A Tramp in the (Organic) Garden

Seeds, Smack Talk and Assorted Gardening Madness in South Pasadena, Los Angeles

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Fertilize Your Potted Plants!

Perhaps you are wondering why your plants in pots are not thriving? They haven't grown an inch in months perhaps years and the leaves might be a pale green colour? Don't feel bad- you are not a bad gardener. You just need to fertilize, my friend. Plants in pots can't send out roots in search of nutrients like those in the ground. They are confined to a somwhat artificial environment you've created for them. So you need to get on a regular schedule of adding a good organic fert to the pot, and possibly even adding some liquid kelp solution while watering. But you have to maintain a schedule- like once a month or once every 2 weeks to keep plants looking tip top. But steer clear of liquid chemical ferts...like the blue stuff...and focus on a nice organic fertilzer instead. As the Brits might say- these are shite for your plant. More on that later.

My recs are Dr. Earth organic fertilzers. Most are powdered and granular- very slow release, so they won't burn your plants. Add the recommended amount and try to lightly scratch it into the surface. Add a small amount of compost as long as you are at it, and make sure no roots are exposed on the upper surface. Dr. Earth also makes a liquid fert that is easy enough to mix with water and pour into your pots. These are completely organic ferts, and they do smell as such- your cats might be attracted to them as well. They are made primarily out of fish products, kelp and alfalfa meal and also contain microorganisms that are beneficial to your soil. They are as vegetarian as you can get- even most organic ferts out there contain chicken manure, blood and bone meal, which grosses some people out. Dr. Earth products are my faves and they are available at Sunset Nursery in East Hollywood and Burkards in Pasadena.

If you shop at OSH, you can pick up a whole range of Whitney Farms natural ferts. Armstrongs also carries a line of natural ferts.

So get off your butt and go give those plants in containers some love!

PS- This is a rose-scented geranium (pelargonium) that I rooted from a cutting taken from the curbside area at Fatty's in Eagle Rock for a friend.


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