Natural Garden Fertilizer: Feeding Plants So They Can Feed You
Feeding plants is an important aspect to organic gardening. One you cannot ignore. Imagine working at a job where you are not allowed to eat anything all day. How much work do you think you’d be getting done by 3PM? You’re probably not going to put in your best effort in such an environment. Heck, I’d probably quit the first week! Now apply that scenario to your vegetable garden. Do you think you will get the healthy yield you’re looking for if your plants are starved? Plants need nutrients to thrive, and we don’t always have the perfect soil to keep them healthy. That’s where a quality natural garden fertilizer comes in handy. It’s food for your plants! Give your garden the tools it needs to produce abundantly for you. Choose a quality natural garden fertilizer. Don’t let your plants fall down on the job!
Soil Health: The Secret to Giant Yields
Depending on location, your soil might lack certain nutrients like nitrogen, sulfur or magnesium. Some gardeners choose specific plants that work well in their unique soil conditions. Even then, you might find that supplementation with a Natural Garden Fertilizer improves yields.
How to Build Soil
There are many tried and true methods to increase soil health. Primarily, you have to concern yourself with getting good organic matter into your garden soil. You can use mulch or till in soil amendments. Another method is to place animals uphill from your garden or let them browse the area between seasons. If you don’t have animals, you can always use a living mulch like comfrey to accumulate nutrients for your plants.
However, I’d like to talk specifically about foliar feeding as a means to increase soil biology. Foliar feeding is simply the method of spraying a liquid fertilizer directly onto plant leaves. They absorb over 90% of the nutrients and transport some of them to the root system. If you leave these roots in the ground to decay over the winter, they feed the soil ecosystem. If you’re trying to build soil, you’re probably already adding some kind of natural fertilizer into the mix. Foliar feeding is a great way to make sure most of that stays deep in the soil instead of washing away.
Why Can’t I Just Use Cheap Fertilizer?
We hear this a lot. People think that chemical fertilizers work just as good for a lower cost. It’s often argued that the chemicals fertilizers have a higher N-P-K number so they must work better.
There’s cheap and then there’s thrifty. The thrifty choice is clearly natural fertilizers. Thrift means buying something with a long-term value that’s much greater than the initial cost. Over time, natural fertilizers improve soil providing greater value. Chemical fertilizers sacrifice soil health for short-term gains. They have high amounts of salts due to the manufacturing process. This tends to kill off healthy bacteria leading to poor soil and erosion. Cheap isn’t always better.
What’s the best Natural Garden Fertilizer?
The truth is, it depends! Your soil is unique with a specific mix of minerals already present. What works great in one area might not have the same success in another. So, consider getting a soil analysis to see what your exact needs are. You might find that instead of purchasing a general fertilizer that you have a magnesium deficiency that’s remedied with something as simple as Epsom salts. If you want to know what the best general fertilizer is, again that’s up to debate.
However, we’re really fond of the Neptune’s Harvest 4-2-1 product. You can use it in a foliar spray to get those 90% or greater absorption rates. Whatever you choose, be sure to observe your plants before and after. Stick to the manufacturers application rates, and watch for signs of distress due to over application of chemical fertilizers. One final thought: If you use a natural fertilizer that attracts soil life, you invariably attract earthworms. A healthy acre of earthworms produce over 700 lbs. of worm castings each day! So, build the soil and results will steadily improve.
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