fertilizer question for vegetables

I am a pharmacist and have a bottle of potassium nitrate. I figure I can just work it into the soil when I prepare my garden as fertilizer?? Or should I sprinkle it on the ground after the plants are growing.
I also have a bag of lawn starter fertilizer that has not been used in almost 10 years. I was going to throw it away, but wanted to know if that would work for a vegetable garden. Again, should I work it into the soil before planting?
Thanks
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I tend to sprinkle around vegetables as if fertilizer reaches plants too fast it may burn it. Because of this I do not fertilize transplants until a week after they have been in the ground. Lawn fertilizer is OK to use but you might want to suppliment with K or P if they are too low. Also use limestone around tomatoes to prevent blossom end rot.
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