Fertilizer For Water Grown Plants – How To Fertilize Plants In Water

What Is Natural Fertilizer?

Natural fertilizer is made from organic materials such as grass clippings, leaves, bark, straw and other non-food sources. These materials are collected from your yard or garden and then processed into a concentrated form which can be used to fertilize plants grown in water. You may use any type of natural fertilizer for your garden. Some types of natural fertilizer are better than others when it comes to improving the health of your plants.

How Does Natural Fertilizer Work?

The most common type of natural fertilizer is known as composted manure. Composted manure contains all kinds of organic material such as wood chips, vegetable scraps, animal bones and other waste products. This type of fertilizer helps improve soil structure and fertility. Other types of natural fertilizer include seaweed, fish eggs, oyster shells and even human hair.

Is There Any Harm In Using Natural Fertilizer?

Yes there is some harm in using natural fertilizer because it may not always provide the best results. If you do use natural fertilizer for your garden, keep in mind that it will take longer before your plants start producing new growth. Some plants may never produce new growth no matter what you do. Once again, it all depends on the type of natural fertilizer that you use. If you are going to use natural fertilizer, then it is better if you focus on specific types of plants which will be more compatible with such type of fertilizer.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Natural Fertilizer?

The benefits of using natural fertilizer are quite obvious especially for organic gardeners. There is no need to add harmful chemicals into your garden that may end up killing plants and animals that happen to consume them. Natural fertilizer is not only good for your plants, but the nutrients which get absorbed by the soil are also beneficial for the local wildlife.

What Are The Types Of Natural Fertilizer?

There are many different types of natural fertilizer on the market today. Some of these consist of animal manure, blood and bone, crushed limestone, greensand, hoof and horn, liquid kelp, manure tea, mushroom compost, peat moss, rock phosphate, Sevin (carbaryl), sodium borate (borax), super phosphate and wood ash. It is not always easy to choose the right type of natural fertilizer for you. If you are new to using natural fertilizer then it is best to start with something simple such as manure or seaweed.

What Do I Need To Know About Compost?

If you are looking to start your own compost heap, then you should know what you are doing. It isn’t as easy as throwing a bunch of organic materials together and then waiting for something to happen. You need to focus on the right combination of materials and also check on your pile every once in a while. A compost pile has four main ingredients which include green materials, brown materials, nitrogen boosters and water.

What Are The Different Green Materials?

Green materials usually consist of high moisture content plant materials. Some of these materials include banana peels, citrus fruit rinds, crushed eggshells, grass clippings, lettuce leaves, coffee grounds, oatmeal, hair, small twigs and tea leaves.

What Are The Different Brown Materials?

Brown materials are low in moisture content and can be dry at times. Some of the materials include cardboard, dead leaves, dryer lint, sawdust, paper products and small wood chips.

What Are The Nitrogen Boosters?

There are some specific materials which can be used to help boost the nitrogen levels in your compost materials. Some of these materials include blood and bone, coffee grounds, eggshells, fish/seafood shells, manures (cow, chicken, horse, duck and goat) and grass clippings.

What Is Water And How Much Do I Add?

Water is essential when it comes to starting a compost heap. If you add too much water then the pile might become soggy and anaerobic. On the other hand, if you do not add enough water then the pile might not heat up enough, which will prevent the necessary organisms from thriving. You should aim to add water whenever the pile gets dry, or about once a week.

What Are Carbon And Nitrogen And Why Are They Important?

Most plants contain carbon while most animals contain nitrogen. By composting your materials you are able to create a mixture of both, known as “browns” and “greens”. The correct mixture is necessary for producing good fertilizer or humus. Without this process taking place, your compost heap will not fully break down and turn into usable compost.

What Are Good Sources Of Carbon?

There are many different types of materials which contain carbon. Some of these include wood ash, corn cobs, dried grass clippings, dried leaves, sawdust and small twigs.

What Are Good Sources Of Nitrogen?

Nitrogen is crucial when it comes to making good compost. You need to have the right materials available in order to maintain this process. Some of the materials which are rich in nitrogen include blood and bone, cow manure, fish shells, grass clippings, chicken manure and urine, rabbit waste and urine, bird droppings and urine, rabbit waste and urine and seaweed.

What Is The Process?

The breaking down process involves four different stages. These stages include the Incubation Period, the Active Phase, the Finish Phase and the Curing Period.

The Incubation Period

You need to make sure that your pile is big enough, otherwise it won’t heat up sufficiently. Piles that are too small won’t heat up enough and will therefore not break down properly. The smaller the pile, the longer it will take to break down. You also need to make sure that your pile maintains a good balance between greens and browns, as well as the right amount of water.

You should turn your pile at least once during this period.

