When do I need to use fertilizer?
You should use fertilizer when you first plant and then intermittently during the plant’s growth. It is best to read the directions on the bag for the particular fertilizer you are using for the best results. The frequency of which to use fertilizer really depends on the season and what you are growing, which is why many fertilizers are specific to different plant types.
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What is Organic Fertilizer?
Organic fertilizers, like organic soils, are fertilizers that are made of organic, naturally occurring plant and animal materials. They are free of any chemical or synthetic elements and only include natural occurring ingredients. Organic fertilizers feed the soil providing the plant with additional or missing nutrients they need to thrive. Unlike synthetic fertilizers that only feed the plant and rob the soil of nutrients, thus requiring more and more chemicals to achieve the same result, organic fertilizers strengthen the soil, giving the plant “vitamins” to support healthy, vibrant growth. Organic fertilizers are simple and easy to apply and come in granular form as well as easy-to-use organic liquid fertilizers.
What are those three numbers on bags of fertilizer?
The three numbers, also referred to as “N-P-K” that appear on the label of every packaged fertilizer represent the three main plant nutrients: Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. Nitrogen for liberal leaf and stem growth, phosphorus for abundant blooms and a bigger harvest of above-ground crops, and potassium for overall plant health.
Why use Organic Fertilizer?
So why would you choose to use an organic fertilizer over a conventional or synthetic fertilizer? Several reasons. Being environmentally conscious is one reason. Organic fertilizers are made of natural plant and animal based ingredients. You don’t have to worry about pumping your garden or landscape full of chemicals. Over time, chemicals deplete the soil of its nutrients, making it barren and unproductive. This creates an endless cycle of needing to put more chemicals into your soils and plants to replace the nutrients the chemicals wiped out in the first place. This abundance of chemicals in our gardens and landscapes eventually builds up and is washed away into our waterways creating unhealthy environmental consequences. By using organic granular fertilizers and organic liquid fertilizers you can rest assured that your lawn and garden is safe for the environment, your family and your pets.
Organic fertilizers feed at a slower, more paced approach than synthetic fertilizers. What does this mean? It means that both the soil and your plant are being supplied the nutrients they thrive on in a much gentler fashion, allowing both to feed and grow at the appropriate speed. Synthetic fertilizers speed up this process and in doing so typically overfeed your plants, and can result in “burning” plants. Whether in a granular or liquid form, organic fertilizers are not often in a form that can be quickly absorbed by your plant. Instead the soil must break it down in order to make it usable by the plant. This is a good thing as it means the fertilizer is not easily washed away in the rain, allowing the plant to feed for a longer period of time.
Organic Fertilizer Quick Tips:
Organic fertilizer comes in many different varieties and application methods so choose what works best for your garden and for what you are growing. Specific fertilizers are formulated differently to supply the right balance of nutrients for specific plant types.
Start your organic fertilizer regimen early – at the time of planting! Doing so will ensure your plant is off to a great start from the beginning and has all the nutrients it needs to thrive. Most organic fertilizers have a low NPK. The risk of burning is usually very low.
Monitor your plants for signs of nutrient deficiency. Yellowing and dying leaves and small or shriveling fruit production are telltale signs of a lack of proper nutrients and could signal that fertilizer is needed.
See Also: More Info About Organic Soils