Fertilizer – Burning Vegetable Seedling Roots
Q: We planted lettuce, cabbage, collards and cauliflower. We fertilized around the plants with 10-10-10 (teaspoon full for each plant). Many of the plants just wilted, and we don’t know why.
A: One teaspoon of fertilizer for each plant sounds like a lot when they are small, particularly if placed close to the stem.
It looks to me like the fertilizer burned the seedlings’ roots.
Next time, wait until the plants have shown just a little bit of growth then sprinkle a teaspoon of fertilizer around the plant about four inches away from the stem.
Rain will gradually dissolve the fertilizer and take it to the roots.