Organic fertilizer is an important part of your overall gardening success 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. These numbers stand for the percentage of N-P-K contained in the product.
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.
There are also seven Micro-Nutrients that your nutrients need as well. They are Boron(B), Chlorine(CL), Copper(Cu), Iron(Fe), Manganese(Mn), Molybdenum(Mo), and Zinc(Zn).
Quality Organic Fertilizer will contain many of the nutrients your vegetables need
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 of the macro nutrients.
Micro nutrients are 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.
In what form is organic fertilizer sold?
It is available most often in a concentrated liquid solution that is mixed with water and applied with a sprayer such as organic nutrient tea. You can also find granulated types of fertilizer such as cottonseed meal, that are easily applied with a spreader
How do you apply it?
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 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?
- Hydroponic Growers
- Berry Farms
- Turf Growers
- Golf Courses
- Specialty growers of Flowers and Herbs
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"
The problem that most face is where to get it? There are only a select few nursery and garden centers that carry genuine organic fertilizer. Now that has all changed with the internet. Now we can get the same stuff that professional growers use delivered right to our front door. We don't even have to drive to the nursery or garden center.
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