Check out my tweaks to “The Schedule”

I’ve recently made some minor tweaks to the GardenLine Lawn Fertilization Schedule. As I was working on my new book, New Decade Gardening; A Gulf Coast Guide, I figured it was a good time to add a little twist to the schedule that works wonders, no matter where you are on the calendar.

The tweaks are optional. I’m not commanding that they be done. But I promise - even if you do just one of the additions - your lawn will benefit.

What I’ve added are voluntary applications of trace minerals or trace elements.

Regular GardenLine listeners have heard me plug a product known as Azomite. But, for the record, you’ll see on the schedule that there are actually three companies we work with that offer such products. In addition to Azomite, there are Soil Mender and Nature’s Way Resources.

All three products come in various package sizes. And while Azomite is solely focused on trace minerals, Soil Mender and Nature’s Way Resources market scores of additional products.

So, here’s the bottom line: We’ve had so much rain in recent years - from Hurricane Harvey to Tropical Storm Imelda to the Tax Day Flood to the Memorial Day Flood and other serious events in between - we need to add trace minerals back into our soil.

My schedule absolutely works! But it works even better when all the trace minerals are present in the soil. It comes down to what one fertilizer researcher dubbed the “Law of the Minimum” – how well a plant does is determined by the scarcest nutrient. In other words, if just one of the many important soil nutrients is deficient, a plant will not grow and produce at its optimum.

While most of the fertilizers I recommend in the schedule focus on macro-nutrients (nitrogen [N], phosphorus [P] and potassium [K] - the N:P:K formula), they also provide a hint of trace elements - just not in the quantities found in Azomite, Soil Menders and Nature’s Way products. Those packages contain rare elements that are abundant in volcanic ash plus rich minerals found in prehistoric rivers.

While at least one of these additional treatments is suggested in the fertilization schedule, I recommend at least two applications in the first year you’re adding them. You can cut back to once per year for the following couple of years, then you can skip a year or two down the line. But, when it rains like it did with Hurricane Harvey and other events that unloaded flooding rains over short periods, what do you think has happened to the nutrient content of your soil?

By the way, I also updated the printable version of the schedule that’s easy to tape to your garage refrigerator.

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