Daylilies forum: Northern gardeners - when do you fertilize for winter?

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Hockeyrabbit
Aug 4, 2013 6:41 AM CST
Hi-

For those of you in zones 5 or lower, when do you fertilize using a slow release kind for winter? It's been so cool here in NY that I'm wondering if I should do it soon to prepare for the months ahead? Thoughts and suggestions welcome.

JC
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Aug 4, 2013 8:58 AM CST
@newyorkrita would be a good one to chime in on this one. I'm trying out the new "tag a member" feature to make sure she sees this.

Hockeyrabbit, if you go up top to the blue menu bar, to your profile "Hockeyrabbit's Profile" tab - then click on Change your public profile - there are places to fill in basic info that will show up on the upper right side of your posts. It's nice to fill in your zone, if you don't want to fill in any other info. That helps the members here when answering questions.
[Last edited by daylily - Aug 4, 2013 9:01 AM (+)]
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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
Aug 4, 2013 9:51 AM CST
Welcome! Hockeyrabbit!
Natalie
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Aug 4, 2013 10:34 AM CST
Welcome! Welcome! Welcome to ATP Hockeyrabbit. Welcome!

I can see the tag a member feature works because here I am having been summoned. Smiling

I am not sure what you want to fertilize. If its perennials, which for me are mostly daylilies, I don't fertilize in the fall. Same for roses. Now I know some people do fertilize the daylilies in the fall but I am not one of them. I do give my daylilies a nice feeding of a liquid fertilizer in mid summer like right about now. I like to use Neptunes Liquid Seaweed or Fish Seaweed blend. You really can use that on everyone.

Veggies, on the other hand, need a feeding schedule that keeps on going while they are growing.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Aug 4, 2013 10:40 AM CST
Opps, I just realised this is on the daylilies forum so you were referring to daylilies specifically.

My way of fertilizing daylilies. Each spring I put out the bagged fertilizer. My favorite to use on the daylilies is FlowerTone. But if you can't find that then PlantTone is good to use also. If I am really ambitious I throw alfalfa pellets out in the daylily and rose beds.

Then I don't fertilize until mid summer. After bloom season. Which is when I get out the Neptune Liquid Fertilizer and really drench those dayliliy beds. That's it, I don't do anything else as far as fertilizer is concerned.
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Aug 4, 2013 11:25 AM CST
Welcome! Hockeyrabbit!

I am in zone four some falls if I get around to it I spread alfalfa pellets that is used for horse feed it doesn't have salt in it like rabbit pellets which you would not want in the garden. I plan on doing it this fall and also spread them around this spring. This spring I spread it around all the garden and shrub areas. I do not always get it done every year but it gives plants an amazing boost. That is the only fall supplement I use. To my way of thinking plants do not need fertilizer in our cold winter because they are not growing.
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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
Aug 4, 2013 12:12 PM CST
Betty, thanks for mentioning the alfalfa pellets. I used them when I moved all of my plants this year, and have been very happy with the huge amount of worms I had in just two short months. Before that, I think I only saw one or two in the garden. Now they are everywhere. So, while it may feed the daylilies some, it really helps with the worms. I also used seaweed fertilizer for the first time when planting, and I'm not sure which one helped the most, but most of my daylilies bloomed, and the growth has been amazing! I think I'll give them one more feeding of the seaweed stuff, and then spread some more alfalfa pellets, before adding some extra mulch for the winter. I've never fertilized my plants before, but I'm happy with how they have done. Mine are almost all dormants, so I'm thinking the same thing that you mentioned. They don't really need it in the fall, since they aren't growing, but I guess it couldn't hurt to add alfalfa or seaweed.
Natalie
Name: joann
Illinois (Zone 5a)
Region: Illinois Organic Gardener Daylilies Hostas Composter
wickedelph
Aug 4, 2013 12:58 PM CST
I try to use mostly organic methods and I picked up a tip that its best to spread mushroom compost or other compost in the winter when the ground is frozen - after Thanksgiving usually- but before getting a lot of snow. I don't recall where I picked up that bit of information but it really stuck with me so I'm sure it was somewhere reliable (I hope!). The reasoning is the snow will pile on top of the compost and when it starts to melt in the spring it will bring the compost down into the soil really well and give the plants a nice boost for spring growth right when they need it. But you wait until the ground is frozen because you don't really want to fertilize at the time you put it down, it's another layer of insulation in the winter and then gives plants a head start in the spring.

