Fertilizer Application Recommendations:
The McGeary Organics Philosophy
We know that people are concerned about the health and safety of their families and pets. We think that your lawn and garden are places that need not be a health hazard. This is why we make our fertilizers out of the highest quality materials available and do not use any manure or waste products. We produce the best organic fertilizers. You can use McGeary fertilizers with confidence at any time.
Fertilizer applications should be based on the recommendations from a recent soil test. The following generalized recommendations are based on the nutrient needs of moderately high yielding crops being grown in soils of low to moderate fertility.
Crop fertilizer needs were summarized from sources including, The International Fertilizer Industry, the Potash and Phosphate Institute, and many State Extension Service publications. Soils that have been well fertilized in the recent past, or have received manure or compost within the past year should be fertilized at rates lower, in some cases considerably lower, than those listed here. Have your soil tested. Your state agricultural extension service is a good source for soil testing.
About our fertilizers:
McGeary Organics 5-3-4, our premium general purpose fertilizer, is our recommendation for the best fertilizer for lawns. In areas with phosphorus restrictions use McGeary Organics 6-0-4. Our McGeary Organics 2-3-4 will also perform well if higher rates are used. Both of these are top organic fertilizer products and meet the NOP requirements for organic crops.
McGeary Organics also produces an OMRI listed corn gluten based lawn product. This natural fertilizer works as a pre-emergent herbicide. With proper application and timing, weed germination can be reduced by nearly 60% in the first year and 85-90% in successive years. These products are best applied by a drop spreader of your choosing, but spin spreaders can also work with lighter applications.
A drop spreader is the most effective way to evenly spread other McGeary fertilizers on your lawn. McGeary blends ingredients of different sizes and weights into their fertilizers. This means the varied particles will behave differently when tossed through the air with either a centrifugal spreader or by hand. They can be applied with a broadcast spreader, but the fertilizer will spread more evenly with the drop spreader.
Cool Season Grasses:
Cool season grasses such as Kentucky Blue Grass, Perennial Rye Grass, Tall Fescue, Fine Fescue, and Bent Grass should be fertilized at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 sq ft of McGeary Organics 5-3-4 in the Spring, after the rapid growth slows (also known as, “Spring Flush”). Apply an additional 20 pounds in the mid to late fall. In areas with phosphorus restrictions use McGeary Organics 6-0-4 using the same previous recommendations.
Warm Season Grasses:
Warm season grasses such as Bahia, Bermuda, Blue Grama, Buffalo, Centipede, St. Augustine, and Zoysia should be fertilized at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 sq ft of McGeary Organics 5-3-4 in early spring. Apply an additional 20 pounds in the mid-summer. In areas with phosphorus restrictions use McGeary Organics 6-0-4 using the same previous recommendations.
New Lawn Seedings:
Incorporate 10 pounds per 1,000 sq ft of McGeary Organics 3-5-3 into the soil, ideally about a week prior to seeding the grass. Apply an additional 10 pounds of McGeary Organics 5-3-4 when the grass is well established in 4 to 6 weeks.
Flowers & Bulbs Fertilizers:
McGeary's McGeary Organics 3-5-3 is what we recommend for flowers and bulbs due to the higher ratio of phosphorus which promotes flowering. McGeary Organics 2-3-4 and our general Purpose fertilizer McGeary Organics 5-3-4 will also perform well if the rates are adjusted based on the nitrogen content. The general purpose McGeary Organics 5-3-4 is also a very good organic lawn fertilizer.
Incorporate 1/2 pound per 10 sq ft of McGeary Organics 3-5-3 prior to planting. Optionally, work in another 1/2 pound when the flowers are just beginning to bloom, being careful not to damage roots.
Fertilizer applied at the time of new planting can be incorporated into the soil, or banded several inches below the seed row. Applications to growing plants should also be incorporated in to the soil, taking special care not to damage roots.
Without damaging roots, cultivate in 1/2 pound of McGeary Organics 3-5-3 in early spring. This should be done before new shoots begin to grow. A second application can be made in late summer for plants that bloom late in the season.
Trees and Shrubs Fertilizers:
McGeary Organics 5-3-4 is our recommendation for trees and shrubs. Woody ornamental plants do not have phosphorus and potassium requirements as high as flowering plants and vegetables. Fruit and nut trees, on the other hand, do have high phosphorus and potassium needs and should be fertilized with McGeary Organics 2-3-4.
Trees that are growing in fertilized lawns are (organic fertilizer lawns) probably receiving enough fertilizer from the run-off and are not likely to benefit from additional applications. In general it is best to avoid fertilizing trees late in the season, particularly in cold climates, because they will not harden off well. Tree roots extend beyond the drip line of the leaves. Fertilizer should therefore be applied a short distance outside the drip line in addition to under the tree.
Ornamental Trees and Shrubs:
Trees and shrubs should be fertilized once in the early spring prior to new shoot growth. Apply 5 pounds of McGeary Organics 5-3-4 to evergreen trees, and 8 pounds to deciduous trees. For small trees (under 15 feet) and shrubs use 1 to 3 pounds.
