If you want to grow the healthiest crop with maximum yield then you will have to follow a few important steps. It’s not the case that you just dig a hole and start planting. Although, still it is possible that you may obtain good quality crop because your soil could be extremely fertile. If so then you are really lucky!
To obtain the ideal crop, you must grow your crops in suitable seasons. Furthermore, you should also be careful about the suitable climate and proper location for planting. After fulfilling these requirements, the most crucial step is to prepare your soil according to the needs of your crop. Soil preparation has various steps. These steps can vary from crop to crop. However, in this article, we will cover organic fertilizers for plants.
For perfect production, your soil must be fertile. Its mean your soil must contain all those necessary nutrients which are really requisite for specific crops. According to the Gallup gardening survey, there are less than 50% of countries in which home gardeners don’t use any kind of fertilizers. Unfortunately, this statistic shows that all such gardeners are deprived of good quality production.
All those people who have an interest in gardening, they must learn about different fundamental and essential fertilizers to improve the fertility of their crop. Either you are a beginner or advanced gardeners, this guide is equally helpful for all of you.
Do you think your soil is enriched with necessary nutrients? There are two most common ways to increase the fertility of your soil. First by mixing organic fertilizers into your soil increase the fertility. Second, adding the chemical fertilizers into your soil rises the fertility. Before we go into the in-depth discussion of organic fertilizers, let’s have a look at the difference between organic and chemical fertilizers.
Organic Fertilizers vs Chemical Fertilizers
Here are a few most important differences between Organic and Chemical fertilizers.
- Organic fertilizers release nutrients slowly but chemical fertilizers release nutrients rapidly.
- Mostly, an excessive amount of organic fertilizers don’t burn the seedling roots. On the other hand, chemical fertilizers burn or harm the roots.
- Organic fertilizers promote the soil-microorganisms and earthworm but chemical fertilizers can produce a mineral salt layer over the soil to kill these advantageous organisms.
- Organic fertilizers don’t make soil toxic but excessive usage of chemical fertilizer make the soil toxic.
- Leaching in chemical fertilizers can pollute groundwater, however, there is no such risk in the case of Organic fertilizers.
Why Organic Fertilizers?
You have seen the differences between both types of fertilizers. Which type of fertilizers do you want to choose for your crop? If you have read the previous comparison carefully, then definitely you will go for organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers provide all essential nutrients to the crop. They even don’t contain any side effect either you use in low or excessive amount. Ultimately, you can obtain healthies crop by using organic fertilizers. Now let’s learn what is organic fertilizer? How to obtain and all necessary details about organic fertilizers in upcoming sections.
What is organic fertilizer?
Organic fertilizers are obtained from organic sources which are vital for any plant’s growth. It provides each and every essential nutrient to the plant for the best nourishment. The most common resources for organic fertilizers are cow manure and compost. Now let’s learn different types of organic fertilizers.
Type of organic fertilizers
In this guide, you will learn all major sources to obtain organic fertilizers. Which are the most significant nutrients you can obtain from each type? Here are the most popular types of organic fertilizers.
Manure is an organic matter. It comes from animal feces such as cow, sheep, poultry, and horse. The most common among these all is cow dung. It rises the fertility of the soil by releasing the most important nutrients to the soil. Manure is packed with organic matter, however, it releases nutrients slowly which is really helpful for plants in many cases. It is presumed as a complete fertilizer. Furthermore, it can also act as a mulch in the garden.
Compost is another type of manure which is mostly attained from plants. Always use aged manure or well-rotted compost into your soil. It is the most important point that everyone should in keep in mind for healthiest growth. Otherwise, there are high chances of burning your crop’s root.
A blood meal is another most important type of organic fertilizer. It is dry and powdered blood which you can obtain from slaughterhouses as a byproduct. A blood meal is a rich source of nitrogen. Be careful while using blood meal into your garden. Its extensive usage can damage the roots of the plants. Provide the fair amount of blood meal for the best nourishment of green leafy plants.
Most of the people use blood meal and bone meal terms interchangeably. Both are totally different things. Let’s have a look at Bone meal.
Bone meal is a mixture of slaughterhouse waste byproducts and finely grounded animal bones. It is a rich source of calcium. Moreover, it is also comprised of 15% phosphate. Bone meal is extremely helpful for the development of the roots system and flowering as well. You can utilize it for the best production of bulbs, flowers and fruit trees.
It is also known as shellfish meal. This fertilizer is obtained from crushed bones or shells of shellfish and crab etc. It is another one of the richest sources of calcium. It also contains potassium and different other useful minerals. Chitin (obtained from shellfish fertilizer) is another useful fibrous substance which boosts the growth of organisms that prevent from various harmful pests like nematodes.
Bat Guano is the most unique type of organic fertilizer. It is a rich source of phosphorus, nitrogen and other trace elements. This is most probably a unique type of organic fertilizer which can be used anytime in the year. It is obtained from excrements of seabirds and bats. Its nutrients are protected under the caves from leaching. It is really useful for the blooming of flowers and ripening of fruits.
