Fertilizer Recommendations for Vegetable Crops in Michigan

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Information presented in this bulletin allows Michigan vegetable growers to develop effective supplemental nutrient use programs. Nutrient recommendations are based on a soil test, soil type, yield and past crop management. Applying the recommended nutrient rates with proper timing and incorporation minimizes the potential that fertilizers will be a source of surface or groundwater contamination. For example, nutrients applied near the time of greatest uptake demand by the crop are used most efficiently.

Many types and grades of fertilizer are available, and the nitrogen phosphorus and potassium requirements of crops can be met in a variety of ways.

This bulletin contains recommendations for both mineral and organic soils. Any soil containing more than 30 percent organic matter is considered to be an organic soil. Soils containing less than 20 percent organic matter are considered mineral soils. Those with organic matter contents between 20 and 30 percent may fall into either category, depending on the clay content. The MSU Soil Testing Lab uses a bulk density of 0.80 g/cm3 to classify soils; those above 0.80 are handled as mineral soils and those below 0.80 are handled as organic soils.

D.D. Warncke
D.R. Christenson
L.W. Jacobs
M.L. Vitosh
B.H. Zandstra
Michigan State University