Fruit and Nut Trees:
Fertilize with 5-8 pounds of McGeary Organics 2-3-4 in early spring prior to bud break.
Berries should receive ½ pound McGeary Organics 5-3-4 per mature plant. Use half this rate for young plants. For best results incorporate fertilizer into the soil without damaging roots early in the spring prior to bud break.
Fertilize each plant with 4 pounds of McGeary Organics 2-3-4 in late winter while the vines are still dormant. For best results incorporate fertilizer into the soil without damaging roots.
McGeary Organics 2-3-4 is an excellent organic fertilizer for vegetables which require high levels of potassium for starch production. McGeary Organics 5-3-4 is also a good choice, particularly for soils with low organic matter levels and therefore limited nitrogen availability.
-All rates are expressed in pounds applied to an area of 100 square feet (pounds/100 sq. ft.)
- Asparagus: 2½ lbs in spring, and an additional 2½ lbs in summer.
- Beans and Peas: 3 lbs at planting, and an additional 3 lbs one month later.
- Cabbage: 3½ lbs at planting and 3½ lbs one month later.
- Carrots: 2½ lbs at planting and 7½ lbs one month later
- Cauliflower and Broccoli: 4 lbs at planting and 6 lbs one month later.
- Celery: 4 lbs at planting and 6 lbs one month later.
- Cucumber: 4 lbs ft at planting and 6 lbs when vines reach 3 feet in length.
- Eggplant: 4 lbs at planting and 5 lbs one month later.
- Lettuce: 4 lbs at planting and 6 lbs I month later.
- Onions: 4½ lbs banded 4 inches directly below the seed row at planting, and another 4½ lbs just prior to bulb formation.
- Potatoes: 4 lbs banded near, but not touching, seed potatoes, and another 6 lbs at tuber initiation (approximately 50 days later).
- Radish, Turnip, and Rutabaga: 4 lbs banded several inches below the seed row at planting.
- Spinach: 4 lbs shallowly incorporated at planting, and 4 lbs 7 weeks later.
- Sweet Corn: 4½ lbs at planting, and 4½ lbs 5 weeks later.
*Application Method (continued):
- Sweet Potatoes: 4 lbs at planting, and 3 lbs prior to vines running.
- Tomatoes: 4 lbs at planting, and 6 lbs one month later.
- Watermelon and Cantaloupe: 4 lbs at planting and 6 lbs prior to flowering.
Reference: 1 cup = (approximately) ½ pound.
When the crop is 'knee high' (V4-V5 vegetative growth stage) side-dress with McGeary Organics 8-1-1. Although McGeary Organics 3-5-3 can be applied up to 600 lb per acre, it is most effectively used as a starter organic fertilizer at lower rates, particularly when planting early in cool soils. Banding at a rate of 70 lb per 25 bushels of expected yield or as indicated by a nitrate test (PSNT – Pre-Side Dress Nitrate Test) taken before it is side dressed.
Alternatively use 100 lb of McGeary Organics 5-3-4 (or McGeary Organic 6-0-4 in high phosphorus soils) per 25 bushels of expected yield. This amount should be adjusted after a soil test reveals should be incorporated just prior to planting.
Note: rates vary greatly depending on soil nutrient levels, expected yield, as well as the effects of any manure applications and any green manure crops and legumes in the rotation. As a general rule, lower fertilizer rates can be used following manure applications and legume crops (current soil tests and manure analysis help determine the best application rates for more fertilizer applications when available).
For small grains apply 300-600 lb of McGeary Organics 5-3-4 (or McGeary Organic 6-0-4 in high phosphorus soils) per acre at planting in the fall. In late winter or early spring (late February, early March) a second organic fertilizer application of 100-300 lbs per acre of McGeary Organics 8-1-1 will significantly increase yields.
*Small Grain Note: Rates vary greatly depending on soil nutrient levels, expected yield, as well as the effect of previous manure applications and green manure crops and legumes in the rotation. As a general rule lower fertilizer rates can be used following manure applications and legume crops.
Apply 300-500 pounds McGeary Organics 2-3-4 per acre at planting.
Note: rates vary greatly depending on soil nutrient levels, expected yield, as well as the effect of previous manure applications. As a general rule, lower fertilizer rates can be used following manure applications.
Alfalfa & Hay:
For new grass and legume seeding’s, McGeary Organics 2-3-4 is a good place to start. It's one of our top organic fertilizers. Apply at the rate of 400 lb per acre and meet the NOP requirements for organic crops. It may also be top-dressed after the first and the second cutting at 150 lb per acre for each cutting. Soil tests should be taken to determine the necessity of adding specific micro minerals. Legumes do have specific trace mineral requirements.
Note: rates vary greatly depending on soil nutrient levels, expected yield, as well as the effect of previous manure applications. As a general rule lower fertilizer rates can be used following manure applications.