Using liquid fertilizer vs granules

I’m trying to decide if going with a sprayable water soluble fertilizer may be a way to go for a few reasons - first, it’s hard on my knees and back to stoop down to spread granular as a side dressing, then get down there to cultivate it in, plus, with a liquid I don’t necessarily have to pull away mulch.

It’s the measurement that seems harder.

Example, if particular crop needs 1 pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet, it’s easy enough to calculate that with a 10-10-10 granular.

While I could weigh a liquid/water soluble the same way, if I’m using a hose end sprayer, It seems likely be a lot harder to know how long it takes for X amount of the fertilizer to be pumped out of the sprayer in anyone area, making a lot harder to know if you’ve given them enough, versus too little or too much. And advice?

Also - has anyone used the Gordon’s fertilizers that Tractor Supply sells?

Why don’t you get a hand crank whirlybird, Bryan? It doesn’t have to be exact ya understand.

They make them with batteries too.


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I probably overthink it.

Fertigation is another option.

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I would never be able to answer your question anyway. But before you ask whats best you have to ask your self a few questions.

  1. What plants are you fertilizing?
  2. What does your soil test say you low in?
  3. what is in your fertilizer nothing in nature wants 10-10-10 eventually your going to create an unwanted build up of somethings.
  4. Are NPK is not everything going back to the soil test are you adding missing micronutrients.
  5. What micronutrient do you need so can be absorbed though the foliage and others can not.

In my opinion, “Bringing your soil up to levels” is an antiquated method. For many plants esp. fruits we know what their seasonal consumption will be per plant. So we target that and check every few years how we’re doing.

Soil tests are very important though – you definitely want to know if it’s overloaded with anything.

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Soil tests indicate my unamended Soil (the fringes where I expanded the garden this year) is almost catastrophically low in Phosphorus. My amended (compost and various organic and nonorganic fertilizers over a season) indicate adequate P and high everything else - N is the wild card as that wasn’t tested and normally isn’t. Micros are all ok since I added lime (Ca was a bit low prior).

So I used 10-10-10 knowing the natural P levels were the lowest.

Phosphate is not very mobile in soil. Once added it stays in place. Adding Rock Phosphate to your soil will improve it over time. You can add it in the hole at planting time the plant you want to get it has it. It will still take a year for it to be fully released into the available supply.

I would add rock phosphate to your soil and save the spray for if I see a decencies.

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I would not. It is easy to meet the annual needs of P for fruiting plants. Once it has been exceeded by blatant dosing it is very difficult to overcome.

What is the typical amount of liquid fertilizer you’d apply to fruit trees? The one I have is 5-2-3 and it says to feed every 2 weeks. Doesn’t specify how much for fruit trees.

That’s a 300 word essay that depends on whether or not you irrigate, how many trees, etc.

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