Fertilizers in autumn – when, how and what fertilizers are applied before winter
Fertilizing plants is an important part of plant care. Don’t forget about it in the fall if your garden and vegetable garden need a fresh batch of nutrients. What is the importance of using fertilizer after the harvest and what type of fertilizer?
Why apply fertilizer to the soil after the harvest in the fall
Fertilizing before winter avoids the risk of burning that can occur intensely in the spring, such as when you move seedlings to the bed. This allows beneficial trace elements to settle well into the soil and leach out ballast elements. Nitrogen is also easily washed out, so this useful element should be excluded from the autumn fertilization, but phosphorus, potassium and lime should not be excused.
Organic fertilizers in the form of compost can be applied to the soil in the fall without restrictions, but in the case of manure, we skip the places where carrots, dill and celery grow. These garden plants can only be sown the second year after manure application. Every fertilizer, whether organic or mineral, must be dug into the soil so that it gets moisture for the winter in the aforementioned “acute skid” to sprout plants in the spring.
Winter crops are a good way to enrich and improve soil structure. When planting in the fall, choose plants that are resistant to low temperatures. You will germinate before winter, maintain tuberization, and store moisture. If you apply nitrogen, prevent it from leaching out of the soil. Winter vetch, winter vetch, and a “Gorja” mixture of vetch, ryegrass, and clover are suitable for planting under the winter. In the spring, young plants are dug up with the soil and rooted.
Time to apply fertilizer
During the growing season, garden crops deprive the soil of many minerals after harvesting. So November is the ideal time to apply valuable nutrients to the soil. The best autumn fertilisers are natural fertilisers made from organic waste collected throughout the year.
If there is no natural nutrient solution – fresh manure is just as good, and it is easy to buy from local farmers in the countryside. Animal components are stronger than plant components, so use less of them. Proper fresh manure enriches the floor, adapts its density and hardens sand and any loose floor, while tone dilutes it. It all depends on what kind of soil and what plants are growing on it.
Fall Potassium Fertilizer Start
Potassium is especially important for young plants, so it’s a good idea to fertilize the soil in the fall. If there is not enough potassium sulfate in the lower part of the plot, plant growth will slow down, the shoots will become brittle and thin, and discolored leaves will appear.
To make up for this, you can use potassium salts (potassium sulphate) in autumn fertilisation. These are slightly soluble in water and are absorbed by the plants. On heavier soils, potash and potassium chloride are applied in autumn. On light soils, a partial application in autumn (e.g. 50% of the dose) is recommended, and a portion can be applied in spring.
Applying phosphorus fertilizer in the fall
A lack of phosphorus in the soil results in purplish or reddish discoloration of the leaves. Leaves have brown ends and curl downward. Superphosphates and phosphate and phosphorus flour in the fall are suitable. In advanced cases, double superphosphate concentrate is used. Phosphate meal is a slow-release top dressing (over several years). They are used on wet soil when the soil is highly acidic. Application on alkaline and dry soil is ineffective. To increase the availability of this nutrient, you can mix organic fertilizer with phosphorus and fertilize in the spring.
Take note! To ensure good plant uptake of double superphosphate, you should not mix it with calcium when fertilizing.
Fertilising in Autumn
Lime increases the pH of the soil. Therefore, lime should only be done when the soil is more acidic. Neutral soil has a pH value of 7. A lower pH value means that the soil is acidic, and a higher pH value means that the soil is alkaline. This is why it is best to use dolomite or magnesium lime. Apply lime fertilizer to the soil in the fall only on a windy day and use protective goggles.
If you compare organic and mineral fertilizers, you will find that the organic content of mineral nutrients is much lower. However, natural fertilizer is valuable in organic farming and contains other components that have a positive effect on plants. Fresh manure is rich in many micronutrients and is a stable source of nitrogen. Its bis improves soil structure and retains water.
Preparing the soil for fertilizing
First, clean the beds of plant debris (shoot fragments, root debris, fallen leaves). This debris is a major city for overcoming pathogens and pests. If the organic material collected from the beds is healthy, it can be immediately thrown into the compost. Otherwise, it is better to bury it deep outside the vegetable garden.
Plant debris affected by Fleck-Wilten’s, mildew, anthracnose or septoriosis can be placed on a compost heap, since the pathogens that cause these diseases usually die in these conditions. In this case, the compost heap should also be sprayed with a 5% urea solution.
