Organic fertilizer is an important part of your overall gardening success especially if your soil is lacking in organic matter. This is because it helps to provide essential nutrients that your plants needs to grow. It is a supplement for low soil fertility.
Quality blends will contain a good balance of macro nutrients.
These are easily recognized on the label as a series of three numbers such as 3-2-4. Notice the single digits?
Stay away from products that have double digit numbers. For example, 20-30-20. The only way to achieve these artificially high numbers is by using synthetic chemicals and we don't want them in our organic gardens!
These three numbers stand for the percentage of N-P-K contained in the product.
The numbers stand for N-P-K content
The picture above is from a label of Medina Liquid Fish Fertilizer. I buy it in the gallon size because it has shown the best results in both my garden and landscaping.
The three letters represent Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) These are the nutrients that are consumed in the greatest quantities.
It is important to realize that there are three remaining macro ingredients that are also needed albeit in lesser quantities, to provide a balanced "diet" for your plants health. These are Calcium(C), Magnesium(Mg), and Sulfur(S).
Calcium (lime) while technically a fertilizer is purchased separately from other nutrients. Super Cal 98 is a calcium product that can easily be sprayed with existing equipment and has had excellent reviews from farmers.
There are also seven Micro-Nutrients that your nutrients need as well. They are
Avenger Liquid Kelp contains many of these micro-nutrients
Organic fertilizers are like a vitamin supplement for your soil. They help provide your vegetables with extra nutrition to grow strong!
Most every malady that affects plants from poor growth to disease or insect infestation are the direct result of a deficiency of one or more nutrients.
Products such as Bio-Wash will increase the absorption capabilities of plants while enhancing photosynthesis, which means higher, healthier yields.
Micro nutrients are equally important in their own right, but are used by your plants in much smaller quantities. They are rarely included in chemical blends.
Unlike synthetic chemicals, these natural fertilizers are safe for your kids and pets. They will not burn your plants and they will not leech off.
They help to rebuild our environment and soil fertility, while providing food for micro-organisms that supply energy for healthy plant growth.
Organic fertilizer does not have to be watered in because it will not burn your plants like synthetic chemicals will. It will help to improve soil structure and works together with organic matter to enhance micro-organism populations while releasing nutrients when the plants need them.
Some organic fertilizers come in concentrated liquid solution that is mixed with water and applied with a sprayer such as Organic Nutrient Tea.
There are also granulated types of fertilizer such as cottonseed meal and corn gluten meal that are applied easily with a lawn spreader
This organic fertilizer comes with it's own sprayer
Some liquid forms are poured at the base of the plant or along a row, commonly referred to drenching. Others are applied directly to the leaves (foliar feeding) with hose end sprayers available at most hardware stores.
There are even varieties that come prepackaged with a sprayer unit that you simply screw on to the end of your hose. Foliar feeding is a method of diluting liquid fertilizer with water and spraying it directly onto the foliage (leaves) of the plants.
The rate of absorption with foliar feeding is vastly superior versus uptake from the root system. As always be sure to read label directions to see what is the best form of application. Generally you want to avoid spraying anything during the hottest part of the day.
Unless it specifically states it is designed for direct application to the foliage do not spray it directly on the leaves.
Who uses organic fertilizer?
As one local farmer so aptly stated...
"When your income is derived from growing and harvesting healthy crops, you can't afford a bad season! So you don't take unnecessary chances, you go with natural organic products that have a proven track record"
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