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When you incorporate a fertilizer into your garden soil or apply it to your lawn or around trees and shrubs, you add nutrients and minerals to the soil in a form that the plant can easily take up and put to work. Plant-tone is a commercial plant food made since 1929 by the Espoma Company in Millville, New Jersey. Plant fertilizers are marked with their percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Plant-tone has an NPK analysis of 5-3-3, with nutrients derived from natural sources. It is a general-purpose fertilizer you can use with most any plant, from new annuals and vegetables to shrubs and trees.
Spread 4 pounds of Plant-tone per 100 square feet across a new planting bed for vegetables or flowers. Dig the fertilizer granules into the top 4 inches of soil with a shovel.
Dig a hole twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball when planting something new in an established bed. Mix 1 to 2 cups of Plant-tone into the soil removed from the hole for large perennials, shrubs and trees, or a handful for smaller plants. Place the plant in the hole; spread its roots and return the soil-fertilizer mix so the plant is at the same level it was in the nursery pot. Water well to settle the soil around the roots and activate the Plant-tone.
Apply 1 cup of plant tone in the soil at the perimeter of established perennials and growing vegetables once a month during the growing season. Use half that amount for plants in their first seasons. Espoma does not recommend cultivating the product into the soil, because this may damage shallow roots.
Estimate the diameter of an established shrub or tree's dripline -- the distance from the tips of the branches on one side to the ends of the branches opposite. Sprinkle 1 cup of Plant-tone for each foot of branch spread around the drip-line of established trees and shrubs in early spring and in early fall if they are not planted in a lawn that receives regular feedings. Pull back any mulch before applying Plant-tone or use double the recommended amount.
Work 40 pounds of Plant-tone per 1,000 square feet into the top 4 inches of soil with a shovel and rake smooth before seeding a new lawn. You can sow grass seed immediately after fertilizing. Apply 20 pounds of Plant-tone in early spring, midsummer and early fall to established lawns and to new lawns, beginning when they have been growing for at least six months.
Mix 1 part Plant-tone to 25 parts potting mix to create a nutrient-rich soilless mix suitable for indoor plants or outdoor containers. Feed established container plants once a month during the growing season with 1 teaspoon of Plant-tone for each 3 inches of pot diameter.
5064 Milford Road, East Stroudsburg, PA
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Seth H. Richards
Locally owned and Family Operated Since 1932.
Dr. John Richards established Richards Tree Farm in Middle Smithfield, PA as an evergreen farm. Building on those roots, his Great Grandson, Seth Hastings Richards, has grown the farm into a full service Garden Center and Landscape installation business for the past 25 years. The farm specializes in Organic Gardening, Edible, Native, and Unique plants.