Evergreens provide your lawn with a bit of color during the cold winter season and help you to maintain an interesting look. If you’re concerned about the health of your evergreens, you can search for “tree service near me” and hire pros to have a look. For now, let’s figure out the best fertilizer for your evergreen trees.
1. Complete fertilizers
Complete fertilizers are those that have a good ratio of three major macronutrients for plants – Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium. It is referred to as the NPK ratio and the same would be mentioned on the fertilizer packaging. For instance, a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 12-4-8 would have 12 percent nitrogen, 4 percent phosphorus, and 8 percent potassium. It’s best to pick a complete fertilizer that’s high in nitrogen for your evergreens.
Nitrogen leaches from the soil more quickly compared to other macronutrients and needs to be replenished more often. Complete fertilizers are safe choices for homeowners with less experience since they cover all the basics and would benefit your evergreen. You can’t go wrong. However, in certain situations, complete fertilizers aren’t ideal. For instance, if you have potassium-rich soil, a complete fertilizer will boost the existing potassium nutrients and won’t deliver optimal nutrients to your evergreen.
2. Nitrogen-Only fertilizers
Urea and Ammonium sulfate are nitrogen-only fertilizers. The NPK ratio on these fertilizers usually looks like X-0-0. That means they have a high nitrogen content and no potassium or phosphorus. These fertilizers usually come in the form of granules that can be spread evenly on the soil to give your evergreens a good growth boost.
Nitrogen promotes growth above the soil. That means you’ll see more new leaves, needles, and stem growth on your evergreens. Refrain from using them in new transplants. Otherwise, the tree wouldn’t have the time to establish an expansive and strong root system. You also need to use urea fertilizers in a different way compared to complete fertilizers.
You’ll need to work them thoroughly into the soil instead of just spreading them on the surface. Otherwise, most of it would be lost to the atmosphere when temperatures are warm. You also need to know the nutrient makeup of your soil to use these fertilizers. If the soil has enough potassium and phosphorus, nitrogen-only fertilizers are probably the best choice for your evergreens.
3. Slow-release fertilizers
As the name suggests, slow-release fertilizers release nutrients slowly into the soil. They are a type of complete fertilizer that is coated with sulfur or other compounds to slowly trickle-down nutrients into the soil instead of releasing them all in one go. Slow-release fertilizers with NPK ratios like 12-6-6 or 16-4-8 are great for promoting the above-ground growth of your evergreens.
The greatest advantage of using slow-release fertilizers is that you can apply them once for the entire year. If your evergreen is young, you may need to supplement it with a fast-release fertilizer. Similar to complete fertilizers, you can use slow-release fertilizers when you don’t know about the nutrients in the soil.
Slow-release fertilizers are also great for soil that’s prone to run-off. For instance, if you have clayey soil or your property sits on a slope, slow-release fertilizers are your best option since they minimize the waste of resources. Slow-release fertilizers are also less damaging to the environment since they are less likely to worsen runoff and enter the water table.
4. Fast-release fertilizers
Fast-release fertilizers lie on the opposite spectrum of slow-release fertilizers. They are usually water-soluble complete fertilizers and get leached into the soil pretty quickly so that your evergreens can use them right away. Fast-release fertilizers are usually used for saving your evergreens when they are in dire condition or for supplementing slow-release fertilizers.
For instance, if your evergreens are suffering from nutrient stress that leads to brown or yellow leaves, lack of new growth during the spring season, and lack of cones and flowers, fast-release fertilizers are used for fixing the nutrient imbalance. They are also used along with slow-release fertilizers for young evergreens that need extra doses of nutrients during their early growth phase.
5. Organic fertilizers
If you would like to avoid artificial fertilizers that harm the environment and aren’t great for your soil in the long term, organic fertilizers are the way to go. Organic fertilizers may be made of manure, compost, fallen leaves, blood meals, worm castings, or other such ingredients. Organic fertilizers have all the essential macro and micronutrients required by your evergreens and none of the chemicals and additives that are found in synthetic fertilizers.
You can buy organic fertilizers from the store or make your own at home. For instance, if you produce enough compost, using just a 1-inch layer around your evergreen would be enough to fertilize it. You can also use your kitchen waste to vermicompost at home and create nutrient-rich worm poo for your evergreens. It also contains beneficial bacteria for the soil.
Apart from the standard NPK, organic fertilizers also contain phosphates, iron, calcium, magnesium, and a ton of other micronutrients for your evergreens. Moreover, organic fertilizers are “slow-release” by design and can also favorably change the structure of the soil. It’s also completely fine to not work it into the soil. Just spread it as an even layer and let it work its magic.
6. Different delivery methods
You’ll also find the above-mentioned fertilizers with different delivery methods. Some come in the form of spikes while others come as liquids. Spikes are usually slow-release fertilizers that need to be used in a certain number based on the evergreen’s drip line. On the other hand, liquid fertilizers are usually fast-release fertilizers that can be sprayed on the soil.
All the plants and trees in your yard benefit from fertilizers. However, what works on deciduous trees and perennials may not be suitable for your evergreens. You can choose from the above-mentioned fertilizers to give your evergreens a growth boost and make them healthier. Otherwise, you can search for “tree service near me” and hire professionals for the job.