Making Organic Fertilizer and Fertilizing your Yard
Making Organic Fertilizer
Making Organic Fertilizer is good for your plants and the environment!
Rich, well-fed soil is all that most plants need to keep them growing vigorously. Few soils are naturally well-fertilized so gardeners can enhance the fertility of their soils by adding Organic fertilizer. Not only will organic fertilizers provide a wide array of nutrients to the soil, but they also encourage microbial activity, which allows organic fertilizer to provide nutrients over a longer period of time. Unlike chemical fertilizers, the nutrients in organic fertilizers are less likely to leach away in rainwater.
In the range of organic fertilizers, gardeners are not limited to manure & compost. Although these fertilizers are abundant and easy to find, they can be the source of weed seeds and chicken & steer manure can be contaminated with antibiotics and other agrochemicals used in raising these animals. Alternatively, there are numerous other sources of organic fertilizer including alfalfa meal, canola meal, rock phosphate, bonemeal, kelp meal, and greensand. All of these fertilizers are naturally occurring but it is important to choose the right one for your plants’ needs.
All of the seed meals including alfalfa, canola, and cotton meal are great sources of nitrogen. Nitrogen is necessary for healthy leaf & shoot growth. Leafy plants such as lettuce, spinach, and even corn require high amounts of nitrogen. Rock phosphate and bonemeal, on the other hand, are rich sources of phosphorus. This element encourages good root growth and is essential when growing potatoes, carrots, turnips, and radishes. Lastly, kelp meal and greensand, both full of potassium, aid in fruit and seed development and will help give a bumper crop of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and squash.
Not only do organic fertilizers provide these major nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, they are full of micronutrients, which are also essential to plant growth. Kelp meal, in particular, is rich with boron, calcium, sulfur, magnesium, and manganese. In addition, kelp meal contains naturally occurring growth hormones, which stimulate plant growth.
It’s often difficult to judge exactly what nutrients to supply unless you take a soil test. However, by combining organic fertilizers, you ensure that all the nutrients required for growth are available. A great recipe for an all-round organic fertilizer follows:
- 4 parts seed meal (canola, alfalfa, or cotton)
- 1 part rock phosphate (or 1/2 part bonemeal)
- 1/2 part kelp meal or greensand
This organic fertilizer mix can be made ahead of time and stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry place. When planting in the garden, use 1/4 cup of the mix under light-feeding plants such as beans, carrots, beets, and lettuce. Use 1/2 cup of the mix under heavy-feeding plants such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, and broccoli.
Fertilizing your yard
How should you fertilize your yard to maximize the healthiness of your grass and plants? What do you need to know about yard fertilizers?
You’ve heard a lot about the importance of fertilizing your yard, but you’ve been a bit skeptical. After all, it appears on first glance that your yard is in fine condition and that it is quite healthy. So, why would you need to fertilize? Here are some tips.
Living grass and plants need certain nutrients in order to survive and remain healthy. They’re kind of like humans in this regard. We need certain vitamins and nutrients in order to remain healthy. The main nutrients your lawn needs are nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. The amount of nutrients your grass needs varies depending on the region of the country you’re in. You should consult a local plant expert to find out how much of each nutrient you should give your lawn. Standard levels of nitrogen are about four to seven pounds per 1,000 square feet each year to be applied throughout the course of the growing season.
A good rule of thumb for how much nutrients are needed in the spring months (the beginning of the growing season) is a fertilizer ratio of 4 to 1 to 2 parts of nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium. In the summer, you won’t need as much nitrogen, and your ratio should shift to 3 to 1 to 2. Then in the fall, you’ll need more potassium to help your roots grow strong to survive the winter healthily. Your ratio at that point should be 3 to 1 to 3 parts.
Putting too much of any one nutrient can prove to be detrimental to your yard. It can lead to a build-up of unwanted grass in certain areas and can cause some parts of grass to grow more quickly than others. These ratios are ideal if you want a green, healthy and even-growing yard.
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