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Seattle Gardening: Fertilizing Your Garden

Updated on March 31, 2012
This is a picture of one of my cats enjoying the warm spring weather a few years ago.
This is a picture of one of my cats enjoying the warm spring weather a few years ago. | Source

Spring is here!

And if you're in Seattle, you're probably saying "It's about time!".

Way to often, the spring around here comes on way to late, and goes away way to quickly. Which means that you only have a select window of 4 to 6 weeks of spring to get your spring time gardening chores done. One of those bigger chores is Fertilizing, which is best done in the spring time just before most things begin to bloom in March.

To help you, I've got some helpful tips, hints and advice to get your spring time fertilizing done.

Early Spring

  • If you enjoy the fresh aroma of strawberries, cranberries, blueberries or raspberries - then give them plenty of early spring time feeding with organic fertilizer.
  • If you have some already established roses, they will also want to be fed around this time. Be careful not to do this with freshly planted roses though, it will be too much for them.
  • Any plants that are ground cover or edging plants, will also like a good dose of fert in the early spring.
  • If you would like your deciduous fruit trees to bear you with an abundant amount of fruit, then give them extra attention in the fertilizing department right now. They need it, especially if they didn't bring as much fruit last year.

Blooming Season

Blooming season is absolutely one of my favorite parts of living in north Seattle. Every tree, shrub and flower opens up and shrouds us in a world of the most intense colors. Part of the reason for this, is because much of the plant life around here creates it's own fertilizer in the fall. The other reason is because wise gardeners know that many flowering trees, shrubs and other plants - need a good boost of nitrogen when they start to bloom. Which means it's a great time to fill them up on fertilizer to give them the extra nitro-calories they need to produce ultra powerful flowers.

Rhododendron's need this especially, as do others in the Heath family, such as azeleas.


  • Any plants that needed to be fertilized in early spring, would benefit now from another low dose of fertilizer before the end of spring gets nearer.
  • If you have any newly budding plants in mid-spring, give them some fertilizer to. They;'ll need it in order to produce healthy growth before the summer.

Late Spring

As spring fades away into the beginning of summer, you'll want to continue feeding any bulb plants, even after the blooms have completely faded. They are now going into another cycle to make it through the drier times of summer, so they need a little bit of fertil-fat to store away. You'll also want to:

  • Start fertilizing your lawn (if you have one or it looks patchy in places).
  • Fertilize any house plants you have. The days are now longer than the nights, which means your friendly little house shrubs are going to be working harder, and could use the extra fuel when spring ends.

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