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6 Types Of Fertilizers

To ensure healthy growth of plants, you need to add fertilizers to the soil. This is because the nutrients are lost due to absorption by the plants and through leaching and washing or simply evaporation. But to use fertilizers optimally, you need to know the specific nutrient-need of each vegetable and benefits of each of those nutrients.

Out of the many things that a plant needs for growth, three are available readily in the air and soil. However, the plants also consumes nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in large quantities. Hence these elements have to be added to soil through fertilizers.

Poultry and animal manure, bone meal, green manure,granite dust, wood ashes, and phosphate rock, all fall under the broad category of organic fertilizers.

1. Manure : The main organic fertilizer is the manure (horse,cow, pig, chicken,rabbit, etc.). Dehydrated, raw, and composted manures are available. Most garden enthusiasts do not like raw manure because of its stench. It also attracts the flies and insects. More over raw manure can contain a lot of weed seeds which have remained undigested. Because of the nitrogen-rich surrounding these seeds germinate fast and give way to weed formation. To manage these weeds is often a laborious and hard task.

Since it hampers germination, fresh raw manure should be kept away from seeds. On the contrary, it should be mingled with the soil, watered frequently before planting the seeds. The only good feature about raw manure is that it is available cheap. Dehydrated and composted manure have to bad smell. The content of nutrition of dehydrated manure is always written on the bag in which it is sold. Before you make the dehydrated manure come in contact with the seeds, you must water it several times. You can however apply composted manure safely anytime.

2. Green manure : To add further nutrients and other organic matter to the soil, usually green manure is ploughed in. It is a kind of a crop that is grown specifically for this purpose. Examples of green manure are alfalfa, clover, red clover, buckwheat, Sudan grass, and oats. The first three are legumes. Roots of these can add valuable nitrogen to the soil, but they a long time to grow.

Crops with green manure are usually planted in summer before fall planting or you may plant them during late fall, before spring planting. Give a three week gap between plowing the green manure crop and planting a crop. You must remember that green manure crops are not suitable for areas which face harsh winter and undergo freezing temperatures.

3. Bone meal : It is nothing but bones of animals which are crushed. This organic fertilizer has poor content of nitrogen and potassium but is rich in phosphorous. For rapid growth of plant roots, bone meal is used as a starter fertilizer, because of its high phosphorous content. One of the benefits of bone meal is that it does not burn the seeds, but its expensive. Bone meal promotes the growth of vegetables and herbs if you add it to potting soil.

4. Granite Dust : This manure does not contain nitrogen and phosphorous but contains 4% potassium. It takes very long, nearly 4 years for granite dust to add nutrients to the plants.

5. Phosphate rock : As the name suggests, it is rich in phosphorous but lacks nitrogen and potassium. It also takes many years for the nutrients from this manure to be added to the soil.

6. Wood ashes : This phosphorous-rich fertilizer is a very good source of potassium. Because they are formed burning wood, most of the nitrogen gets evaporated. Thus it does not contain any nitrogen. Depending on the type of wood, the nutrient content varies. Since they are alkaline in nature, it can be added to reduce the soil acidity.

Submitted by:

Jackson Porter

Jackson Porter is a staff writer at Home Garden Enthusiast and is an occasional contributor to several other websites, including Environmental Central.




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