In the spring one of the most common outdoor activities for a household when you walk or cycle or drive up and down a neighbourhood is to see someone fertilizing their lawn.
Some people have garden services to do this for them while others do it themselves.
Why do this?
Well of course roots of any outdoor plant are in serious activity in the spring and to do there work as Mother nature intended they need, well, food.
What about the trees on your property?
If you see lots of people in the spring fertilizing their lawn, do you also see as many fertilizing their trees?
Nope, spreading lawn fertilizer on the top of the ground above the roots of a tree does not count as fertilizing the tree.
This is one aspect that I think many people miss. I know I did until a few years ago. I never gave it a second thought.
However, trees not need a different mixture of nutrients from lawns. As well, tree roots tend to be much lower into the soil than roots of grass.
So, what to do?
Personally, I like tree spikes like the ones pictured above. This package happens to be from Miracle-Gro.
They are very easy to use. Simply ensure the ground around the tree is moist so the tree spike can be pushed into the ground easily (usually no issue during the spring).
The package will tell you to place two or three around something called the tree line. The tree line is basically an invisible line starting at the tip of the branch which is the furthest away from the tree trunk and going straight down vertically to the ground. That is where you place a particular tree fertilizer spike. You can see one of them at the lower part of the picture of our front yard tree below.
Then I use an old hammer to tap the spike into the ground.
The first few years I used these tree fertilizer spikes the grass around the spike would go brown, just as if you put too much fertilizer on a part of the lawn. It was my fault. You have to remember to continue to hammer the tree spike into the ground so that the top of the spike is not at the top of the soil but is an inch or two below the soil.
This will also place more of the fertilizer into the ground which will encourage root growth in the soil and rather than encouraging the roots to start to go up to the top of the lawn to look for their nutrients.
So, the picture below is an unfinished job because you can still see the top of the fertilizer spike.
This next picture is a completed job because you only see soil and not the top of the blue / green fertilizer spike.
Don’t forget your trees. They provide you with shade and nice colors, right? Do something nice for them and give them the food they need in the spring; possibly also in the fall depending on the type of tree spike you use.
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