Fertilizing Vegetables: Fertilizer Options For Your Vegetable Garden
Vegetable garden is one of the most common gardening tasks. However, it requires different types of fertilizers depending upon the type of vegetables grown. Most vegetables require nitrogen based fertilizer for good growth and health. Nitrogen-based fertilizer helps plants grow faster and produce larger fruits and vegetables than non-nitrogen based varieties.
There are many types of fertilizers available for your vegetable garden. Some are expensive while others are inexpensive. You may want to choose the cheapest option which will save money in the long run. There is no need to spend lots of money on buying expensive fertilizer if you don’t have enough funds to do so. If you decide to buy some expensive fertilizer, then you must pay extra for its delivery service from time to time.
The following list contains some of the most popular types of fertilizers for your vegetable garden. They include:
1) Animal Manure – Animal manure is a type of composting waste that consists mainly of animal excrement.
It is considered as being very beneficial because it improves soil fertility and reduces weed growth. It also helps in increasing crop yields since it provides nutrients to plants through its roots. However, animal manure is considered to be heavy due to high water content. It can also be smelly and may carry dangerous organisms which affect plants and humans in a negative way.
2) Blood And Bone – Blood and bone fertilizer is made from the grinding of animal bones mixed with blood.
The process involved helps to heat up the mixture which kills potential disease-causing organisms in the material. It can also be made from the grinding of animal parts. It is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. This makes it good for growing vegetables since it improves the quality of the topsoil. It is usually expensive to buy this type of fertilizer since it is more costly than making the mixture yourself.
3) Compost – Compost is made from organic material that has decomposed and turned into humus.
It is commonly known as rotted plant and animal matter. It releases nutrients slowly and helps to condition soil without adding an excess of nutrients that could cause some plants to grow faster than others. It is very popular among organic gardeners and is usually made at home. The disadvantage is that it tends to be smelly and can be heavy.
4) Chemical Fertilizers – Chemical fertilizers are made from chemicals which contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
The composition of chemical fertilizers usually contain only two or three of the main nutrients required for plants. It is commonly known to be the cheapest option for buying fertilizer and is available in many different varieties. The major disadvantage with chemical-based fertilizer is that it can burn plant roots if application rates are not followed correctly.
5) Guano – Guano is the excrement of sea birds and bats that have accumulated over many years on islands.
It is usually very high in nitrogen and phosphorus. Guano is usually very expensive to buy because it has to be mined out of caves which can be very dangerous.
6) Human Urine – Urine contains many different salts and hormones that carry chemicals and nutrients beneficial to plant growth.
It contains no additives or artificial elements that could harm plants in any way. There is evidence to suggest that urine could help to regulate the pH balance of soil. Urine can be recycled from urine collected in urinals at public toilets.
7) Nitrate Of Lime – Nitrate of lime is made from ground limestone rocks.
It increases soil pH levels and also contains many nutrients that are beneficial to plant growth. Soil has to be acid in order for nitrate of lime to be effective. It cannot be used on alkaline soil since this would cause limestone rocks to precipitate out of the soil and kill the plants. it is most effective in flower beds.
8) Rock Phosphate – Rock phosphate is made from ground up rocks that contain phosphorus.
It is usually very effective since there is little waste since it contains all the required nutrients for plant growth. However, rock phosphate can be very expensive to buy because it has to be processed and shipped from the site of mining.
9) Bone Meal – Bone meal is made from the ground up bones of animals.
It is most effective in flower beds since it helps to improve the quality of the topsoil. It can be very expensive to buy since it has to be shipped from far distances and is usually made from animal parts that are in high demand such as cow bones.
10) Greensand – Greensand is made from crushed glauconite greensand rock and is usually greenish in color. It is most effective in flower beds since it helps to improve the structure of the topsoil. It is usually used as an alternative to rock phosphate since it is more localized and easier to find. Greensand can be purchased online and at some gardening stores.
How To Apply Fertilizers To Soil
When applying chemical fertilizers, organic matter or natural substances, it is very important that you follow the instructions very carefully. It is also important that you have the soil tested regularly to see what nutrients are fast, medium and low in concentration. This will help you know what kind of fertilizer to apply to make up for the low nutrient content in your soil. Always keep a record of which fertilizer, how much and when you applied it so that you can keep good habits and see which method works best for you and your garden. It is also important to stay hydrated when working the soil since it can cause you to become dehydrated and possibly sick.
