Photo by Melody
It's time now to VOTE in our 14th annual photo contest! Voting ends November 7, so be sure to cast your votes for your favorites in each category here. Good luck to all contestants!

Soil and Composting: fertilizer in the winter

Communities > Forums > Soil and Composting
bookmark
Forum: Soil and CompostingReplies: 15, Views: 124
Add to Bookmarks
-
AuthorContent
Rhapsody616
Long Beach, CA

January 1, 2012
1:58 PM

Post #8950306

Many sites advise not to fertilize in the winter. Will someone explain why? Excuse my ignorance but don't plants need their vitamins in the winter as well? It makes more sense to me use the recommended fertilizer at half straight once a month rather then not at all. Seems to me most plants are still growing in my back yard even through the winter.

Many Moons!
Rhapsody

Thumbnail by Rhapsody616
Click the image for an enlarged view.

homers
Fuquay Varina, NC
(Zone 7b)

January 1, 2012
6:27 PM

Post #8950627

It's best to fertilize during the growing season. You wouldn't want to encourage growth in winter when new growth could be damaged by cold weather.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

January 2, 2012
7:39 AM

Post #8951215

Rhapsody616 - I think it depends upon what you are growing. I fertilize my broccoli plants ever two weeks or so. If I didn't I wouldn't get the huge (eleven inch) heads that I've been harvesting.

Personally, I don't fertilize anything that is "dormant" (such as fruit trees) until they break dormancy.

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 2, 2012
8:59 AM

Post #8951315

It's not that you'd encourage growth by fertilizing in winter, it's that NH4 (ammonium) toxicity is a very real threat when you fertilize at soil temperatures below 55* with fertilizers deriving their N from urea and/or ammonium sources (like ammonium sulphate). NH4 toxicity is very common in container gardening and often occurs early in the season when soils are cold but growers anxious to give their plants a 'nice fertilizer boost'. Even natural sources of N (especially blood meal) can cause NH4 toxicity in plants. Excessive levels of NH4 interfere with the uptake of calcium, but more commonly, ammonium is directly toxic to plants. Some symptoms are, reduced growth, interveinal chlorosis, marginal chlorosis or necrosis of leaves, and root system damage. The conversion of ammo­nium to nitrate is carried out by soil microorganisms that are inactive in cold (or wet) soil. When ammoniacal N is not converted to nitrate in the soil fast enough, the plant takes up too much NH4, which damages the plant. FWIW, excess NH4 in (particularly cold) soils also further (to the cold) inhibits the germination of most seeds.

Al

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 2, 2012
11:19 AM

Post #8951487

Thanks Al!
Rhapsody616
Long Beach, CA

January 2, 2012
12:25 PM

Post #8951584

Yah! Thanks Al! Now is that going to be true for all plants. Like grass grow all year round here in Long Beach CA! Even my strawberries are on the move. And HoneybeeNC broccoli... Or should that simply be the rule of thumb.

HoneybeeNC- thanks for the input as well

homers- thank you as well.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 2, 2012
1:03 PM

Post #8951653

Rhapsody, your soil may not be below 55 degrees. Or your grass is able to grow in cold soil.

I have Re read tapla's post and am absorbing what that means when adding manure and stable bedding to cold garden, as I just did...wow...

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 2, 2012
3:02 PM

Post #8951827

All plants are not created equal in their reaction to ammonium uptake. Some plants are better able to convert ammonium to nitrate inside the plant. These plants probably fare better in cold soils where urea and ammonium N sources are used.

Al
Rhapsody616
Long Beach, CA

January 2, 2012
5:37 PM

Post #8952032

sallyg- I have st Agustin grass in zone 10a... every two weeks it needs to be cut! It grows,

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 2, 2012
5:40 PM

Post #8952041

It sounds like its warm enough to grow all year, and it is growing all year as you know. I'm thinking you fell victim to articles which give one flat rule assuming everyone's garden is a medium zone 6 or something like.
Rhapsody616
Long Beach, CA

January 2, 2012
6:23 PM

Post #8952108

indeed! It was 82° today and it will be 49° tonight!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 3, 2012
5:05 AM

Post #8952474

Didja have to rub it in? LOL! Cold weather has finally set in here.
Yes, all due respect to Bay City MI and environs!

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 3, 2012
7:51 AM

Post #8952627

It got down to 12* last night, but fortunately it's warmed to a balmy 17* already. ;-)

Al
Rhapsody616
Long Beach, CA

January 3, 2012
9:09 PM

Post #8953754

Rub, Rub, Rub!!!! Long Beach is kind of cool because it stays fairly warm and when I want snow I drive 2 hours north and I am in Big Bear!

I looked on my tomato vines from April 2011 and I have flowers and green tomatoes.. same with my peppers!

Rhapsody

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 3, 2012
11:15 PM

Post #8953830

tee hee, CA is amazing that way!
Rhapsody616
Long Beach, CA

January 4, 2012
11:50 PM

Post #8955007

indeed!

You cannot post until you register, login and subscribe.


Other Soil and Composting Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Clay poppysue 16 Oct 21, 2013 3:56 PM
Free compost, myth or truth JaiMarye 14 Oct 27, 2010 6:58 AM
Who Bakes Dirt 76summerwind 29 Apr 4, 2008 6:22 PM
sterilizing options tiG 22 Mar 29, 2008 7:47 PM
Soil & Fertilizer: Compost Tea SoCal 119 Mar 5, 2008 11:18 PM


We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.
 

Hope for America