Fertilizers are any naturally or chemically derived material containing the nutrients essential for plant growth. They are available in the form of manures, compost, and granular or liquid amendments. Most often we apply them to a plant’s root system or as a foliar spray.
To the new farmer, a stroll through the fertilizer aisle can be a very confusing exercise triggering memories of chemistry class. What do these numbers mean to my farm? is the question often circling as we consider what to add and how much.
When you buy fertilizer, you’ll see the ratio of three macronutrients—nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium(K)—listed on the container in bold numbers. These numbers tell you the combination in percentages of N, P, and K in the fertilizer blend. Educate yourself and take heed: not all fertilizers are created equal and feeding your plants with fertilizers does not guarantee a successful crop.
Organic or natural fertilizers are created using composted or dried organic matter such as cow manure, concentrated compost, crop residue, earthworm castings, seaweed, seed meal, and animal sources. They are applied by side dressing or by incorporating into the soil of potted plants. These materials, when applied in combination to crops, contribute all essential macronutrients, micronutrients, and trace elements. More importantly, they help build a healthy, supportive environment for beneficial microbes, fungi, and bugs.
Some naturally sourced products such as rock phosphate, guano, lime, and green sand are mined, which isn’t necessarily a sustainable method. But these materials offer particular nutritional components in concentrations that other organically derived materials do not. Granular materials are applied in the same way as organic fertilizers; they break down slowly and are beneficial to a healthy macrobiotic system.
Video by: Shubhashree BT
0:20 Organic Fertilizers
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4:09 Chicken Manure/Poultry Manure
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Best Organic Fertilizers for Plants | 15 Best Organic Fertilizer for Vegetables and Garden
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