However, there are some diseases that do not affect the compost, and the pathogens that cause them can survive for several years on the ground and compost. Therefore, it is best to burn them or dispose of them in any other way so as not to hinder the development of our plants next season. Such diseases include, for example, moniliosis, late blight, fire, and prostrate mortality.
What kind of fertilizer to fertilize the soil in the fall
Plots of valuable organic matter and minerals to prepare the garden and vegetable garden for winter and the next season. Proper nutrition strengthens plants against frost and ensures abundant flowering and fruiting next year.
Spraying fruit trees with urea – reduces the occurrence of the dangerous fungal disease of apples and pears. As a rule of thumb, fall tree fertilization should be low or no nitrogen.
A good fertilizer is wood ash, which is rich in macro- and micronutrients, except for nitrogen burned by burning through the atmosphere.
Basalt meal is an excellent fall fertilizer as a careless additive. It is a mineral fertilizer of natural origin, which is formed by grinding volcanic rock. Basalt meal is rich in many macro- and microelements and at the same time does not contain nitrogen and does not cause excessive risk (minerals are released very slowly according to the needs of plants).
Basalt flour promotes soil nutrition and ventilation (supports the development of aerobic microorganisms), and the silica it contains makes plants resistant to disease.
Berries also need to be fertilized. The use of universal autumn fertilizers helps fruit plants to replenish nutrients at the end of the harvest, and also affects the formation and development of flower buds from which the next year’s harvest will come. This is especially important for early varieties of some fruit bushes, such as raspberries, strawberries and strawberries.
The following fall fertilizers are recommended: phosphorus, potash, organic, wood ash
In order to increase the yield of potatoes, it is necessary to provide a large amount of nutrients in the soil. The use of manure is an essential component when growing potatoes. Autumn is the best time to apply it. Fall fertilization ensures that nutrients are more fully utilized through the system.
What kind of fertilizer is used for over-fertilization?
Almost all fertilizers need to be recoated after use. This is especially necessary if the soil is fertilizer-fed. Dig over the floor as soon as possible to reduce nutrient loss. Cubes on light floors are deeper (about 20 cm), on heavy floors shallower (about 10-15 cm).
However, it is worth remembering if you are not fertilizing the garden before winter. It is still recommended to deepen the floor and let it in a so-called “sharp skid” (without leveling the surface with a rake and without disturbing the sentence of the earth). This applies only to heavy and medium floors, which after a frosty winter become more permeable and airy and improve their lumpy structure. In addition, a ditch is necessary for placing surprises in the fall.
Video on what fertilizer to apply in the fall
What fertilizer to apply to the soil before winter and the specifics of this procedure. Check it out!
Proper soil preparation before winter is sure to pay off in the spring. The fertile layer is very rich in nutrients and minerals, which means that seeds and young seedlings will be able to grow faster. By placing fertilizer in the fall, you can adjust the density and pH of the soil. Don’t leave the floor without fertilizer over the winter. You will see results in the spring and be fully rewarded with increased yields in the summer.
What fertilizer to apply in the fall and how to do it right?
You do not need to be a professional farmer to grow a good crop on the plot. But even without a basic knowledge of agrotechnics care is not possible. Newcomers to gardening and horticulture often make the typical mistake: they do not observe the mode of fertilization or simply choose the wrong fertilizer. Let’s figure out what fertilizers to apply in the fall and how to do it correctly.
Why are they necessary?
Spring and summer are not the only hot times for gardeners. Harvesting takes place throughout the year, and fall is the time of year when strategic moves are needed. These are fertilizers. They help enrich the soil and build nutrient reserves. Why apply fertilizer in the fall?
- Overwintered plants get the energy they need. This increases their resistance to frost. Shrubs and trees on the site should be fed all year round. When the winter is snowless but still frosty, autumn fertilization is indispensable.
- If you fertilize the soil in the fall, in the spring nutrients will get not only to plants that have just “woken up” from hibernation, but also to fresh seedlings and seeds.
- Fertilizers applied in the fall promote the synthesis of protein-carbohydrates in plants. And this stimulates other important growth processes.
What kind of fertilizer to take, depends on the composition of the soil and its type. But usually plantings lack phosphorus and potassium. If the soil on the plot is sandy or sandy loam, more fertilizer will be required. But heavy clay soils in this sense are economical, fertilizers are not so quickly washed out of them.
