soil test question

I had a basic soil test done by Penn State Univ. I live in west central PA and the soil seems to be mostly clay. The results showed a pH of 6.0 with low potash. PSU recommends a 0-46-0 fertilizer to correct the low potash. I want to grow mainly native deciduous shrubs and some small flowering trees. Once these are established I may look into some perennial beds, a vegetable garden, roses or wherever my horticultural interests takes me. I am new to the gardening thing and would like some advice on how best to apply the fertilizer. Would I just add it to the planting holes or do I need to address the entire area? Should I do this at planting time or do it now and allow it to work into the soil over time? Any advice would be appreciated. The test also noted that magnesium and especially calcium were above optimum levels, but no recommendations were made regarding this. Should this be a concern before I spend money on trees and shrubs? Thanks in advance for any help.
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riley wrote:

I would think planting native plants in native soil would not require any special fertilizing regimen.
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Travis in Shoreline Washington

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A huge misconception among manu gardeners is that if you plant native plants, you will never have to give them any care. In response to the above comment, they arent being planted in natove soil, they are being planted in subsoil that has had its topsoil stripped away before construction.
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riley said:

You've done something to many don't do. Well done!

I think you need to read your soil test and recommendations again. The middle number in a fertilizer analysis is *phosphorous* and potash (potassium) is the last number. What exactly are they recommending?
And did they measure the % of organic matter?

For the vegetable garden, roses, and flowering shrubs you will almost certainly need to do some soil ammending and fertilizing. Native shrubs and trees (if they naturally grow in your soil conditions) mightn't want you fussing at all.
So, in the end...it all depends! 8^)

For trees and shrubs, the usual recommendation is *not* to add fertilizers when planting, or even do much soil ammending. The best advice would be to choose varieties suitable for your soil conditons. The same would go for completely naturalized perennial beds; pick the right plants for the soil and climate.
For vegetables and more intensively managed flower beds, you add soil ammendments (compost, fertilizers, possibly even lots of sharp sand to help with the clay) when creating the beds. Then you plant into them.

Surface applications are prone to runoff and some nutrients are leachable. Just scattering stuff around now when your plans are for later is probably not wise, in my opinion.

There is some interplay between phosphorous and magnesium, but if you do need to correct the middle number (rather than potash), the lab recommendations have already addressed that.
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (riley) wrote in message

surely there is a problem - 0-46-0 is a Phosphorous rich fertilizer, not potash.
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