Fertilizing 101: It’s not as complicated as you might think

This undated photo shows mulch being applied to a flower bed in New Paltz, N.Y. A bulky organic material such as wood chips, although low in nutrients, will over time decompose to boost soil fertility. (Lee Reich via AP)

Every garden needs periodic fertilization. “Designer” fertilizers are available for some kinds of plants, and so are fertilizers that you’re directed to apply at specified times throughout the season. So roses get their rose food, tomatoes get their tomato food, and so on, on schedule.