Best Natural Fertilizer Plant Feeding Plan for Summer
Growing healthy plants that produce nutritious food involves a well-planned feeding schedule. Planning your feeding schedule in advance allows you to make preparations ahead of time and procure the products and soil amendments that you will need. The exact timing of natural fertilizer application depends on the plants; however, there are some biological indicators around which you can center your plan. (Rather than using dates on a calendar.)
To reap the most benefits from natural fertilizer applications, you need to understand when your plant needs food, and which nutrients are most beneficial at which stages of growth. Biological indicators are a system that uses the living organisms around a plant to determine the right time to perform certain gardening tasks. Biological indicators are useful because they can be generally described, but locally applied.
For example, a particular insect may be in its most damaging, larval stage when the Forsythia shrub blooms. Forsythias bloom in February if you live in the south and in March in the mid-Atlantic, and April in the north. Using forsythia bloom as an indicator of when to look for a certain insect pest is more reliable even than a calendar. Plant blooms are easier to spot than worms in the soil, and biological indicators operate on the principle that the plant will bloom when conditions are right for the larvae to be active.
Biological indication can also be taken from the plant itself. When the plant is first planted, it needs different nutrients than it does after it has established itself. The flowering stage is enhanced by certain nutrients, while fruit production increases with the addition of other nutrients. Look at your plant to determine its nutritional needs.
Fertilizer N-P-K Ratios Explained
Most fertilizers for sale have a number on the package. The number could be 10-10-10, 5-10-5, or 2-4-1. This number describes the ratio and amount of active ingredient of Nitrogen (first number), Phosphorous (second number) and Potassium (third number) in the fertilizer. For a fertilizer with all the same numbers, there is the same amount of the active ingredient of each nutrient within the fertilizer.
Natural Fertilizer Before Planting
Most of the time, soil amendments are the most necessary type of natural fertilizer that you will use before planting. You need to make sure that your soil has lots of well-composted organic matter worked into the soil before you plant your plants. The organic matter will aid in moisture retention and provide some slow-release nutrients for the soil. It will also make the soil more beneficial for helpful insects and worms.
Natural Fertilizer At Time of Planting and Establishment
Plants that are just establishing themselves need phosphorous for healthy root growth. This nutrient is contained in most standard fertilizers. For fertilizing shortly after planting, a fertilizer with a high ratio of phosphorous to nitrogen is best. A natural fertilizer made by Neptune’s Harvest called “Benefits of Fish” has a 2-1 phosphorous to nitrogen ratio and is a good plant food option for application in the first few weeks after planting.
Natural Fertilizer During Flowering
Plants in the flowering stage need extra nitrogen and potassium. You need to select and supply a fertilizer that has a higher ratio of the first and third elements listed. “Kelp Meal” fertilizer from Neptune’s harvest is a seaweed natural fertilizer with a 1-0-2 ratio. It’s great for promoting flowers!
Natural Fertilizer During Fruiting
Fruit-set is the most crucial part of plant development for home gardeners after initial establishment. The way you care for your plants during fruiting will determine whether you have tasty, nutritious fruits and vegetables, or diseased, small, and less flavorful vegetables. A well-balanced fertilizer with a little bit less nitrogen and micronutrients will make your tomatoes, strawberries, sweet corn, and other food nutritious and delicious. ProtoGrow is a great natural fertilizer for application during fruiting.
Pay Attention to Your Plants
Your plants will tell you when they need food and water. It is very important to take your plant’s needs into consideration when applying fertilizer. Too much is not good for the plant or the environment. (In this case, too much of a good thing is actually a bad thing!). Too little, and your plants will not develop properly. If you have any questions about the timing of fertilizer use and the best products for your plants, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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