Is It Too Cold To Fertilize?



Hey everyone, it’s Robert Smiddy with Willow Ridge Garden Center and Landscaping. I’d like to welcome you to another edition of Ask The Expert.

Fertilizing In The Knoxville Winter

I’m hanging out in the garden today and thinking about some of the questions I get regularly.  Today I want to address the question of, “Can I fertilize in the late Fall or Winter?  The answer is “yes and no.”
One of the things about Fall is that most plants are just rooting themselves in or expanding existing root zones.  So, if you are transplanting something or planting something fresh, the answer is yes you can and should fertilize at this point.

What you fertilize with matters!

Use only triple superphosphate, which is 0-45-0 on the analysis of the bag.  That only promotes root growth and that’s all we want this time of year.  As long as the ground is not frozen the roots will continue to grow and triple superphosphate promotes healthy root zone growth and expansion.

You Don’t Need To Fertilize Existing Plants in Winter

There are not many things we fertilize in the Fall.  Some things that bloom late like blooming late season Camellias and things.  There are some variables here about fertilization but as a general rule, we don’t fertilize much in the Fall or Winter for trees, shrubs and even perennials.  We don’t want to put nitrogen fertilizer on them during the Winter and possibly promote new foliar growth just to be damaged and burned in the cold harsh Winter temperatures.

Thanks again for tuning in to this edition of Ask The Expert! Remember at Willow Ridge, we have the best dirt.

Want To Learn More About What You Can Do This Winter?

Get in contact with us! We’re always happy to talk about specifics of your plants!