Gardening Guide to Growing Organic Vegetables, Herbs And Fruit

Applying Fertilizers: A How to Guide

Applying Fertilizers: A How to Guide

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Most fertilizers contain varying amounts of the three essential plant foods: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. On the label of commercial fertilizer bags, the elements are listed in the order given above. A bag of fertilizer listed as 10-15-20, for example would contain 10 percent nitrogen, 15 percent phosphorus, and 20 percent potassium.

Fertilizers are also available in organic forms, that is, derived from animal, vegetable, or mineral sources. Commercially prepared organic fertilizers tend to be more expensive than chemicals and slower acting, but they provide a more sustained feeding of the plants and generally improve the soil condition.
Fertilizing elements have different effects upon plants. Table 4 indicates what aspect of plant growth is governed by each of the major elements and gives sources for each, and signs of deficiency and excess.

You do not need to apply organic fertilizers with as much precision as you need when applying inorganic fertilizers. Mostly organic compounds release the nutrients slowly; therefore, the risk of these fertilizers scorching your plants is less as well. However, you must not use granular fertilizers on foliage.

The quantity of fertilizers you need to spread on your soil depends entirely on the weather, your garden’s soil, and the crops you desire to grow. Nonetheless, you can use the general rule of thumb to find out the quantity of fertilizer needed by your soil and plants. Add an amount of fertilizer as described on the packaging of your plant’s seeds, and if you feel its growth is not satisfactory, add some more of it.

fertilizer chart for different plants