Fertilizing Your Way to a Great GardenPosted: Updated:
Here is how to fertilize your way to a Great Garden!
Over the last 50 years fertilizing has been dominated by the use of synthetic tertilizers. We in the business call this the chemical approach. Not only do chemical fertilizers not contain organic matter such as carbohydrates, cellulose, and micro-organism that help with the fertility of the soil, but also theya re known to kill the soil over time with excessive salts used for fillers and other dangerous chemicals that hurt the environment.
If you have not guessed by now, I am an organic type of guy. I encourage rich diversity in my soil with the use of manure's, compost, and other materials that help stave off disease and pest; while helping my plant materials grow at a nice even rate.
My favorite only most often used fertiizer is good old compost. Not only will compost feed my plants but it also wards off diseases, it controls weed and eliminates pests. During this time of year I will treat the ground around my plants with 4 inches to 6 inches of compost from the drip line of the plant to 5 inches to 10 inches of compost from the stem of the plant or tress. By using compost you build fertility of the soil as it gradually releases nitrogen and minerals into the soil. Remember chemicals do not provide the carbs that are essential for healthy soil, it is the high organic matter content in compost that takes care of all your plan needs.
Other organic fertilizers that you might want to lend a hand as you make your transisions, would be:
Blood Meal: An excellent source of nitrogen with a low ph (great for southwestern deserts.)
Fish Emulsion: Great liquid fertilizers. Used for potted plants and as a instant pick me up for tired plants. It contains other nutrients that help your plant growth. Hint: If you hate the smell try mixing it with a little back strap molasses.
Alfalfa Meal: Sold as pet food (yes the same stuff you feed to your kids pet rabbit.) Great slow release natural fertilizer. It is cheap and does a wonderful job building your soil.
Remember two things, plants have been doing a good job growing naturally and slowly for millions of years with out any types of chemical fertilizers. So, using a good compost top dressed on top of the soild one or two times a year and staying organic when using fertilizers will take care of all your plant needs.
Get out there in the Garden!
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Dave Owens - The Garden Guy