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Fertilisers 101: What You Need to Know

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Fertilisers are natural or artificial substances that help plants and trees thrive and grow. Flowering plants will produce bigger and more vibrant flowers with more feeding.

Feeding trees allow them to produce delicious and fresh fruits but some may need acidity in the soil. Guava, citrus and mango trees may need low pH fertilisers, so you may check on those with high nitrogen content.

It helps to know what your plants need to increase their productivity. By doing so, you are also helping them fight off diseases. Remember that a well-nourished plant is set to be more productive and beautiful. So why don’t we understand what and how fertilisers can help us nurture our plants.

Fertilisers 101: What You Need to Know

Before heading out to buy plant food, you need to know a few things. First, know the type suitable for your plants. And second, have your soil tested to know what nutrients it lacks. The soil test can help determine whether you should buy a complete or incomplete fertiliser.

What is the difference between complete and incomplete fertilisers?

A complete fertiliser consists of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) while an incomplete plant food only has 1 or 2 of the nutrients. If the packaging says, 15-0-0, then it only contains nitrogen. The soil test will help you ascertain what nutrients you need to compensate your soil with.

After knowing what your soil needs, the next thing to decide on is whether you need a dry or liquid fertiliser.

What are dry and liquid fertilisers?

Dry fertilisers come in granules or coated pellets. On the other hand, liquid fertilisers come in concentrates or sprays. Dry pellets and liquid concentrates are typically diluted in water. You may read the indications on their containers or you may ask your trusted fertiliser supplier for the formulation.

Whether you opt for a dry or liquid feeding, you need to know what your plants need.

Do they need a quick boost or long-term sustenance?

So, the next thing to figure out is whether you want a slow-release or a quick-release fertiliser.

Which is more beneficial, a slow-release or a quick-release fertiliser?

Depending on the needs of your plants, both a slow-release or a quick-release can be beneficial to your greenery.  Quick-release is applied when your plants need instant boosting, while slow-release take a longer time to release nutrients into the soil.

In essence, quick-release plant food makes nutrients readily available for the plants. It helps stimulate fast grass-shoot growth or rooting. This type of fertiliser is highly recommended for new lawns or those that need quick growth.

Slow-release formulas let out nutrients at a moderate rate. They can last between 6 to 8 weeks or even longer. These fertilisers are more beneficial to plants as they can receive nutrients for a longer period.

Some homeowners combine both quick and slow-release feedings on their lawns, especially those who wanted to immediately boost their new turf while ensuring longer-lasting fertilisation.

Now that you have an idea about what can boost your plant’s growth, it is time to choose between organic and synthetic fertilisers.

What are the pros and cons of organic and synthetic fertilisers?

Both organic and synthetic fertilisers offer advantages to plants. Organic formulas contain more natural ingredients like plant and animal wastes and composts. Synthetic plant foods, on the other hand, are the product of refined chemical processing.

While synthetic feeding provide an immediate boost to your plants, organic fertilisers offer less damage to your plants and the soil. The best thing about organic mixes is that they are environmentally friendly.

Synthetic plant foods are best applied in early spring since most of these are soluble in water. These types of fertilisers work even in cold soil and when soil microbes are inert.

Aside from these types of fertilisers, it also helps that you know what your plant needs.

Nutrients That Plants Need

There are 6 major nutrients that your plants need.

  1. Nitrogen: this is the protein supply of plants that help create new tissues.
  2. Phosphorus: this helps boost flower and fruit production.
  3. Potassium: this helps plants produce carbohydrates while ensuring resistance to diseases.
  4. Carbon Dioxide: this helps plants grow healthier and produce more flowers or fruits.
  5. Hydrogen: this helps in the production of glucose that plants need.
  6. Oxygen: this helps plants photosynthesise.

Aside from these 6 major nutrients, 3 additional nutrients also matter to plant growth.

  1. Calcium: this is needed by plant cell membranes to neutralise toxic materials.
  2. Magnesium: this helps plants process sunlight during photosynthesis.
  3. Sulphur: this is necessary for chlorophyll formation.

Fertilisers play an important role to help your plants grow and flourish. Always make sure that you follow the necessary procedures to ensure that plants get the most out of their food.

Contact Mazzega’s Landscaping Supplies for the right type of fertiliser!

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