In vegetable gardening commercial fertilizers should be applied after plowing and before much harrowing has been done. The fertilizer will then be mixed thoroughly with the soil in making preparations for sowing or planting.
Various drills and distributors have been placed on the market for applying fertilizers. Figure 11 shows a single-row distributor, and Figure 12 a wheelbarrow style. Both of these are very useful in some lines of garden work. The McWhorton distributor (Figure 13) is one of the best types; it may be adjusted to apply from a few hundred pounds to two tons to the acre. A lime spreader is shown in Figure 14.
While the various drills and machines are convenient and usually save labor, fertilizers may be sown satisfactorily and at small expense by hand. Bags of 50, 75 or 100 pounds should be distributed at proper intervals over the field to secure the desired application to the acre.
The material may then be carried in a bucket or a bag, and sowed with the same movements of arm and hand as are used in broadcasting clover seed. A more even distribution is possible, however, with machines.