The Active Phase

During this stage, the pile should start to heat up and small cracks might appear on the top. This is all a good sign that it is working. You can turn your pile more frequently at this stage because not much decomposing is taking place due to the heat which is being generated.

The Finish Phase

During this stage the temperature should begin to fall as the organisms which generate heat die off. You should keep turning your pile so that it breaks down quicker. You can also add some wood ash at this stage as it helps to break down materials.

The Curing Period

This period only begins once you’ve turned your pile for the last time and no more heat is being generated from within. You should let your pile cure for at least three months so that it has completely finished breaking down and curing. After this period you can use your compost on your garden plants.

What Is A Good Recipe?

A good recipe is one which you have perfected over time and suits your local climate, as well as the size of your garden. However, an average recipe contains the following:

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1 part bulky greens (dead leaves)

2 parts high carbon greens and plants (fresh grass clippings, green weeds)

1 part high nitrogen greens and plants (manure, vegetable scraps)

3 parts course wood ash or limestone (if available)

Water every day if the mixture is dry

It is very important that you turn the pile at least once a week.

What Sort Of Tools Do I Need?

A good pitchfork or shovel and a wheelbarrow are absolutely essential. Other things which you might find useful include a garden rake and a hoe.

Tips And Hints

– When turning your pile, try to make sure that it is evenly balanced as this will help with the heat distribution.

– A good way of making sure that the pile does not get too hot is to put a layer of gravel at the bottom of your pile.

– Watch out for birds when turning as they may have chosen your pile as their own private potty!

– It can take months to make good quality compost, so don’t give up at the first sign of trouble.

– Composting can save you a lot of money on your garden as it reduces the need for man made fertilizers.

– Composting is also good for the environment as it means that you are putting less waste in landfills or burning it, which emits harmful gasses into the atmosphere.

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– Composting can be done on any size of scale. You don’t need a large yard to compost efficiently.

– Compost can be used on any type of garden, especially one which is primarily made up of vegetables.

– Composting is a very cost effective way of maintaining your garden.

– Composting is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to maintain a garden.

– Composting can also save you money on non-edible parts of plants such as flowers, which can easily be thrown out and replaced with little financial damage.

– Composting can be used on any type of garden, no matter how big or small.

When Is The Best Time To Do This?

Composting is a continuous process and you don’t really have a set time to do it. It is always beneficial to turn your pile when you get a chance, the more you turn it, the quicker it will be ready.

How Long Does It Take?

This really depends on how much you have to start with and how often you turn it. You can have a ready made batch in as little as a month, however, most people add stuff to their pile all year round which means they generally don’t use it until the summer when there is a higher demand for it.

What Do I Do With It When It’s Finished?

You can either use it right away or store it in a container somewhere out of sight. A corner of your garage or a shed would be ideal, although some people like to keep it in their basement.

How Often Do I Need To Do This?

This completely depends on how much you need to use it. If you only need a bit here and there then you won’t need to replenish your supply for quite some time. However, if you use it on a weekly basis then you will need to make sure you add more to the pile so that you always have some available.

What Are The Different Types?

There are two main types of composting: Hot and cold. Hot composting is the faster of the two, but requires more attention and a good deal more work.

Hot Composting

– This involves a lot of manual work as you need to turn the pile to keep it aerated. If you don’t turn it, it can get too hot and start to cook the organic matter which isn’t ideal as it then takes much longer to rot down and becomes stinky.

– The upside is, it generally takes much less time to break down the material, sometimes as little as a few weeks.

– The finished compost is good for growing vegetables, but not much good for flowers or shrubs.

Cold Composting

– This type takes a lot longer to break down the material as you only need to turn it every couple of months at most.

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– It can be a smelly process and you may need to invest in a cover to keep the smells in and the animals out.

– Due to the slower process, it can take several months to a year before it is ready to use.

– The finished compost is good for flowers and shrubs but not so good for vegetables as it can be a bit “slimy” and leach nutrients.

What You’ll Need:

You’ll need a few things to get this process underway. The most obvious thing you will need is a container in which to do the composting. This can be anything from a old trash can to an old wooden crate. The size will depend on how much you intend to compost as well as how many items you wish to break down.

The bigger the pile, the more work, so keep that in mind.

You’ll also need something to turn the pile. You can purchase a compost turner from any garden store, they’re very affordable and will save your back.

Sources & references used in this article:

Fertilizers and the efficient use of water by FG Viets – Advances in Agronomy, 1962 – Elsevier

Management of fertilizers and water for ornamental plants in urban landscapes: Current practices and impacts on water resources in Florida by AL Shober, GC Denny, TK Broschat – HortTechnology, 2010 – journals.ashs.org

Relation of soil fertilization with superphosphates and rock phosphate to fluorine content of plants and drainage waters by EB Hart, PH Phillips, G Bohstedt – American Journal of …, 1934 – ajph.aphapublications.org

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