Applying Fertilizer

My vegetable garden is lacking in nutrients and I want to be able to get the soil improved before I start planting in April. Would it be okay to really load up the soil with commerical fertilizer and seaweed now in Feb or is it better to just feed the garden on a regular basis while the plants are growing?
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The latter is probably better, but fertilizer is only part of the equation. What is the texture and organic content? What will you grow? If you grow carrots or beans, probably you won't need much fertilizer, if any, just a sprinkle of wood ash. In fact, if you fertilize them, the beans yield will be reduced, and the carrots will be hairy and branched. And the fertilizer needs of, say, squash and cabbage are quite different. In any case, the organic content of the soil should be 10% or better.
If seaweeds are the locally available organic matter, put it on right now, then fertilize slowly during the season according to the specific vegetable needs.
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Thanks, that's good to know. I had no idea that over fertilizing reduces bean yield!!
I always put the leaves from the fall into the garden so there is lots of organic matter and plenty of worms. I did the entire garden with wood ash 2 years ago so it's probably time to clean out the ash pit again . . .
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wrote:

not being an professional, merely a keen amateur, my tuppence worth is if you want to use synthetic fertilisers do so at the time of growing as and when needed. If you are using organic fertilisers and soil amendments such as animal manure, coffee grounds, sea weed etc do so some weeks/months before planting as it takes a time for the organic manures to break down and be effective. The latter will also add organic matter to your garden doing 2 jobs in one. Synthetic fertilisers go fairly directly to the plant whereas organic fertilisers get broken down in the soil first and then extracted by plants.
A word about wood ash, don't apply it to early if using it as a fertiliser (it has good % potassium and some phosphorous) as it leaches easily. Apply it when plants need P & K. If you use it to change the soils ph I guess you can use it before planting but allow some decent rain to wash it it. Personally I have used animal poop several months before planting and water based feeds if when needed during the growing season.
rob
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