Furney's Nursery

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Category: Fertilizers

Perfect Soil Preparation Tips for Your Garden

Perfect Soil Preparation Tips for Your GardenFirst thing you need to do with your garden soil is to get a soil test. Results of the soil analysis will guide you for what you need to add to correct the pH and boost deficient nutrients.

A soil rich with organic matter is considered to be best for plant growth. It is a good gardening practice to mix compost into the soil at the start of the gardening year. It enhances the soil’s physical condition, resulting in improved drainage, increased moisture retention and better aeration. Compost compliments soil with organic matter that contains plant nutrients and act as a fertilizer.

Based on specific plant requirements you should add extra nutrients, fertilizers, and additives. For indoor as well as outdoor plants bat and seabird guano provide fast- and slow-release nutrients. It is a nematocide. Bone meal is high in phosphate and good for bulbs and root crops. A blood meal is nitrogen-rich dried powdered animal blood and builds leafy green plants. It also helps in controlling moles, squirrels, and deer. Cottonseed meal is a high-nitrogen, slow-release fertilizer that also adds organic material to the soil.

As topsoil dressing, you may also apply corn gluten meal-a pre-emergent herbicide. It helps control crabgrass and small weeds. You should apply it when seeds are germinating. It will release nitrogen by decomposing. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate – magnesium and sulfur in a highly soluble form. Magnesium is essential for chlorophyll production which makes plants bushy and green. It helps seeds germinate and improves phosphorous and nitrogen uptake.

Fish emulsion, powder, and meal contain many slow release micronutrients. Kelp and seaweed products are rich with sea minerals including trace elements, amino acids, vitamins, and hormones. These are good for indoor plants, houseplants, outdoor plants, seedlings, and transplants.

Milorganite is a biosolid made from composted dried sewer sludge. It provides nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. If used as topsoil dressing it repels rabbits, voles, squirrels and deer. You should not apply this to the on root vegetables as it may contain heavy metals, pathogens, and salts.

Mycorrhizae are beneficial fungi in the soil that work together with plant roots. Mycorrhizae are critical to providing nutrients and moisture to plants. Miracle-Gro offers several highly soluble quick-release fertilizers that fill different plants’ needs. Osmocote acts as a slow-release resin-coated fertilizer.

Many gardeners prefer using sawdust and wood chips in their gardens but only decomposed sawdust should be applied to the lawn and garden. Wood ashes contain phosphorous and potassium but are alkaline and therefore avoid it using around acid-loving plants like azaleas.

Red worms produce worm castings and it has excellent water holding capability. The water when released is full of rich nutrients. It is good for landscape and houseplants.

You must note that the soil in your garden must be fixed prior to growing anything and it is always better to prepare in advance.

Customize Garden Fertilizer To Grow Vegetables

Customize Garden Fertilizer To Grow VegetablesIt is easier and better to use organic stuff to make fertilizer. You should buy all the ingredients separately so it is easy to customize. Things you might require to customize the fertilizer include canola seed meal, bone meal, kelp meal, and lime and one cubic yard of steer manure.

All these items along with your home compost should provide all the nutrition for vegetables to grow in your garden. If you follow the procedure everything will grow just fine with about one gallon of the mix on a bed three meters by three meters.

Fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, or NPK, which are expressed numerically on labels, such as 5-15-1. Each number represents the percentage of the total mix by weight.

The individual items procured by you would have the following composition for a customized fertilizer for your garden;

Canola meal -Slow release nitrogen and phosphorus with a trace of potassium, roughly 6-2-1.

Bone meal -Moderately slow release nitrogen and phosphorus for root development with the bonus of calcium, roughly 3-15-0.

Kelp meal: Relatively quick to release nitrogen but higher in potassium than seed meals and contains lots of trace minerals, about 1-1-2.

Compost: Improves aeration and moisture retention, about 1-1-1.

Blood meal: I don’t put it in my general purpose mix, but it can provide a  quick hit of nitrogen when slow-release isn’t doing the job, 14-0-0.

Basic customized garden fertilizer to grow vegetables will be mixed up in the combination and specified quantity of 10 parts canola seed meal +1 part lime + 1 part bone meal + 1 part kelp meal.

It is good to keep all the above the components of your fertilizer separate so that you can mix on the fly for each bed of vegetables you plant.

If you are growing potatoes in your garden remember not to include lime in your customized fertilizer. Similarly, tomatoes like phosphorus for fruit growth but prefer slow-release nitrogen.

(Adapted from Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades, by Steve Solomon)

17 Essential Micro-Nutrients and Macro-Nutrients For Plant Growth

17 Essential Micro-Nutrients and Macro-Nutrients For Plant GrowthLet us go back to the basics and learn chemistry that would be extremely helpful in understanding its applications in gardening. Chemical elements analysis reveals that plants need definite proportions of specific elements.

Plant growth is solely dependent on 17 different elements. Presence of all these chemical elements in perfect proportion is primarily responsible for the healthy growth of a plant. As a gardener, you must know about these 17 essential elements. All these elements have been classified into specific categories. Basis of such classification is also interesting to understand. Let us open it up.

Air and Water Macronutrients

There are three (03) macronutrient elements that a plant can derive from air and water. Carbon(C), Hydrogen (H), and Oxygen (O) are these three elements. Clean environment with clean air and quality water are not only important for humans but also for the plants.

Fertilizer Macronutrients        

Some essential elements are primarily derived from the fertilizers. Nitrogen (N), Potassium (K), and Phosphorus (P) are three elements. Fertilizers are the best sources for their replenishment as these elements are required in comparatively large quantities and at regular
frequency. These elements are responsible for the maximum growth of the plants. Adding fertilizers to the soil is one of the best methods to maintain a minimum required level of replenishment.

Secondary Micronutrients

As the name suggests, secondary micronutrients are added with primary micronutrients. More often the process of such addition is coincidental in nature. Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), and Sulfur(S) are three such secondary micronutrients. When you add lime in any form these elements are coincidentally added to it and plants derive them accordingly.

Trace Micronutrients

In chemistry, they are better known as “Trace Elements”. We may also call them minor micronutrients for gardening purposes. These elements are not required in large quantities rather just a trace present would suffice. There are eight (08) such trace elements that are essential for plant growth. These are Manganese(Mn), Boron(B), Iron(Fe), Chlorine(Cl), Cobalt(Co), Molybdenum(Mo), and Zinc(Z).

Common soils contain sufficient quantities of the micro-nutrients. However, a soil test would be better to identify any further need that can be replenished externally. If you apply good soil-building -practices you will perhaps never face any problem.

If you are using synthetic fertilizers in your garden then you must be aware of the fact that there are no trace elements in it. On the other hand, applying organic fertilizers is far better as there are trace elements present in sufficient quantity. Manure, compost, green manures, and mulching are most recommended for this purpose.