Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fertilizer Spikes Installed

As promised yesterday, we got the fertilizer spikes in the ground.  We made our way around the boxwood hedge along the front sidewalk and around the front gardens.  Read on to see how this progressed.

We began the project by gathering the necessary tools.  You will need your box of fertilizer spikes, a yard stick or tape measurer, and a hammer.

Here is the open box of spikes.  You see they provide you with two protective plastic caps.  This is a good thing because they take quite an amount of force with each blow.  Depending on how soft the ground is, you may need to use only one of the plastic caps.  More often than not, I end up using both.  I used both yesterday.

The instructions on the box state to place the spikes in the ground at the dripline if using around a tree.  The dripline is the outermost edge of the green canopy of the tree.  Since there is no dripline when placing these along a low growing hedge such as boxwood, simply measure out 24" from the outermost edge of th hedge and place your first spike at the beginning of the hedge. 

Bang!  Bang!  Bang!  And a few second later, the spike is secured in the ground.

Now, measure along three feet and place your next spike, making sure to measure out from the hedge 24 inches.

So, we have measured down three feet and now we have set our measurement at 24 inches from the edge of the hedge.

Bang!  Bang!  Bang!  And now the second one is in.

And so on, ...

And so on, ... until you are done.

I want to add a few pointers here.  The instructions on the box say to hammer each spike 2" below the surface of the ground.  I do not do that.  I do not know why they suggest that because it would be impossible to retrieve the plastic cap.  If not impossible, it would certainly take more effort than necessary.  I have used these spikes for many years and I always tap them in to just about ground level and that works perfectly for me.  The next thing is splintering and crumbling.  You should expect that, even if the ground is soft, you will get some splintering and crumbling of the spikes.  Some of them seem to be sturdier than others.  But it really makes not difference.  Just place the crumbled part on top of the spike and keep going.  If it splinters, take your hammer and crumble up the spiky parts and sprinkle that over the top of the spike you just placed.  Nothing in life is perfect.  The crumbled part will make its way into the soil with the rest of the spike and provide the nutrients to the plant.

So that was the fertilizer spike project for the boxwood hedges in the front.  Now we will move our attention to the back and get the Vigoro spikes in the ground around the holly.  There is existing holly which will stay where it is and other holly which will be dug up and transferred to another area of the landscape.  This will all take place over the next few weeks, weather permitting.  It looks like we are in for some raindrops through the end of the weekend.  So we will most likely delay the transplantation of the holly until after the rain stops.  That's OK.  There are plenty of other indoor projects to keep us busy.
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