How To Start A Vegetable Garden
There are many different things you will need to start your own vegetable garden, but the most important thing is having the space to do so. If you do not have any open land, you might be able to take advantage of staircase land by building a raised bed garden. These are made by placing concrete or wooden steps on their side so that they form a wall. Since these are at a slant, you will be able to plant seeds in them without having to worry about weeds popping up or soil washing away during a heavy rain.
Most of the vegetables that you can grow in your garden bed will be better off if you start them indoors and then transplant them into the garden once they are older and their roots have taken hold. If you start your seeds indoors, you will need to provide them with a warm environment until they are old enough to be outside. One way to do this is by placing them on a windowsill or similar location that receives a lot of sunlight. However, a better method for providing them with the proper amount of light and heat is by using grow lights. You can find a simple guide to starting an indoor garden here.
The three most important things to remember when growing a garden are sun, water and nutrients. In addition to these three basic needs, you will also need to make sure the soil is fertile so that your plants can get the nutrients they need to grow big and strong. Just before planting your seeds or seedlings, you should turn over the top layer of soil so that it can absorb the nutrients that have been added.
You may want to consider using wood ash to help condition the soil and lime to make it less acidic. Most plants prefer soil that is slightly acidic, so adding some sulfur will help counteract this. Sulfur can also be used in cases where the soil is too acidic, such as in areas with pine trees since they give off large amounts of acid in their sap.
As your plants get older and begin blooming, you should add bone meal to the ground where most of the roots are located. This will create a rich environment that attracts worms and other beneficial soil organisms which will give your plants access to extra nutrients. In order to have the best harvest possible, you should make sure your plants are getting enough sunlight and space to grow. Plants need at least eight hours of direct sunlight in order to grow properly. If you plant them in an area that does not get enough sun, they will not grow as large or produce as many fruits or flowers.
You may want to consider pruning plants that are growing too close together since this will help them to grow bigger by giving their roots more space to spread out. Always be sure to water your plants before applying any type of fertilizer. It may also be beneficial to add a layer of mulch around the base of your plant. This will help keep the soil around the roots moist for a longer period of time, which will encourage deeper root growth. As your plants continue to grow, you should continue to monitor them and adjust your fertilizer and soil management practices as necessary.
Most plants prefer a slightly alkaline soil (slightly higher levels of pH), but most soils found in the wild are acidic (lower levels of pH). There are ways you can alter soil pH levels to make them more friendly to the plants you want to grow, but most of these methods take time and may only be necessary in certain areas.
You can test your soil for free over the internet through various services and try different techniques to increase your soil’s pH using agricultural lime, but it is also important to know that plants generally grow best in their native environment. This means that plants like blueberry bushes, for example, prefer acidic soil.
You can still grow them in basic (higher pH) soil, but you’ll need to use techniques like raised beds, mulching, and composting in order to maintain the proper pH levels around the roots. This will require ongoing monitoring and upkeep.
You can also just plant the plants in the ground and ignore all the chemistry. It is still possible for your plants to grow without perfectly optimized soil, but they may not grow as large or produce as abundantly.
When it comes to nutrients, too much of a good thing is bad. There are three major elements that most plants need in order to thrive. These are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).
Sources & references used in this article:
… digested sewage sludge on the abundance of antibiotic-resistant coliforms, antibiotic resistance genes, and pathogenic bacteria in soil and on vegetables at harvest by TO Rahube, R Marti, A Scott, YC Tien… – Applied and …, 2014 – Am Soc Microbiol
Simulation of nitrate leaching for different nitrogen fertilization rates in a region of Valencia (Spain) using a GIS–GLEAMS system by JM De Paz, C Ramos – Agriculture, ecosystems & environment, 2004 – Elsevier
Effects of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization on plant growth and nitrate accumulation in vegetables by Z Wang, S Li – Journal of plant nutrition, 2004 – Taylor & Francis
The use of diagnostic optical tools to assess nitrogen status and to guide fertilization of vegetables by G Gianquinto, F Orsini, P Sambo, MP D’Urzo – HortTechnology, 2011 – journals.ashs.org
A review of foliar fertilization of some vegetables crops by D Haytova – Annual Research & Review in Biology, 2013 – journalarrb.com