You want your beautiful turf grass, rose bushes and tomato plants to turn heads: learning which fertilizers will make your plants flourish is a good first step.
By giving your flowering plants the right kind of fertilizer, you’ll help them develop strong roots and stems, which in turn helps to produce gorgeous leaves and petals.
You’ll also improve your vegetable harvest, which can save you money on groceries. With a bit of research, you’ll soon take your gardening and lawn care to a whole new level.
Types of Fertilizer
Types of Fertilizer
Fertilizing larger yards and gardens can be both time-consuming and difficult. However, with liquid fertilizer, you’re able to cover large areas in no time. In fact, some liquid fertilizer packages attach directly to your garden hose, allowing you to water and feed your plants at the same time.
Liquid fertilizers also mix easily, making it simple to create blended batches. Plants and grass also like liquid fertilizers, because they can absorb the nutrients immediately, without waiting for the fertilizer to dissolve.
If you’re looking to reduce the number of fertilizer applications you make each year (while also gaining more control over nutrient release), go with granular or dry fertilizers.
These fertilizers are available in two basic types: quick release and slow release. Quick-release fertilizer lasts three to four weeks, while slow-release fertilizer lasts two to three months. Whichever type you use, you won’t have to fertilize your lawn or garden as often as with liquid fertilizers, and the nutrients become available to the plant roots at a steady pace.
Keep in mind that rainfall and watering will cause the pellets to dissolve more rapidly. Granular fertilizers come in easy-to-handle pellet form and are normally applied with a mechanical spreader.
If you prefer organic gardening or lawn care, there are many organic fertilizers to choose from. Organic fertilizers feed natural nutrients to your soil at a slow, consistent pace, while also adding new organic matter to improve the soil’s condition.
Different types of organic fertilizer include blood meal, bone meal, cow manure, cottonseed meal and fish meal. A key benefit of organic fertilizers is they present little danger to plants from overuse. Organic fertilizers also nurture soil microbes, which help plants to extract the food they need from the soil.
Some plants such as roses, orchids, and African violet are finicky eaters that require specific nutrition from their fertilizer. For these plants, you can purchase specially formulated plant food with instructions on how to apply it.
Feeding your favourite blooms and other plants the foods they thrive on is a simple way to ensure your garden performs at its very best.
Fertilizing and lawn care tips
- Test your soil to determine the pH level and nutrient status before selecting a fertilizer.
- Feed plants in the morning, water them at night.
- Mix solid fertilizers well with the surrounding soil.
- Ensure liquid fertilizer is properly diluted to avoid burning your plants.
- Don’t spray liquid fertilizer on your plant’s leaves.
- After over-seeding your lawn’s brown patches in spring, follow up with grass fertilizer.
Weeds compete with your grass and plants for the moisture and nutrients in the soil, so weed control is vital for a beautiful lawn or healthy harvest.
Many fertilizers contain added ingredients that won’t harm your plants but are toxic to common weeds such as dandelions and crabgrass.
Aphids, grubs, caterpillars, beetles and a host of other lawn and garden pests can wreak havoc in your yard.
Many fertilizers contain deterrents and toxins that target specific pests but won’t damage your plants.
Plants need a range of nutrients to grow and thrive. Macronutrients are the nutrients they consume in large amounts. The three main macronutrients responsible for healthy growth are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.
When shopping for fertilizer, check the side of the package to see what percentage of these elements the product contains.
Plants consume many micronutrients, but the most important ones are iron, copper manganese, zinc, molybdenum and chlorine. Only trace amounts of these micronutrients are needed.
If any are lacking, your plants are less able to manufacture critical proteins and enzymes they need to function.
How to read a fertilizer label
Fertilizers come in different blends and strengths.
The “N-P-K” number that appears on the fertilizer package indicates the percentage by weight of the three major ingredients:
- Nitrogen (N)
- Phosphorus (P)
- Potassium (K)
The larger the number, the more of the nutrient present in the mix.