The best seabird guano comes from South America. People take it from under the rocks of arid sea island. In this place, rainfall and decompositions of the organic compound are minimal. Therefore, these organic compounds are rich in nitrogen and other essential nutrients.
Rock phosphate is a lime-based phosphate rock and a rich source of calcium as well. This rock contains more than 30% phosphate and another excessive amount of trace elements. Rock Phosphate is a non-leaching element. It remains as it is until absorbed by the roots.
Greensand is another most important organic fertilizer. It comes from deposits of the shell. It is basically an iron potassium silicate having an excessive amount of iron. Additionally, it carries potassium and several other micronutrients.
Fish Emulsion is another important organic fertilizer. After the decomposition and pulverization of fish, it is obtained. It has a severe smell. However, it has been modified a little bit to prevent the users from the smell. Likewise, blood meal, its excessive use is really harmful to the roots. It can burn the roots.
Now you have learnt all type of organic fertilizers so far. There is another division in organic fertilizers according to their usage. As we know, organic fertilizers don’t release nutrients rapidly. So what if your crop needs them immediately? So let’s resolve this issue.
Dry Organic Fertilizer
Dry organic fertilizer can be obtained by utilizing just a single ingredient. For example, blood meal, steamed bone meal, and greenhouse. Furthermore, it can also be obtained by blending nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus and various other micronutrients.
How to apply dry organic fertilizers?
It is the simplest way to utilize dry organic fertilizers. Many of you are familiar with its usage. You can use this fertilizer as follows:
- Al least 2 to 3 weeks before planting your soil, prepare your soil.
- Add dry organic fertilizers so that it covers 4 to 6 inch the top area of the soil.
- Mix it with the soil very well and water the soil slightly so that dry fertilizer can start releasing essential nutrients.
- Your soil is rich with necessary nutrients so you can start planting your crop.
Liquid Organic Fertilizers
Liquid fertilizers are the most important means to provide necessary nutrients to the plants. Plants have the capability to absorb nutrients in liquid both through their stomata and the roots as well. So liquid fertilizers are provided through the soil and sprayed on the leaves so that little pores on the leaves known as stomata absorb the fertilizers.
If you don’t have enough time about 2 to 3 weeks for preparing your soil before planting then you should use liquid organic fertilizers at least. There are almost 2 most critical situations for the plant when it requires necessary nutrients rapidly. First, during after transplantation, the plant requires fertilizers. Second, plants require fertilizer during fruit formation and ripening. So in such conditions, slowly releasing fertilizers don’t provide up to mark results mostly. So you have to either choose liquid organic fertilizers or chemical fertilizers.
How to use liquid organic fertilizers?
Liquid fertilizers are very easy to use. Here are the detailed instructions to follow:
- Before using liquid fertilizers, always read carefully and follow the label instructions.
- Try to use a surfactant (a substance which reduces the surface tension of liquid for better dissolving). You can use ¼ tsp of coconut oil per gallon.
- Don’t forget to check the pH of the spray. It is better if fertilizer is slightly acidic such as 6.0 to 6.5.
- You should use the finest mist by utilizing spray mister.
- Stomata exist underside the leaves are opened mostly. So spray until the liquid reaches to these lower stomata.
- For best absorption, the best time for the spray is either early morning or late evening.
- If you don’t have enough time to spray then use an alternative way by providing these fertilizers through roots.
Plants Essential Nutrients
Till now we are talking about different essential nutrients for the plants. We have learnt that from which sources we can obtain such nutrients? Now let’s take a brief overview of the primary and secondary nutrients.
There are six primary nutrients which are really important for the plants. Therefore, plants need it in large quantities. Three of them are very popular. Have you ever seen N-P-K on any pack of fertilizers? Most probably, your answer would be yes. What is N, P, and K? These are three primary nutrients which are Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. Let’s talk about them one by one.
Nitrogen is a primary nutrient which dramatically boosts up the growth of plants. If your plant’s growth is slow are growing very slowly, then your plant needs nitrogen. So you should pick any organic fertilizer having a great amount of nitrogen. After supplying nitrogen, your plant will nourish extremely well.
Phosphorus is a primary nutrient which is extremely important for the development of the roots. Additionally, it is really crucial for both the formation of the seeds and ripening of the fruits as well. If you find any problem in roots, seed and fruit ripening then you should choose an appropriate organic fertilizer containing a great amount of phosphorus.
Potassium is another primary nutrient which is really important for roots development. Furthermore, it protects the plants against diseases and stress. It also improves the texture and taste of the fruits. So if you find any issue in fruit tastes etc. then you should select an appropriate type of organic fertilizer which is enriched with potassium.
Carbon is another important primary nutrient which plants can obtain from the air.
Hydrogen is a primary component which plants obtain from water.
Oxygen is the most important primary component. Plants obtain oxygen from water and air.
There are 3 secondary nutrients which plants require in a very small amount.
Calcium is used in cell developments of the plant. It also neutralizes toxic material. It is an important nutrient to improve soil structure. Furthermore, it binds inorganic and organic particles together strictly.
Magnesium is the only metallic component which is really important for plants. Because without, magnesium, plants can’t process sunlight for chlorophyll.
Sulfur is another secondary nutrient which is a necessary component of the proteins.