Row by Row Episode 122: Liquid vs. Granular Fertilizer in the Vegetable Garden

Why Should I Fertilizer in my Garden?

There are five major reasons we recommend having a fertilization system for your vegetable garden. Whether you prefer liquid or granular fertilizer there are pros and cons to both. The first reason we recommend using fertilizer in your garden is the ability to use less fertilizer and irrigation which will allow you to be more cost-effective. The second reason we like to use fertilizer is the abiltity to have better timing when irrigating plants. You can fertilize exactly when the plants need it and don’t have to rely on rain or overhead watering cycles. The third reason is overall less labor meaning it requires less time and effort unlike side-dressing plants. The next reason we recommend fertilizing is the ability to reduce soil compaction because there is less traffic on the soil than when side-dressing plants in the garden. Lastly, fertilizing can reduce transplant shock because the plants are quickly feed with the fertilizer and won’t have to wait for the slow release from side-dressing.

Liquid vs. Granular Fertilizer

When it comes to overhead fertilizing this method is ideal for container gardening, raised bed gardening, or just fertilizing seedlings. For larger plots, this method is only really useful if the intention is to feed the entire plot. It can be wasteful to do overhead watering on row crops because there is no need to fertilize between rows in the vegetable garden. For drip fertigation, micro-dosing or spoon-feeding are the best options. This method needs to be applied at frequent intervals sometimes daily or weekly in some instances. It can be used in conjunction with a pre-plant fertilizer or side-dressing in commercial farming. Slow injections are the best when it comes to drip fertigation because it provides the evenest distribution of fertilizer.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment this week, Travis has three different fig varieties to taste test on the show. Although all the figs look similar they have very distinctive flavors that set them apart from each other. Greg and Travis also have some transplants that are almost ready to plant in the garden soil. They discuss ways in which you need to start fertilizing the transplants and how you know when they are ready to plant in the ground.

Viewer Questions

For the Q & A segment this week, Greg and Travis discuss the best cover crop to use for root-knot nematodes, information about BioChar, and how to plant/grow micro-greens. The best cover crops to use for controlling root-knot nematodes is to mix with any brassica or pea variety. Greg mentions that BioChar is basically like a big sponge that is great for the garden soil in the vegetable garden. When it comes to growing micro-greens there one cut type of crop, therefore if you plant some every two weeks you will always have a supply of them. The form of lighting to grow them under is led lights that are close to the plants to start with.

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