Balcony and garden plants need several nutrients to grow healthy and also to give a good crop of fruit and flowers. These nutrients can be applied to the soil as fertilizer. If you follow some simple rules, basic in terms of fertilization, you can expect a good harvest. Moreover, our plant will become resistant to diseases and parasites.
If you are looking for a suitable fertilizer, we have to choose between mineral and organic fertilizers. If we refer to mineral ones, best known is the term NPK fertilizer, signifying that nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Nitrogen is indispensable for plant growth. Phosphorus strengthens roots and provides a magnificent appearance of flowers, leaves and fruits. Without potassium, the watering process is disturbed. Using such fertilizers, possible shortcomings of plants can be removed reliably and quickly. Mineral fertilizers with longer duration of action, on the contrary, provide a slower absorption of nutrients. The reasoning is that nutrients are lined by a coating of resin which decomposes slowly.
Organic fertilizers also have a long lasting effect. The best known organic fertilizers are compost and sawdust or dust. Compost, for example, is welcome for nutrition of different trees and shrubs. Semi-mature compost is particularly rich in nitrogen. Its application is recommended to be made only on the surface, whereas deeper infiltration could damage plant roots. Mature compost contains few nutrients that improve soil structure. In addition, there are special fertilizers for which nutrient content is adapted to certain species of plants, such as roses.
When to use fertilizers?
In principle you should apply fertilizer in the growing season, which starts in February and ends in August. If you apply it for a long period of time, it might adversely affect the proper preparation of plant for the resting period. They will give new buds, too sensitive and fragile that will frost.
Appropriate use of fertilizers for turf is done once in the spring, then late summer and then at the end of the growing season in autumn. The fertilizer should be applied on cut grass to make sure it comes in contact with the ground, quickly. After application, the lawn should be watered so that the fertilizer dissolve and acts completely.
What amount of fertilizer do we need?
The amount of fertilizer that we could use should be adapted, on the one hand, to soil conditions and, on the other hand, on plant needs. Information about soil conditions you can get, for example, from the regional meteorological center. Studies in the last decade have shown that, often, on the vegetable gardens are applied too much fertilizer, while lawns are poorly fed.
In general, we should not use too much fertilizer because a too high concentration of nutrients affects plant’ roots. If there is an excess of this type, water-soluble nutrients are washed and taken to the underlying soil and, eventually, reach the groundwater. Thus, it is always better to apply a smaller amount of fertilizer to ensure that the environment and our wallet are spared.