Should I water my plants after I feed with one of your "tone" products?
Yes. Water your plants thoroughly after each application. When feeding lawns, it’s best to apply just before it rains.
I noticed a white, fuzzy mold after applying your product. What is it and will it harm my plants?
Our tone plant foods are blends of natural & organic ingredients. When these materials break down under certain conditions, the result can be a mold-like growth on the soil surface. The growth is harmless and is evidence of the organics beginning the process of nutrient release. Simply turn it over with a shovel or fork if you find this growth unsightly.
My dog ate some of your "tone" plant food. Is there anything harmful or poisonous?
By design we do not handle any materials in our plant foods that are considered hazardous or toxic by the US EPA. Many of the natural ingredients we blend are also used to produce animal feeds. In the event that a pet ingests some of the material there are usually no problems. However, in some cases your pet may have a stomach ache which could last a few hours. During this time make sure the pet has access to ample fresh water and the ability to relieve itself. There is also a rare possibility of an allergic reaction in which you may see some swelling in the dog’s ears and eyes. In the case of an allergy, consult your veterinarian.
To save money I often like to purchase larger sizes of the products I use and store them. Do Espoma products have a shelf life that would prevent me from doing this?
Espoma products are complex blends of natural organics. As long as the materials are kept dry they should retain their effectiveness indefinitely. Store unused product in the original container in a cool dry location out of reach of children and pets.
Are your tone products safe for use in areas where children & pets play?
By design we do not handle any material deemed hazardous or toxic by the US EPA. While these products are safe to use in areas where children and pets play, one must always be alert for possible allergic reactions. In that case, wash off any material from the person or animal and remove them from the proximity. Consult a doctor or veterinarian if needed.
I’ve already applied new mulch. How should I feed now?
The products are best applied prior to adding mulch. If you have already mulched you have two options. First, you can pull the mulch away, apply the plant food, and re-mulch. If this is not desirable you can apply directly onto the mulch, but you will need to double the application rate. This is needed because the mulch is decomposing and this decomposition process will take nutrients from the plant food application. To ensure your plants get the food the higher rate is required.
Is it OK if your tone plant food gets on plant leaves?
Plant food should not be allowed to stay on plant foliage. If this occurs simply water to rinse the material from the foliage into the soil or brush it away with a broom.
What is the shelf life of the products?
When stored dry the fertilizer materials have an almost unlimited shelf life. The Bio-tone microbes are best use prior to the ‘Best by’ date printed on the bag. If the material becomes wet during storage there may be some degradation of the nutrient value and the material may form clumps. You can still apply this material to your garden. Use a tool to break the clumps of plant food and allow it to dry as much as possible. Apply the product as you would the unaffected product.
How do I apply your tone products? Do I need to cultivate them into the soil?
For new plantings, mix the product into the hole or backfill soil at time of planting. There are complete instructions on the package for how to accomplish this. For existing shrubs and small trees it is best to sprinkle the material onto the soil surface evenly and completely under the drip line (diameter of branch spread) of the plant. Do not place the plant food within 3″ of the main trunk. For larger trees the plant food should be poured into holes to place it below grade and into the root zone. To do this a series of holes is made under the tree and the plants food is placed in the holes. Complete instructions on how to do this are included on the appropriate bags. We do not recommend cultivating the plant food into the soil around existing plants as this can disturb shallow root systems.
Will over applying hurt my plants?
We always recommend that users follow the recommended rates of application on each bag. However, as the tones are all blends of all natural and organic ingredients there is a wide margin of error built in. This is due to the slow release and low salt content of these ingredients. If you feel you have over applied, water the plants thoroughly.