Fertilizing a Mulched Flowerbed

What You'll Need
Mulch (depending on technique used)

There are two different techniques to applying fertilizer to a flower bed that has already been mulched. The technique you choose may depend on the size of your flower bed and/or the amount of time you have to add fertilizer to your already mulched flower bed. The first technique is probably easier for a larger flower bed with many flowers. The second technique definitely gets the fertilizer in more direct contact with each flower. However, both techniques will work fine whichever you choose.

When adding fertilizer to your flower bed make sure you choose the proper fertilizer. Adding the wrong fertilizer can actually do more harm to a flower bed than if you had simply left it alone. You can test the soil of your flower bed to determine which nutrients are lacking. Test kits are available at your local nursery or hardware store. Once you determine what nutrients are lacking in your soil you can then choose the appropriate fertilizer. There are several different types of fertilizers available on the market, from natural to synthetic (chemical based). The packaging on each of these will tell you which nutrients will be supplied.


Technique 1 – Remove and Replace Mulch

Step 1 – Remove Mulch

Begin by removing as much of the mulch from your flower bed as possible. Be careful not to disturb your flowers. Set this mulch aside, as you will be using it again after you add your fertilizer.

Step 2 – Add Fertilizer

Spread fertilizer around your flower bed, emphasizing on getting the majority of it around each flower stem. It helps to water the soil and use your fingers to push the fertilizer into the soil so it will not wash away the first time you water your flower bed after adding fertilizer.

Step 3 – Reapply Mulch and Water

Reapply mulch to the flower bed. You will probably want to add some new mulch to the mulch you pulled off your flower bed in Step 1. Evenly distribute the mulch so all of the newly fertilized soil is covered. Water the flower bed at this point to get the fertilizer to soak into the soil.

Technique 2 – Keep Mulch While Adding Fertilizer

Step 1 – Push Aside Mulch

Push aside the mulch around the stem of the flower. Give yourself a few inches in diameter around the base of the flower to add the fertilizer. Repeat this process for each flower.

Step 2 – Add Fertilizer

Water the area where you have removed the mulch until the soil is soft enough to work with. Using your fingers, create several holes around the base of each flower large enough to insert fertilizer. Place fertilizer in each of the holes and work into the soil, taking care not to disturb the flower.

Step 3 – Reapply Mulch and Water

Push the mulch back around each flower making sure to cover all of the areas where fertilizer has been added. Give the flower bed a thorough watering so as to allow the fertilizer to absorb into the soil.