In the Vegetable
Patch: Helping the Harvest with the Right Fertilizer at the Right Times
by Ruth Foster
summer is a good time to give a little fertilizer and some special care to
increase and prolong the harvest. Be be forewarned, each vegetable has
its own little preferences and peculiarities.
Some Vegetables are Nitrogen Lovers
Lettuce and other greens need a constant source of nitrogen to grow last and
be tender. These can be fertilized every few weeks with liquid
fertilizer. Or every month or so you can give a side dressing granular
fertilizer scratched very lights in to the soil about 4" from the
plant. Any standard fertilizer will do, whether chemical or
Cabbage is treated the same as lettuce, but watch for the small white
cabbage moths. To control their larvae, which eat holes in the leaves,
spray weekly with non-toxic Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis).
Beans are similar except they produce more when given a side dressing of
chemical fertilizer. Pick beans frequently, even every few days to
keep them coming. Once the seeds inside mature, it signals the plant
are treated like beans and are best picked when small before the seeds
inside mature, and before any yellow appears on the skin. Check
frequently for the striped cucumber beetle which carries will disease.
If found, spray weekly, immediately after harvesting, with a short residual
vegetable insecticide that kills beetles.
Need a More Balance Fertilizer