It shouldn’t come as a surprise when visiting the “stinky” department at Van Wilgens that some of our team LOVE fertilizer! We “Fertilize, Mulch and Preen” which rhymes with a “1-2-3 routine”

We love fertilizer because it can be so helpful to our plants and the environment; veggie gardens will give you a much greater yield; annuals will push out more bloom; trees will establish deeper root systems, and shrubs will be less prone to disease.

Should I Fertilize?
In a nutshell…Yes!

What kind of Fertilizer do I need?
There is a fertilizer for every seed, every plant, and for every time of the year, so there are different categories of fertilizers:

Tone bags

Mulching is considered one of the most beneficial things you can do for your soil and your plants. It is a vital step in keeping your plants healthy and thriving. A layer of mulch will help prevent the germination of many weed seeds, reducing the need for cultivation or use of herbicides. Over time, mulches made from organic materials break down and increase your soil’s structure and fertility. Mulches help moderate the soil temperature and retain moisture during dry weather, reducing the need for watering. Mulch also protects the soil from the impact of raindrops that can cause crusting.

Nope, this isn’t how bird’s keep their feather neat, it’s a granular pre-emergent put down after mulching, in early Spring, to prevent weed seeds from germinating

One of the most overlooked, yet most important, fall gardening tasks is fertilization. As the temperatures drop and everything begins to go dormant, you might think your plants and lawns don’t need to be fertilized. Not so! Fertilizing in the fall sets your plants up for success in the spring. Roots will hang on to the fertilizer you apply now and come spring your plants and lawns will get that extra boost they need to push out new growth.

So what kind of fertilizer should you use? To make it easy we’ve broken it down into a few categories. Still not sure? Give us a call, or pay us a visit. We’re always happy to help!


Acid-Loving Trees and Shrubs

For your acid-loving trees and shrubs including Rhododendron, Holly bushes, and Hydrangeas, we recommend Holly-tone. But instead of using the full recommended dosage, for your fall application, you’ll want to use only half the amount.


Alkaline-Loving Plants

For the non-acid-loving plants in your yard such as lilac, butterfly bush, and boxwood, use Plant-tone at the full rate. Typically you’ll want to use 1 cup of plant-tone for every foot of shrub width.


Deciduous Trees and Shrubs

Once the leaves have all dropped from your deciduous trees such as maples, weeping cherries, and plum trees, you’ll want to apply Tree-tone at the full rate. It may seem like a lot, but you’ll want to apply 9-15 cups of Tree-tone per every inch of tree diameter.



After you’ve done your last lawn mow of the season (hooray!), you can give it a head start in the spring by applying your favorite conventional or organic lawn food. Come spring your lawn will be the envy of the neighborhood!