Very Handy Vegetable Fertilizer Chart

vegetable fertilizer

I was asked the other day about fertilize schedules for vegetables. There is plenty of fertilize information but not all in one place so I decided to create a vegetable fertilizer chart. Once the vegetables are planted, it is weed and feed (hopefully not feed the weeds) time until harvest.


Side-dress – apply fertilizer 6 inches or so from center of plant. If one plant is involved, apply around entire plant. If a row of plants are involved, apply in a straight line on both sides of the row.

Vegetable Fertilizer Table

Vegetable Dosage Amt per plant Notes
10-10-10 4 cups per 100 sq ft Early Spring
10-10-10 4 cups per 100 sq ft After harvest (June or July)
Carrots 10-10-10 2 TBL per 10 feet Side-dress when 3 inches tall
Cucumbers 10-10-10 1 TBL Side-dress when plants vines are 10 inches long and after flowers begin to bloom. Do not dig down with a hoe more than 1 inch because this will damage the shallow feeder roots. The main roots go down 5 feet.
Green Beans 0-10-10 Side-dress. Generally do not need fertilizer in decent soil. Do not give fertilizer that contains nitrogen.
Lettuce 10-0-0 or 10-10-10 1 cup per 10 feet Side-dress when 2 to 3 inches high.
Peppers 5-10-10 1 tsp When blossoms show
Potatoes 10-10-10 2 LB per 100 sq ft Side-dress when flowers appear
Pumpkins 10-20-10
2 TBL While vine is growing.
Once fruit is set.
Radishes 10-10-10 1 cup per 10 ft Work fertilizer in soil just before planting.
Spinach 10-10-10 1 cup per 100 sq. feet Side-dress when 2 to 3 inches tall.
Sweet Corn 10-10-10 9 LB per 1000 sq ft Side-dress when plant is 1 foot tall and when tassels appear.
Tomatoes 10-10-10 1 TBL Side-dress 8 inches from plant in a circle every 3 weeks
Zucchini 10-20-10 or 10-20-20 1 TBL They need higher phosphorus than nitrogen. Side-dress fertilize when fruits form.

2 cups = 1 pound fertilizer, TBL = tablespoon, LB = pound

Click to download the chart in PDF format.

Time Release Fertilizer

What are the benefits of time-release fertilizer?

Time-release, or controlled-release, fertilizer gradually delivers the major nutrients plants need – nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – over a fixed period. This can range from a few months to a year, depending on the product you choose.

The nutrients are encapsulated in small spheres, called “prills”, made of a resin that dissolves slowly in soil. While conventional fertilizers must be applied regularly throughout the season, time-release varieties need to be used only at planting time. In most cases, additional fertilizers are not necessary.

With time-release formulas, you don’t have to worry about clumping, which can be a problem when granular fertilizers are exposed to humidity. And unlike powder or liquid kinds, which must be diluted in water, time-release fertilizer is ready to use – just distribute the prills within the top 3 inches of soil.

You may apply a time-release fertilizer in almost any garden situation, but it is especially well suited for use with annuals (the life spans of both the product and the plants coincide nicely). Heavy feeders, such as petunias, tuberous begonias and angel trumpets, are the best candidates for this formula. The high cost of time-release fertilizer, however, usually prohibits its use in large-scale applications, such as in vegetable beds.

Read the package carefully to be sure the time-release formula you choose is appropriate for your growing season, and avoid applying it too early. The prills are engineered to dissolve in warm temperatures (generally 70 degrees F and higher). Freezing temperatures can damage the coatings, causing all nutrients to be released on the first warm day.