If you need to apply fertilizer around your trees and want an easy solution, you might be considering fertilizer spikes. These spikes work well for deciduous trees, but are they good for evergreens?
Fertilizer spikes are good for evergreens because they give them all the essential nutrients easily and at a balanced rate. The best spikes for evergreens are those explicitly made for evergreen trees and plants. You should install spikes in early spring.
The rest of this article will discuss using fertilizer spikes for evergreens in greater detail. It will also discuss some of the best fertilizers for evergreens, how long the spikes last, and if fertilizer is always necessary for evergreens.
Why Fertilizer Spikes Are Good for Evergreens
Fertilizer spikes are good for evergreens for a variety of reasons. One of the great benefits is that they’re pre-made, meaning you don’t have to worry about using too much product and damaging your plants and crops.
There are additional benefits, and I will discuss them in great detail below.
Fertilizer Spikes Are Pre-Made
Because fertilizer spikes are pre-made, there’s less of a chance you’ll over-fertilize the soil. With standard fertilizer, you must take measurements and spread it evenly across the soil. With spikes, on the other hand, you don’t have to worry about that because you simply hammer them into the ground.
You Can Use Spikes Made Specifically for Evergreens
While you can purchase a fertilizer made for all plants in general, you can also find fertilizer spikes designed specifically for evergreens. Different plants and trees have varying nutritional requirements, so using a product made for evergreens will ensure your trees get everything they need.
Spikes release nutrients over time and are perfect for many evergreens, including junipers and spruces. Although you can generally apply fertilizer spikes a few times during the summer, you only need to use these once during early spring because they last for the whole growing season.
Fertilizer Spikes Contain All the Essential Nutrients
Fertilizer spikes for evergreens contain all the ingredients in regular fertilizer, but they’re easier to install in the soil. They include essential nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, and they often contain other minerals.
Using fertilizer spikes for your evergreen will help keep it lush and green all year round, so they’re undoubtedly worth trying.
How Long Do Evergreen Fertilizer Spikes Last?
Most evergreen fertilizer spikes last a few months, and you generally only need to install them once during the growing season. It’s also good to install them during fall to keep the foliage looking as bright and fresh as possible during this time.
It’s usually best to install your fertilizer spikes at the beginning of spring. This keeps your evergreen looking its best all through the summer. As you know, evergreens remain full of foliage all year long, so it’s important to fertilize them again in the fall.
Nothing terrible will happen if you don’t fertilize your evergreen during the fall. Still, remembering to fertilize will give your evergreens an added glow that you’ll undoubtedly appreciate. It also helps them remain strong throughout the year.
If you want to learn more about how long fertilizer spikes last, you can read my other article here: How Long Do Fertilizer Spikes Last? The Facts Explained
When To Install Fertilizer Spikes for Evergreen Tree
As I mentioned in the previous section, you should install fertilizer spikes once during spring and once during fall. However, you should always check the packaging first. Some packages may recommend applying them only once a year.
Others may say to apply them multiple times throughout the year, particularly during summer. If you’re unsure how often you should use them, it’s best to stick with only applying them once or twice a year.
Using too little fertilizer won’t cause harm to your plants. However, using too much will, so it’s always best to use less if you’re unsure.
Installing Fertilizer Spikes
The installation of fertilizer spikes is super easy. The amount you’ll need to use will depend on the size of your tree. The bigger the tree, the more spikes you’ll need to use.
Fertilizer spikes need to be installed along the drip line rather than right at the center. If you place the spikes too close to the tree’s center or use too many spikes, you could cause some damage. To learn more about this, you should check out this article.
Are Fertilizer Spikes Better Than Standard Fertilizer?
Fertilizer spikes aren’t necessarily better than standard fertilizer. If you’re looking for something easy and quick to apply, they are better. However, surface broadcasting fertilizer is better if you want to cover more of the roots and get even coverage.
According to an article published by the University of Maryland, surface broadcasting is the easiest and most cost-effective way to fertilize trees, including evergreens. Plus, you apply it directly at the tree’s base and all around it.
This means you’re covering more soil with the fertilizer, so the roots receive more nutrients than they would with fertilizer spikes.
However, it’s not always necessary for the roots to receive a lot of fertilizer. In some cases, your evergreens might only need a small number of extra nutrients. In that case, it would be perfectly fine to use spikes instead of standard fertilizer.
Can You Use Any Fertilizer for Evergreens?
You can generally use any fertilizer for evergreens as long as it has all the essential nutrients, including phosphorus and nitrogen. Fertilizer spikes are handy if you want something easy and quick to provide nutrients to your trees.
Even if fertilizer isn’t explicitly made for evergreens, it’s usually ok to use it. However, it’s best to go with an evergreen fertilizer. Like with all plants, the essential ingredients to look out for in a fertilizer product are nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
Once the fertilizer has those primary nutrients, it should be ok to use for your evergreen. The University of Minnesota recommends a fertilizer with those three primary ingredients, but it also recommends sending your soil for a test before using anything. This is because many soils already have enough nutrients to promote healthy tree growth.
In those instances, your evergreens don’t need any fertilizer at all.
Do Evergreens Need Fertilizer?
Evergreens need fertilizer if they can’t get enough nutrients from the soil. Some indications that an evergreen needs fertilizer include dull foliage and slow growth. Evergreens are supposed to be bright and vibrant all year long. If they’re not, they might need fertilizer.
It’s vital to understand that fertilizer isn’t always a necessity, and it can be damaging if you use it when there’s no need. Before using any fertilizer, you should examine your evergreen to see how it looks.
If you’re still unsure, send the soil for a test. That way, a professional can let you know exactly what the soil needs (if anything).
If your tree looks bright, vibrant, and normal, it’s probably best to leave it alone and avoid fertilizer. However, if it looks dull, or if you’ve noticed it hasn’t been growing a lot, it would be good to apply fertilizer.
Once you’ve concluded that your evergreen needs fertilizer, you can go with fertilizer spikes or standard fertilizer. Both are useful and helpful ways to provide nutrients, so it’s up to you to decide which one you want to use.
Fertilizer spikes are suitable for evergreens because they’re easy to install, and they give your evergreens all the nutrients they need to thrive and remain bright and vibrant.
Generally, you only need to apply fertilizer spikes once or twice a year, so they’re low-maintenance. Using spikes during spring will keep your evergreen looking bright and fresh for the summer, and applying them in fall will keep them healthy throughout the colder months.
Although fertilizer spikes are good for evergreens, they are not always necessary. Healthy evergreens don’t need any fertilizer.