Fertilizers are a concentrated source of different plant nutrients that typically come in compact forms such as powders, granules, liquids, or pellets. Fertilizers are typically used for improving plant yields and growth.
Reasons To Use Fertilizers
Fertilizers help to enhance plant growth. When plants grow faster, they will benefit even more from fertilizer applications. In environments with healthy soil, fertilizers are not always necessary, but when used they can help to produce showier displays of blooms. They can also help to encourage higher yields in edible crops.
What Are Fertilizers?
Fertilizers are made up of concentrated plant nutrient sources in either an organic or chemical form. Many contain the main plant nutrients that plants require in large amounts. Some will also include trace elements that the plants only require in very small amounts.
Choice Of Product
Fertilizers are available in two types which include organic, which means it is derived from animals or plants, and inorganic, which means it is man-made.
These are artificial, synthetic plant nutrient forms or mined naturally-occurring minerals. Inorganic fertilizers are generally faster-acting and more concentrated when compared to organic fertilizers.
These products come from animal or plant sources and contain different plant nutrients in an organic form. Organic fertilizers are usually slower-acting since the large molecules present in these products need to be broken down by organisms in the soil so that the nutrients are released and ready for the plants to use. Organic fertilizer examples include bone meal, liquid comfrey, nettle feeds, poultry manure powder or pellets, fish bones and blood, dried blood, hoof, horns, or seaweed.
Organic and inorganic fertilizers are available in these product types:
These fertilizers include a combination of nutrients, that might be balanced (meaning they contain similar proportions of all the main plant nutrients) or they might supply a higher amount of certain nutrients when compared to others, which usually matches up to the different requirements of crops. They can be inorganic or organic, or a combination of both.
These are the products that usually only contain 1 or mainly 1 nutrient. They are typically used for providing different types of nutrients at a set time in a year, or for correcting specific nutrient deficiencies. These are typically inorganic products.
Controlled Release Fertilizers
These are usually always inorganic granule fertilizers that are coated with porous materials such as synthetic resin or sulphur. When the granules are exposed to water, the fertilizer will leach out and spread into the soil. The leaching speeds up in warmer soil which corresponds to the growth of plants which are also faster when the weather is warm.
Slow Release Fertilizers
These are products that are designed to degrade slowly caused of the micro-organisms in the soil cause the nutrients to release. These products are also dependent on the temperature of the soil. They are typically organic products that include bone meal and hoof & horn.
Tips On How To Use Fertilizers
Fertilizers can be applied in various ways, and the technique you have chosen will depend greatly on the products that you use. IBC pump kits are for different applications pre-assembled pump kits consisting of a motor, pump, hose, hand nozzle and compression gland; they are ideal for fast use.
Below are a few common application methods, including an example of when to use these methods.
This involves applying a quick-acting fertilizer to the surface of the soil around a plant to help stimulate growth. It is generally used in spring, just before the growing season. Make sure you do not let the product come into contact with the leaves, since it will scorch them, and also be mindful not to over-apply the product since it can lead to root damage or pollution to the groundwater.
This involves incorporating fertilizer into potting compost or soil before planting or sowing.
Soluble powders, liquid fertilizers, or granules are usually diluted or dissolved onto the roots of the plant during the growing season, which gives the plant a very quick boost. They are usually applied to feed pot plants, bedding, and glasshouse crops. Nutrients present in liquid fertilizers are available instantly.