If we talk specifically about fruit trees and shrubs, the second period of their development begins in autumn. The growth of shoots above the ground no longer occurs, but the growth of the root system in autumn is relevant. At this time, fruiting buds are laid, there is an active accumulation of nutrients in the roots.
Therefore, after the autumn equator, it is necessary to apply phosphorus-potassium fertilizers and, of course, organics.
There are several large groups of fertilizers that are applied in the fall. The most popular are considered organic.
The main property of organics is to restore the amount of humus and improve the biochemical composition of the soil. Organics are considered an environmentally friendly product, which is especially important for the garden. Organics contain almost everything to restore the composition of the soil and stimulate the development of plants. Bio is a “cocktail” assembled by nature, in which everything is in harmony. Therefore, autumn feeding with such compositions allows to provide dosed nutrition to plants at the optimal period of development.
How can organic fertilizing be?
The most desirable type of organic. But in this regard, there are quite a few restrictions. For example, fresh manure is not grown under trees and shrubs, as it is dangerous to burn the root system. The ideal combination would be manure and ash, but the fertilizer can only be used in the form of humus or compost. It is not necessary to fertilize the fall garden with manure every year, once every 2-3 years is enough.
Fall mulching and poultry manure are beneficial. Manure is considered a nitrogen fertilizer, it is suitable for overtillage.
Almost universal composition. Ash promotes plant growth, protects plants from pest attacks, and catalyzes the action of other nutrients.
The ash serves as a self-sufficient fertilizer, it can be supplemented with other fertilizers (as in the example with manure).
Considered to be a perennial organic matter. Animal remains contain a lot of phosphorus, potassium, calcium, the most important trace elements.
But to part with such a fertilizer is not worth it, only once every 3 years you can arrange an autumn feeding of bone meal.
Wood residues are useful not only as a fertilizer. They also loosen the soil and help retain moisture.
At the same time, sawdust decomposes after a while, and humus additionally nourishes the soil.
This is a suitable fertilizer for depleted soil types. It improves the fertility of the soil.
And the previously added substances intensify their effect.
It is used on all types of soils and is often used to feed seedlings. Peat contains almost everything necessary for the growth, development and strengthening of plants.
It is a slow-release fertilizer, so it is ideal for fall dressings.
All of the fertilizers listed are natural. They are organic fertilizers, natural and safe. But they are not always enough.
It is undesirable to use only mineral fertilizers, because with each subsequent season the amount of humus will decrease. The soil loses important friability and begins to crack. And this affects the taste of the harvest. If vegetables are grown solely on mineral mixtures, their taste will be significantly different from organic products. Mineral fertilizers can have an immediate and long-lasting effect. Here are the most popular formulations.
Phosphate meal, for example, is as close to natural fertilizer as possible and is therefore considered a godsend for gardeners. This flour is obtained by finely grinding phosphorites (these are sedimentary rocks, so the product is considered natural). This fertilizer is optimal on acidic soils, as it alkalizes the soil and brings it closer to a neutral reaction. But the most popular phosphate fertilizer is double superphosphate.
It is optimal to prepare it together with organics, humus.
They could be applied in the spring, if they did not include chlorine. In the autumn feeding, the chlorine disappears, so the spring feeding becomes completely safe. Agronomists recommend the use of potassium sulfate. Its main value is that it prevents the accumulation of nitrates in fruits. At the same time, potassium sulfate acidifies the soil, so it is recommended to use only in alkaline and neutral areas. Another potassium fertilizer is potassium magnesia. It has less potassium, but it has magnesium. On sandy soils it is a very important fertilizer. Well, the most potassium-rich fertilizer is potassium chloride, but it has a lot of chlorine.
Therefore, it is applied only in the fall, more often fertilize beets with potassium chloride.
Nitrogen compounds are usually introduced only in the spring. But there are some in this category, which can be permanently fixed in the ground. In the fall, plants need nitrogen, although in small doses. Of the popular options is ammonium nitrate, which works great even in frozen soil. But on acidic soils it has a detrimental effect.
Alkaline areas use less nitrogen in ammonium sulfate.
Potatoes and tomatoes like complex fertilizers, which have enough nitrogen. However, in mineral form, nitrogen doesn’t stay in the soil for long, so cover crops are a better choice. But the choice of cover crops is not limited to this.
