Gardening 101: How to use fertilizers when growing vegetables

How to use fertilizers when growing vegetables

Whether you use a potting mix, a vegetable and herb mix or an all purpose mix, they often contain a slow release fertilizer that will provide food for your plants for a certain period of time, generally between 3 to 9 months. But should you also apply either a granular or water-based fertilizer in addition for added benefit? 

The answer is yes. Here are some tips that will help you know when and how often to fertilize your plants.


Water-soluble and granular fertilizers 

When growing vegetables, it is always advised to give additional food to the plant to maximize the harvest. Apply either a granular fertilizer once every 3-4 weeks during the growing season or you can use the water-soluble option where you mix it when watering, but once a week. 


What fertilizer to use? 

There is many kind of fertilizers available on the market: For tomatoes, vegetables and fruits, for flowers and multi-purpose, for example. They each have a unique NPK ratio (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium). 

As often as possible, you should use a fertilizer dedicated for the type of plant you’re growing. But know that using, for example, a flower fertilizer for vegetables will not be damaging to your crops.


Organic vs synthetic fertilizers 

Finally, there are 3 types of fertilizers: organic, organic-based and synthetic. Certified Organic means it’s 100% from plant or animal derived sources. Organic-based fertilizers means the product is natural, not synthetic. 

And synthetic fertilizers are compounds made artificially by chemical reactions (usually prepared or made artificially).