Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County
University of California
Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County

Skip landscape fertilization during the drought

It's a good idea to skip fertilizer in the garden during a severe drought. (Photo: freestockphoto.biz)
Because high-nitrogen fertilizer prompts plants to grow a lot of leaves and use more water, director of the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) Master Gardener Program suggests California gardeners put away the fertilizer spreader for a time.

"When plants are under drought stress, we don't want to promote a lot of leafy growth," says Missy Gable in the fifth installment of UC ANR's six-part video series on saving water in the landscape. "If using fertilizer, choose a fertilizer low in nitrogen, or don't fertilize this year."

The UC Master Gardener Program provides a detailed description of landscape fertilizer needs on its California Backyard Orchard website. Visit the website to learn about the various nutrient needs of growing trees and shrubs, symptoms of nutrient deficiencies, and how much fertilizer should generally be applied each year.

View the latest video here:

Additional videos in the UC ANR video series on saving water in the landscape.

Prioritize your plants

Early-morning watering is best

Remove weeds from your landscape

Mulch the soil surface

The videos are also available on the UC ANR YouTube channel.

Coming next week, a video about using fertilizers under drought conditions.

An initiative to improve California water quality, quantity and security is part of the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Strategic Vision 2025.

Author: Jeannette Warnert

Posted on Sunday, September 20, 2015 at 2:51 PM

Comments:

1.
We can always go back fertilizing our garden again as soon as drought has passed. Thanks for including a short clip. Very helpful.

Posted by grass seed spreader on April 11, 2016 at 5:54 PM

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