The fertilization of a cedar hedge is optional: it is not necessary for the good health of your hedge. However, if you wishes a fast growth, it would be interesting to apply a fertilizer rich in nitrogen during the month of May, when the soil is sufficiently heated (the nitrogen content corresponds to the first three numbers inscribed on the containers fertilizer).
On the market, there are basically 2 major types of manure: chemicals and organic.
- Nitrogenous chemical fertilizers are easily recognized by their formulas: they usually have large numbers. Ex: 30-10-10, 20-20-20. It exist in soluble fertilizer or granules. We can use this type of fertilizer on cedar hedges without problem. On the other hand, it is very important to respect the quantities written on the containers as well as the instructions of use. Also, it is imperative to apply it in spring only (and never after June) to avoid the formation of new growth that would not have time to lignify well before winter.
- Organic fertilizers generally have very low numbers. Ex: 4-3-9, 5-2-8. They are composed of natural elements and degrade more slowly. In addition to fertilizing cedars, they enrich the soil. They are therefore less at risk of creating imbalances in the soil. This type of fertilizer can usually be applied in May and / or September, if it is not too rich in nitrogen.
The contribution of a good compost is also an interesting alternative. You can spread ½ inch thick at the feet of your cedar each spring. In sandy soil, we recommend shrimp compost. For clay soils, forest compost is preferred. The application of compost will promote the formation of healthy and vigorous new growth in cedars that are regularly trim or that has been burned during winter, while improving the properties of your soil. Compost will also act as a mulch.
What if you can reduce your work?
As fertilizer increases the speed of growth, avoid fertilizing your hedge when it reaches the desired height!