A flourishing garden teeming with vibrant blooms, luscious fruits, and abundant vegetables is a testament to the power of proper fertilization. Fertilizers are the lifeblood of a garden, providing essential nutrients that fuel plant growth and ensure optimal health. However, mastering the art of fertilizing is more than just a matter of applying nutrients—it requires an understanding of soil composition, plant requirements, and timing. Here are some tips for a healthier and more productive gardening through the art of fertilizing.
What Is Fertilizer?
Fertilizer is an essential part of every healthy plant’s diet. Sure, a lot of plants can grow with the bare minimum effort. Though, the health, quality, flavor, and vibrancy of said plants will be lackluster at best. If you want a beautiful garden full of healthy, thriving plants and produce, applying quality fertilizer is key.
What exactly is fertilizer? Fertilizer is a mixture of compost. Oftentimes made up of kitchen scraps, grass clippings, eggshells, coffee grounds, and sometimes manure. All of these fantastic ingredients go together to create lovely compost for hungry plants. Fertilizer is full of important nutrients like potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. All of which help your plants to grow faster, larger, and more plentiful.
Make Your Own
The best thing you can do for your plants is make your own fertilizer at home. The fertilizer purchased at the store isn’t even close to the real thing. Store-bought products may also contain synthetic chemicals and cause a host of issues to your beautiful garden. Stay far away from the popularized premade fertilizers.
Making your own at home is quite simple. All you need to do is slowly collect kitchen scraps and organic matter like fruit peels, vegetable scraps, eggshells, and coffee grounds. Pile them in a large container and mix them with things like sticks, leaves, and grass clippings. In time, the organic matter will begin to break down and turn into delicious food for your plants.
Applying fertilizer is easy, but you have to know when and how. Fertilizer is best applied to the soil mixture before each new growing season. This allows for a healthy and strong start to a young plant’s life. Fertilizing during the growing season, instead of before, is quite alright, but the sooner the better. This will ensure your plants have the healthiest start to their life cycle. In the warmer months, fertilizer should be applied during cooler hours of the day.
Either early morning or later at night. One important tip to keep in mind, fertilizer needs to be thoroughly mixed in with whatever soil mixture your plants are placed in. Otherwise, there will be pockets of soil without fertilizer and pockets of fertilizer without soil. Plain fertilizer is not enough to keep plants alive, so those pockets of fertilizer can harm your plants. Combine everything together thoroughly before placing your plants into the mixture. You can apply fertilizer every 3 to 4 weeks to ensure a happy and healthy garden.
Know When To Water
Knowing when to water the soil after you’ve incorporated your fertilizer is more important than one would think. When it comes to your home garden, it is best to water the soil 1 to 2 days after applying fertilizer. Waiting allows the fertilizer to settle in with the soil mixture. Adding water too soon may break up the mixture, or upset the delicate, soft soil. Once you’re able to safely water your plants, give them a healthy amount of moisture and water enough to reach at least a few inches deep.