How Much to Use – And How Long Should We Feed?

Q.  The Garden Master CD says to use 16 ounces of Weekly Feed for a 30 foot bed. Since my beds (2 in each 4′-wide box) are fifteen feet I still use 16 ounces per box per week…Right?  One more question, the garden master says to fertilize tomatoes for 8 weeks after the initial planting. Shouldn’t you fertilize for a longer period down here in Alabama,  since the tomatoes have a long growing season?  The same should apply for other plants also.

A.  Here are some general rules for feeding your plants.

Pre-Plant – Use 32 ounces for a 30′-long bed, one time before planting, and tilled into the soil.  This translates into approximately one (1) ounce per foot of bed.

Weekly Feed – Use 16 ounces for a 30′-long bed – the first time with the
Pre-Plant and tilled into the soil.  This translates to one half (1/2) ounce per foot of bed.  Thereafter feed your plants weekly until 3 weeks before maturity for single-crop varieties, including bush beans, cabbage, lettuce, determinate tomatoes, etc., and until 8 weeks before frost for everbearing crops like indeterminate tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, pole beans, squash, and melons.

Because those of you in warmer regions have late frosts, or no frosts at all, you will be feeding your tomatoes for a month or two longer than those of us in the colder regions, where we have frost in September or October (March or April for those in the Southern hemisphere).

This is why it is impossible to be totally accurate with a single answer
like the Garden Master has to give.  Even the same crop will take longer to mature in a cold climate than it will in a warm climate, and thus may need an extra feeding or two.