Fertilization

Maintaining a high level of organic matter in the soil and a soil pH of around 6.5 (slightly acid) are essential to good plant growth and efficient use of fertilizers.

A reliable soil test is the best way to determine the kind and amount of fertilizer or other nutrients your soil needs. A soil testing program for lawns and gardens is available for a small fee from the Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory in Madison. Results of the soil test include recommendations for lime and fertilizer.

As a general rule, you should apply 25 to 35 pounds per 1,000 square feet of a complete commercial fertilizer mixture to your garden each year. Use a mixture such as 5-20-20 or 10-10-10. On lighter soils the 10-10-10 mixture will give better results, especially when there is not enough organic matter.

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