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Deep root feeding in early spring or autumn is an effective means of providing necessary nutrients for trees and shrubs. The ideal fertilizer for deep root feeding is a low salt, liquid product that contains slow-release chelated macro and micronutrients such as AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer.
In many cases, turf grasses absorb the surface application of fertilizer before it can penetrate into the root zone of these woody perennials. That is why the upper sod layer must be disturbed to allow the fertilizer to penetrate into the root system. When performing deep root feeding by injection or through bored holes in the soil, a grid pattern should be established every 2 or 3 feet starting at least a foot away from the base of the tree or shrub and extending one or two feet outside the drip line. Several application methods are used for deep root feeding which involve penetrating the root zone around the drip line of the tree or shrub (the feeder roots form a circle 2 to 4 feet wide around the drip line).
- Pierce, dig or drill a number of one to two inch diameter holes in the ground six inches to 12 inches deep and pour the fertilizer into the holes.
- Till the soil around the drip line just deep enough (2 to 3 inches) to break up the sod, but not to disturb many of the roots of the tree or shrub (on shallow-rooted trees such as maples, this method may not be possible). Then use a soaker hose or a hose-end sprayer to apply the fertilizer.
- Apply the fertilizer without any tillage. This method will take more time for the fertilizer to penetrate the root zone.
- Use a hollow tree spike, which is pushed down into the root zone. The fertilizer is then injected through the spike. It may be impractical to use this method on highly compacted soils.
Depending on the size of the tree or shrub, AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer should be applied at four to 32 ounces per plant, with a ratio of four ounces of fertilizer to one gallon of water for hand watering. The concentration should be reduced to one half ounce of fertilizer per gallon of water when injection and soaker hoses are used. When introducing the AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer solution into holes, pour 1 quart of the fertilizer/water mixture into each hole. Younger trees and shrubs or plants in sandy soils require about one half of the concentration previously described, but applications should occur during the spring and fall. Rates vary according to soil fertility and other inputs used.