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I have lived in a 50 year old home in Murray for 11 years. I have plants trees, bushes, perrenials, annuals, vegetables (nothing exotic). The trees seem to grow normal but a lot of the plants don't seem to grow much. They flower and look normal but not much growth. I have worked the ground a lot with mulch and commercial fertilizer but do not use manure or fish emulsion because my dog tries to eat it. What can I do to stimulate growth in my gardens?

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A

You've asked a very general question, so difficult to give a specific answer.  You may try and call our Master Gardener phone help line at (801) 468-3178 and perhaps he can help you after getting more information.  Perennials, annuals, vegetables all have different light, water, temperature requirements for optimal growth.  My first feeling since you mentioned that trees are growing well is that perhaps the main issue is the trees are shading the rest of your garden, and those plants are not getting enough light.  Regular application of commercial fertilizer may actually create a buildup of nutrients or salinity not needed by the plants, and interfering with growth.  A good idea may be to sample your soil and get a basic $14 soil test to see what your pH, soil texture, salinity, levels of potassium and phosphorus are.

For Soil Test information go to this link http://www.usual.usu.edu/forms/soilform.pdf

Posted on 23 Jan 2009

Maggie Shao
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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