by Amy Gordon
(last updated November 23, 2015)
While there are some vegetables that will grow in almost any soil conditions, most are picky about what kind of soil you plant them in. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where your soil is already perfect for your particular vegetable, then you do not have to worry about adding any sort of fertilizer to your garden. If, however, your soil does not have everything your plants need, and you want to have great, healthy vegetables in your own garden, you need to make up for what your soil lacks natural with fertilizer.
If you head out to your local gardening center without planning, you will probably be faced with a huge number of fertilizers that you can use. Many of these fertilizers will not help at all in your particular circumstance. If you do not want to do too much work in choosing the right fertilizer, there are plenty of vegetable fertilizers that will work better than using no fertilizer at all, but they may not make up for the right nutrients. You could be adding too much of something, which can end up not helping at all.
If you want to have your soil be perfect for your vegetables, you should test the soil conditions that you currently have in your area. You can either purchase a kit, or you can call your city and have them test the soil for a fee. When you know exactly what your soil lacks, then you will know what to purchase.
The other challenge you will have with vegetable fertilizer is how much to buy. This can be calculated without too much difficulty. Find the square footage of your garden (remember: length x height) and divide that by 1000, since garden fertilizer recommendations are for 1000 square foot gardens. Just multiply the decimal you get by the recommendation for your soil.
Using these two methods will give you what kind of fertilizer to buy and how much you should purchase. Just follow the instructions to mix it into your soil and make your garden a happy home for you vegetables.
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