Mixed fertilizers are of innumerable brands, and for sale everywhere.
It is little use to pay attention to the claims made for them. Even
where the analysis is guaranteed, the ordinary gardener has no way of
knowing that the contents of his few
bags are what they are labeled.
The best you can do, however, is to buy on the basis of analysis, not
of price per ton--usually the more you pay per bag, the cheaper you are
really buying your actual plant food. Send to the Experiment Station in
your State and ask for the last bulletin on fertilizer values. It will
give a list of the brands sold throughout the State, the retail price
per ton, and the actual value of plant foods contained in a ton. Then
buy the brand in which you will apparently get the greatest value.
For garden crops the mixed fertilizer you use should contain (about):
Nitrogen, 4 per cent. ( Basic formula
Phosphoric acid, 8 per cent. > == for
Potash, 10 per cent. ( Garden crops
If applied alone, use at the rate of 1000 to 1500 pounds per acre. If
with manure, less, in proportion to the amount of the latter used.
By "basic formula" (see above) is meant one which contains the plant
foods in the proportion which all garden crops must have. Particular
crops may need additional amounts of one or more of the three elements,
in order to attain their maximum growth. Such extra feeding is usually
supplied by top dressings, during the season of growth. The extra food
beneficial to the different vegetables will be mentioned in the
cultural directions in Part Two.
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