilize, using a slow release form of nitrogen only. High nitrogen fertilizers will cause the trees to resume active growth that will not harden off by winter.

However, premature fall color in maples in clay or high pH soils does not indicate a need for fertilizer. Fertilizer is not "chicken soup" and does not help drought-stressed trees. Fertilizing will actually stress them further."

RE: fertilize?

Thanks!! I was thinking it was to late in the year to fertilize, but wasn't sure. And the reminder to to water my trees is great! I planted a new pagoda dogwood this year, along with a new European Mountain Ash. I need to make sure I water them well too!!

I actually think I might need to move my Hydrangea, I planted it under an old oak tree, about 6 feet from the base. I didn't know any better at the time.

Jenny P

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