From your post, though, I'm also not sure what your asking. It seems like maybe you're asking about fertilizing to winterize the plants like you'd do on a lawn? In that case i think it's best not to fertilize at the end of the growing season.

Hockeyrabbit
Aug 4, 2013 2:12 PM CST
Ok, thanks. I just bought the neptunes off of amazon and am looking for a sprayer attachment. Can you recommend one? I usually just mix my fertilizer in a watering can but realize I can't do that. I also bought osmocote release fertilizer. When should I throw that down? A lot do it in the fall too. Thoughts? And yes, I'm talking day lilies.

Josh
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Aug 4, 2013 2:33 PM CST
I usually use any cheapo hose end sprayer I find at Home Depot.
Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
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Claudia
Aug 4, 2013 3:22 PM CST
I wish I could find mushroom compost....have wanted to use it for years!!
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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Aug 4, 2013 3:25 PM CST
They never have mushroom compost around here, I have looked for it myself also.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
Aug 4, 2013 9:04 PM CST
Hockeyrabbit, I use the seaweed fertilizer in a watering can. Haven't thought of doing it with a hose end sprayer. I just dilute it according to the directions, and store it in a milk jug. Then I measure out what I need for 2 gallons of water.

I saw mushroom compost at the grocery store here, and didn't know what anyone would use it for! It's sold out now, but I'll get some next year.
Natalie
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Aug 5, 2013 6:20 AM CST
I don't fertilize at all in the fall.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Aug 5, 2013 9:32 AM CST
Rita, do you buy the Flowertone, Planttone, and Neptunes locally? If not, do you have a favorite source you order from?

My plants did so poorly this year. A major hybridizer was in the area and stopped by and looked at them for me, and thinks my biggest issue in one area is to much shade. Second issue is I have been growing daylilies in the same beds for 20 years. I added lots of organic matter when the beds were made, but I have not done much fertilizing after that. I did add some Osmocoat last year in early spring, but it was so dry, it was still there this spring. Once in a while I have used a little Miracle Grow for Lawns, a couple gallons per plant, but even that has been a few years. Daylilies that should have had 40-50 bud count had 10 this year. Bloom season was over very fast. Thumbs down

I was once told not to fertilize with Osmocoat past beginning of June, or you stimulate to much growth to late in the year.

I think I will pick up some alfalfa pellets to put on in September so they can break down over winter. That will be a start.

I used to be able to get mushroom compost delivered by the dump truck full for $60. That was 20 years ago. Now, they won't come out this far, no matter what you offer to pay. It comes from another county. This place hauled sawdust from sawmill to horse stalls and arena at fairgrounds, then to a mushroom farm, then back to the hauling place where they sold it for gardens. It was a great resource while I could get it!
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Newyorkrita
Aug 5, 2013 9:53 AM CST
Juli, I am sure that the shade has lots to do with the poorer buds counts. But I do believe in a spring fetilizing for all my plants daylilies included.

Those Plantones and Rosetones and FlowerTones are big bags so yeas, I buy them at a local Nursery. I buy the Neptunes on line.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Aug 5, 2013 9:56 AM CST
Juli, I bought Sea Magic seaweed fertilizer from Burpee last year, and I think it's basically the same as Rita's Neptune fertilizer. Keep an eye on the site, as it will go on sale at the end of the season. I think I paid $2.99 or something close, with free shipping. It is fantastic stuff!
http://www.burpee.com/gardening-supplies/fertilizers/sea-mag...
Natalie
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Aug 5, 2013 9:59 AM CST
Sea Magic is the same idea as in it is also made from Seaweeds. The thing with those seaweed fertilizers is that it supplies all sorts of nutrients the plants need, not just fertilizer. Feeds the plants and feeds the soil.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Aug 5, 2013 10:06 AM CST
Can you overdo it with the alfalfa pellets? I added some to the garden when I planted all of my daylilies a couple of months ago, but I'm thinking that maybe I should add some more before winter. To me, it seems that they help the soil just as much as the plant. The soil in the garden seemed like it really needed some help, and is so much better now. I didn't have time to work in any compost when I planted, but the garden is only a temporary spot for the daylilies. I can work in compost when I move them to a more permanent spot later.
Natalie
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Aug 5, 2013 10:12 AM CST
No, I doubt you could overdo with the alfalfa. After all, it is just plant material and quickly breaks down in the garden.

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