fertilizer?

Hi...
Playing around with this new electronic fertility meter, and looking for some information, if I may?
Ground outside is still frozen and snow covered, but experimenting with potted plants indoors. Meter indicates too little fertility, (as I suspect it should).
But - as of a month ago, have added the correct pot size number of Jobe's fertilizer sticks. Little effect. Have added liquid fertilizer to the normal watering. Little effect.
The questions, then. Does fertilizer have a shelf life? This stuff I've been using is awful old - perhaps 5 or more years.
And looking for an effect - should it be instantaneous, or should it take effect slowly and perhaps show up weeks or months later?
Thanks in advance for any shared thoughts...
Take care
Ken
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Fertilizer that's been kept dry (or capped, if liquid) should keep indefinitely. One other note -- most Extension Services recommend against the use of fertilizer stakes. The area immediately adjacent to the stake has far too much fertilizer and may burn tree roots, while further away they do not provide enough for the plant's requirements. Out-of-doors, their use tends to create "bullseyes" with a burn spot in the middle surrounded by intense growth, which tapers off as you move away from the staked spot. If you must fertilize something, you're better off to use a more conventional fertilizer specific to the need.
In general, trees in the landscape don't require separate fertilization and will do quite well drawing from the fertilizer applied to lawn and garden.
Regards --

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I doubt there is anything wrong with your fertilizer. However, I think there is a lot wrong with your fertility meter, which is voodoo science. The most handheld electronic meters are supposed to be good for is to measure soil PH and even those are highly inaccurate and I wouldn't trust one.
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