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All About Fertilizer

Follow your instinctsChoosing a fertilizer for your lawn or garden can baffle even the most seasoned horticulturist. The first option you may want to evaluate is whether to use inorganic or organic fertilizers. Wading through the extensive research documents and periodicals will likely convince you of what you already supposed. Decide what your needs and tastes are to save some time. Should you be aiming to dwarf your neighbor’s tomatoes and make his lawn look like a wasteland, you’ll probably want some chemical fertilizer. If you derive great pride from a natural approach, go organic.

The main elements of most commercial fertilizers are the three main macronutrients; Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus. Respectively, they are responsible for increasing yields, photosynthesis, and efficient water use. The three numbers on all fertilizer labels display the percentage content of each macronutrient. Typically, the bulk of your fertilizer will be filler, which assists in even distribution, and a slew of macronutrients. Exactly what ratios you need will depend on your soil.

Chemicals – Nutritious or pernicious?

Building an argument against the use of chemical plant fertilizer is a lofty task. It is a highly regulated industry and the subject of many safety and efficiency studies that typically encourage responsible chemical use. Widespread use of chemicals with modern fertilizer equipment has provided affordable, abundant fruits and vegetables, increased land efficiency, and staved off global warming by encouraging the production of oxygen in healthy plants.

However, there is cause for concern that spurs the popularity of organic fertilizer. Sulphuric and hydrochloric acids present in chemical fertilizers prove hazardous to microorganisms and micronutrients necessary for healthy plants. It is also evident that citrus trees produce fruits lacking in vitamin C when chemically treated. Proponents will also often cite the success of organic techniques for farmers in developing countries. It should be noted that when funds are available, these farmers prefer chemically enhanced supplements over the supposedly eco-friendly alternatives.

So, you may want to go for the natural approach with some homemade compost or manure. They add nutrients, improve the soil structure and water holding capacity, and reduce erosion. So there’s still a good chance you can disgrace your neighbor’s laboratory garden at a fraction of the cost with minimal effort.




August 21, 2009 Posted by | Fertilizer | Leave a comment