Spring is here and the lawns and gardens are being planted and worked daily. As a rule of thumb in Winn Parish the soil pH is low and soil nutrients are low if the land owner has not been liming of fertilizing, over the years. Many people use 8-8-8, 13-13-13, 17-17-17 and ammonia nitrate to meet their needs of fertilizer for their plants.
It is important that producers have their soil tested as many producers use too much, not enough or the wrong fertilizer on their lawns and gardens. This can be a waste of money and time as fertilizer costs have steadily risen over the years. The cost of a 40 pound bag of 8-8-8 can run around $9.95, 13-13-13 is around $14.99 and 17-17-17 is $18.99. Many producers use 17-17-17 and 13-13-13 in the gardens when 8-8-8 would be sufficient and you need to compare cost and amounts needed when buying fertilize.
One quart of fertilizer weighs approximately two pounds. In the LSU AgCenter publication #1980, Louisiana Vegetable Planting Guide, there is a chart that helps break down the amounts of fertilize that each crop needs for vegetable production. In LSU AgCenter publication #2940, Louisiana Lawn Best Management Practices, there is a chart that gives amounts of fertilizer needed by different varieties of grasses that are used for lawns.
If a producer uses too much fertilize you will see some burning of your plants. Another tidbit of information about fertilize is nitrogen is responsible for plant growth, phosphorus is important for root development and potassium is needed for disease resistance, regrowth and water retention.
For more information on fertilization for your lawn and garden, contact County agent Donny Moon at 628-4528.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture