Organic Fertilizer Types and How To Use Them
Organic fertilizers are derived from natural sources such as plant and animal waste. They provide a slow-release of nutrients to plants and improve soil health. Unlike synthetic fertilizers, organic fertilizers do not harm the environment and are a sustainable choice for gardeners. In this article, we will discuss the different types of organic fertilizers and how to use them to achieve optimal results.
Types of Organic Fertilizers
Compost is one of the most popular types of organic fertilizer. It is made by decomposing organic materials such as food scraps, yard waste, and manure. Compost provides a balanced mix of nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, to plants. It also improves soil structure, water-holding capacity, and aeration. Compost can be added to soil before planting or used as a top-dressing throughout the growing season.
Manure is another common type of organic fertilizer. It is derived from animal waste such as cow, horse, or chicken manure. Manure provides a high concentration of nitrogen, which promotes leafy growth in plants. It also contains other essential nutrients such as phosphorus and potassium. However, manure should be composted before use to avoid burning plant roots and reduce the risk of spreading pathogens.
Bone meal is a type of organic fertilizer made from ground animal bones. It is rich in phosphorus, which is essential for root development and flower production. Bone meal also contains calcium, which improves soil structure and helps prevent blossom end rot in tomatoes. Bone meal should be mixed into soil before planting or used as a side-dressing around established plants.
Fish emulsion is a liquid organic fertilizer made from fish waste. It is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which promote healthy plant growth. Fish emulsion also contains trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. It can be used as a foliar spray or added to soil as a liquid fertilizer.
Before planting, it is important to prepare the soil for the best results. Organic fertilizers such as compost and manure should be mixed into the soil to provide nutrients and improve soil structure. Bone meal can also be added to provide phosphorus for root development.
When planting, it is important to apply fertilizer directly to the root zone of the plant. This ensures that the plant receives the nutrients it needs to grow. Bone meal can be added to the planting hole to provide phosphorus for root development. Compost can also be added to the planting hole or used as a top-dressing after planting.
As plants grow, they may require additional nutrients to continue growing and producing. Side-dressing is the process of adding fertilizer around the base of established plants. This ensures that the nutrients are available to the plant roots without disturbing the soil. Fish emulsion and compost are excellent choices for side-dressing.
Foliar spray is the process of applying fertilizer directly to the leaves of plants. This allows the plant to absorb nutrients directly through its leaves. Fish emulsion is an excellent choice for foliar spray as it provides a quick boost of nutrients to plants.
In conclusion, organic fertilizers are an excellent choice for gardeners who want to improve soil health and provide nutrients to their plants. Compost, manure, bone meal, and fish emulsion are all excellent choices for organic fertilizers.