Siderates are very powerful organic compounds. A farmer can plant these crops between the main crops on a plot. But usually siderads are thought to be planted after the harvest. Then in the empty areas can appear overgrowth of weeds, and to prevent this and at the same time enrich the land, I plant vegetation with a strong root system. This role usually includes:
- Legumes – these are soybeans and peas, as well as clover, lentils, alfalfa, groundsel, etc;
- plants of the cereal family – such as barley or summer oats, millet, winter rye and wheat;
Cidergrass loosens the soil, enriches it with nutrients, protects it from many pests, and keeps weeds from growing. Mowed green manure can make a great mulch. And if you plant frost-resistant green manure between beds of the main vegetable, you can reduce damage from spring frosts. Winter green manure is great for trapping snow. For fall sowing are optimal: mustard and peas, rape and radish, nasturtium and calendula, alfalfa. If the plot is waterlogged, experts recommend planting lupins and seradella.
Example of competent care: legume greens are planted, it enriches the soil with nitrogen available to the main plants. Subsequently, healthy tomatoes, cabbage and potatoes will grow in this place. Planting buckwheat reduces soil acidity and enriches it with phosphorus and potassium. All crops except rhubarb, sorrel, and spinach grow well in this spot. And when you grow crops as cover crops, they saturate the soil with potassium and nitrogen, thereby increasing its moisture permeability.
You can grow tomatoes and potatoes, zucchini and cucumbers here.
Carry out autumn fertilization from the cold. You should be guided by approximate fertilizer application rates.
Approximate rates are:
- ammonium sulfate – 80-95 g in the late fall under the recultivation;
- Simple superphosphate – 40 g under the digging of all crops;
- Potassium chloride – 10-20 grams under the autumn re-cultivation;
- ammonium nitrate – 20-25 grams at the end of summer or in warm autumn for cabbage, cucumbers;
- double superphosphate – 10-15 grams under autumn hilling
- potassium sulfate – 30 g in the middle of September.
It is useful to keep a log of the applied fertilizers, time and quantity. This is especially relevant for beginner gardeners, who have yet to analyze the success of the first steps.
How to fertilise correctly?
Clay and loam soils are so compacted in winter that the spring season is often frustrating. Experienced farmers loosen such soils from the fall. How to properly fertilize the soil?
- Apply fertilizer. It is necessary to make 3-4 kg of organic matter per 1 square meter. But it should not be done more often than once every 3 years. When all the soil will be digged to a depth of 20 cm, you need to carefully spread manure around the plants, making sure that it does not come into contact with their roots.
- Phosphorus and potassium compounds. On average, 40-60 g of superphosphate and 30 g of potassium salt are applied to 1 square meter of soil.
- siderates. When these plants grow to 10 cm, it is time to cut them and dig them up together with the soil.
- Humus for fruit trees can be applied in mid-October. Under young trees, 30 kg of humus is applied, and under those that are 10 years old and older – 50 kg.
- Ash is extremely useful for berry bushes. For 1 square meter, 3-4 kg of ash is applied, but not more often than 1 time in 3 years.
With so many fertilizers, it is possible to be slightly confused. But if you accurately follow the information, it turns out that each fertilizer is good for a particular sex, conditions and time of the last autumn fertilization. Experienced experts advise adhering to the basic rules of fall fertilization.
- Plant residues are used 50-50: a portion is burned to produce ash, and the other half is dug up to return nutrients from leaves and tops.
- Fallen leaves don’t have to be removed – they protect the floor from the cold and are an extra great fertilizer for loosening the soil in the spring. But damaged and diseased leaves should certainly be removed.
- When fertilizing trees and shrubs, it makes sense to fertilize the root zone close to the stem.
- Fertilizers are more effective if dry and liquid formulations are applied at the same time.
Fertilizers need to be dosed; it is better to easily reduce the recommended amount than to increase the dose. Large loads affect the nature of the soil and the subsequent crop, as well as its deficiency. There are no special difficulties in fertilizing in the fall, it is a logical step at the end of the gardening season. But in order for the soil to survive the winter well and be ready for new plantings in the spring, you need to work hard in the fall.
In the following video, you will learn what fertilizers you need to spend in the fall to increase soil fertility.