The Best Time to Apply Rainbow Plant Food

Choosing a granular fertilizer like Rainbow Plant Food makes sense for your yield, ease of use and return on investment. Since the nutrients your plant needs are all in each granule, you’ll get an even spread across the crop and reduce the risk of some parts of your field missing key nutrients.

There are certain variables you’ll want to consider before applying Rainbow Plant Food to feed your crops—dive deeper into the details on application timing with insights from Sales Representative Kevin Owens.

Think about your soil & crop type

It’s important to know what is already in your soil prior to deciding on additional nutrients. Soil testing is the first step to understanding what your crops need. “A grower always needs to start with a soil test. Even if you’ve just got a garden at home,” says Owens. Knowing what is in your soil will help to avoid over-application of any nutrient, and subsequently avoid a toxicity problem that could negatively impact your yields.

Geographic location plays a big role in soil type and will impact when the ideal time is for you to apply. In Southeastern areas like Georgia, the chances of nutrient runoff with rain will be higher in the sandy soil when compared to regions like the Midwest.

You’ll also want to think of your crop type prior to application. Traditional row crop types will generally only need one application of Rainbow Plant Food, but turf and ornamentals may require multiple applications depending on their nutrient needs.

Time it right for big yields

Owens recommends applying Rainbow Plant Food “five to seven days before planting for most row crop types.” If you miss the pre-plant window, applying right after planting is Owens’ recommendation. Waiting any longer than this may result in loss of yield, as your plant will be searching for its missing nutrients, putting it in a stressed state. If you can still get equipment across the crop without damaging it, do so if your crops need the nutrients—you'll lose more yield by not applying.

Remember seed safety

Keep in mind fertilizer safety tips when applying to ensure the health of your seeds. Fertilizers with a high salt index may injure or kill germinating seeds when applied too closely. A general rule of thumb that Owens recommends is in row with the seed in a two-by-two band, meaning the fertilizer is two inches beside the seed and two inches below. Seedlings will make contact after emergence, and could suffer negative effects if moisture is lost.

Want to know more about application recommendations for Rainbow Plant Food? Find more information here.

Get in touch with your local rep or tweet us @Rainbow_Plant with any questions. 

ESN eKonomics CAN17 Rainbow SmartNutrition