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The final day of summer, 2023 - when to stop fertilizing flowering plants before the first frost

Go ahead and feed cosmos for more blooms before the first frost


This is my favorite time of year, cooler temperatures, FOOTBALL, mum season and other fall plantings coming into bloom, FOOTBALL, tree leaves changing color, and did I mention FOOTBALL!?

The change of season means that the first frost isn't far away.  In the Wichita neck of the woods, that first frost could come as early as the second week of October.  It will happen for sure by the first week of November, on average it hits around October 23.

Now is a good time to apply that last dose of fertilizer to some plants, but stop feeding others.

Since annual flowers die off with the first frost, there's no reason to stop feeding them, take advantage of what time you have left and give them one last feeding for more prolific blooms right up until Mother Nature decides to chill out.

For plants you intend to bring indoors, stop fertilizing now.  This will slow the growth of those plants and reduce plant shock.  After settling in, most plants will be ready to receive fertilizer in about six to eight weeks, there are exceptions, depending on the plant type.

For flowering plants that are part of your landscape, if you haven't already stopped fertilizing them, do so now.  New growth generated by continued fertilization won't have time to 'harden off' before that first frost, with that new growth dying off in winter.  It's a waste of fertilizer and leaves the plant vulnerable to more severe die-back during the cold, harsh months, and disease in the spring.  Fortify the plant's root system and your soil by using compost instead.  A stronger root system results in a plant that is more winter-hardy.

I'll be applying that last dose of fertilizer to annuals, and compost to my roses, peonies, and bulb flower beds on Saturday morning, before football of course!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike



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