Gardening & Landscaping
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Gardening and fertilizing in the Midwest

So I am new to gardening. I am curious when I should start planting more flowers, and when to fertilize the lawn. I am in NW Indiana, which I believe is zone 5. All my bulbs are coming up that we planted in the fall, but none have buds yet.
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Re: Gardening and fertilizing in the Midwest

  • Go to HD or Lowes and look at the fertilizers.  You're supposed to fertilize a couple times a season.  You can pick one brand and they'll have early spring, summer and fall fertilizers and directions on when to put it down.

    As for planting annuals, probably not until May.  I don't plant them until the end of May.  Middle is probably safe, but you have to make sure we don't have any more frost before you put them in.  You can plant summer and fall bulbs soon, though.  Check the packages and they'll tell you when you can plant.  I'm planting some perennial bulbs this weekend (calladium), as they can go in as early as April in our zone.

    DS1 age 7, DD age 5 and DS2 born 4/3/12
  • You shouldn't fertilize a thing until you have a soil test done and know what your soil needs and doesn't need.  Without knowing what you soil is like you are running blind and could easily waste a bunch of money putting down lots of things you don't need.  The DIY soil tests aren't very good.  Contact your local ag extension or county lab to get a real soil test done.  It typically costs $10-15. 

    After you have that info you can look for the appropriate fertilizer using the three numbers on the front of each bag.  They are Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium.  You can get cheap fertilizer from a garden center once you know that info.  Don't waste your money on Scott's stuff which is often full of lots of nitrogen (which will temporarily make your grass look green but not keep it green and applying/reapplying too much will kill your grass). 


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