Q: My mother in Asheville, NC heard a professional landscaper say that she fertilizes pansies with oatmeal. Have you ever heard of this?
A: I’ve never heard of it before but I guess oatmeal could provide a bit of nutrition if it was mixed into the soil at planting. A half cup of oatmeal contains about six grams of protein. Protein contains nitrogen and that’s what a pansy needs. But this would be impractical because the oatmeal has to be broken down by soil organisms before nitrogen becomes usable to a plant. In cold soil the organisms are not very active. Eat oatmeal for your breakfast and give your pansies commercial plant fertilizer.