411homerepair.com

Latest Articles

Why Have ADUs Gotten So Popular?

There is a good reason why ADUs have become so popular over the last few years. Building an ADU is a great way to get more value and use out of...

on Sep 22, 2021

Why Plumbing is a Good Career

Think back to when you were a kid. How many times were you asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Probably quite a bit. In...

on Sep 19, 2021

11 Steps to Take to Prepare Your Home for the Rainy Season

11 Steps To Take To Prepare Your Home For The Rainy Season Most regions that are closer to the equator have a rainy season each year. Beginning...

on Sep 16, 2021

Best Ways to Improve Your Home

Improving your home can be one of the things you are looking to do. Whether you believe this improvement can come from adding a new conservatory to...

on Sep 15, 2021

3 Tips for Keeping Your Garden in Good Shape

Looking after your garden can take more than just a single afternoon, especially if the weather has been unpredictable, or it has been left for an...

on Sep 14, 2021

Soil Fertility and Plant Food

by Dan Eskelson on Apr 30, 2012

In a very fertile soil with plenty of organic matter, excellent drainage and perfect structure, additions of fertilizer would not be necessary. Unfortunately, this perfect soil is seldom found, and even if found, it will not remain perfect because of the loss of fertility through leaching, vaporization, and use by plants. So we need to amend our soils with ingredients that supply specific nutrients that can become available to plants. Plant nutrients in fertilizers are classified as major nutrients and micronutrients.

The most important major nutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Plants require these nutrients in relatively large amounts, and these are the nutrients most likely to be deficient for plant growth. Other major nutrients, called secondary nutrients, are calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sulfur (S). They are also required in relatively large amounts but are less likely to be deficient. Micronutrients are essential for plant growth, but plants require relatively small amounts of them. They include boron (B), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo) and zinc (Zn). These elements may also be referred to as minor or trace elements.

The debate continues to rage over which form of fertilizer is better, synthetic or natural. Proponents of synthetic fertilizers claim that all the essential elements can be supplied in greater quantity and at less cost than their natural counterparts. Proponents of the natural or organic fertilizers counter that indeed the synthetic fertilizers supply the chemical forms of the essential nutrients, but these materials, actually derived from crude oil, lack the necessary beneficial soil microorganisms that help to break down the nutrients into plant available forms. It's also been pointed out that the common overuse of chemical fertilizers has resulted in the buildup of harmful salts in the soil, excessive tissue growth resulting in weak plants susceptible to disease and insects, reduced drought tolerance and increased dependence on foreign oil.

Natural fertilizers like compost, manure, blood and bone meal, kelp, etc. All contribute to the quantity and health of beneficial bacteria, fungi and algae, which in turn benefit plant growth. An old adage among organic gardeners is "feed the soil, not the plants". In recent years several companies have developed granular, easily applied natural fertilizers consisting of mixtures of the traditional organic fertilizers listed above. These can be used in place of the "traditional" chemical or synthetic fertilizers. I have used and can recommend, natural fertilizer products from Ringer, Sustane, Gardens alive and Whitney Farms.

There are probably other natural fertilizer products from quality companies - let me know if you have a favorite. Yes, natural fertilizers are more expensive because the raw ingredients are not as plentiful and preparation is more involved. An analogy is useful to explain the difference: you can get a burger and fries at the fast food place, or enjoy a well prepared meal of fresh ingredients at a quality restaurant. You'll save a bit of money at the fast food place, but you may not be happy with the long term effects of regular meals there.

The prepared products mentioned above should not be used as a substitute for general soil improvement. Bulk compost and manures should be used as soil amendments when planting new landscapes and when mulching established plantings. In addition to supplying essential nutrients, these materials will add to the store of beneficial organisms, increase soil humus and improve the structure of both clay and sandy soils. I've used natural fertilizers since the 1960's and have found no reason to do otherwise. It's good to know that I'm feeding my soil without any adverse effects on the environment.

Author

Most Recent Articles

Sponsored Articles

Random Articles

Is it safe to use the self-cleaning oven feature?

Who would not want to have a mess cleaned up with the push of a button? That’s certainly the appeal of the self-cleaning oven feature. However, it...

Appliance / Repair

Stay Safe With Biometric Safes

Are you worried about the safety of your valuables? Well, the time to muse over their protection is over. The biometric fingerprint safes are here...

Safety / Security

6 Benefits of Listing Your House on Sale Online

When you’re deciding to sell your house, there are plenty of choices out there for how you could go about selling it. You could get an agent to...

Real Estate / Finance

What Should You Know About Moving A Piano? Can You Do It Alone?

It is quite difficult to move. A lot of stress adds up and moving furniture is definitely something that not everyone can do. When referring to...

Real Estate / Finance

7 Signs of a Water Leak Inside Your Wall

A water leak is a risky business. There is probably nothing worse than having a water leak in your home. But wait, there is something that is much...

Plumbing / Basements

Actions

Contact Us | Submit Article | 411homerepair © 2021