Allow the soil to be fed and it will feed the plants. However, like many individuals you might be thinking of this particular topic; although nutrients are not required by the soil, the vegetation does. Therefore, how will providing nutrients to the soil help the plants? There is one more world beneath the surface of the soil which the majority of the gardeners do not appreciate fully. Yet, we’re told by the soil scientists that in appropriate conditions the soil is full of numerous beneficial microorganisms offering everything to the plants which will be required by them for growing naturally.
It is important for us not to dehydrate the soil with a surplus amount of salts which come from excessive use of synthetic fertilizers. Instead, the soil should be supplied with organic matter consisting of shredded leaves, aged manure, or compost which will help to encourage the development of the plants in the long run.
There are a couple of ways in which plants will be able to obtain their primary nutrients. The first will be by means of artificial synthetic fertilizers. These are usually salt-based compounds consisting of nutrients like potassium, phosphorus, or nitrogen. These chemical substances are available to the plant once they pass by the roots or as the particles become dissolved.
Nutrients which are not taken up immediately while passing by the roots will be gone forever. Moreover, no salt will be left behind whatsoever. To make things complicated, the unused and surplus chemicals will be passing through to aquifers. In this way, the wildlife, plants, human beings, as well as climate might have adverse consequences.
Although it is a fact that plenty of salt residue will be required for causing significant harm to the living organisms present in the soil, it definitely has an adverse effect, particularly cumulatively. In this way, we come to one more method of providing nutrients to the plants out there.
It happens to be organic matter such as organic fertilizer and compost which creates the soil’s lasting health. In case synthetics are considered to be junk food items, then this organic matter implies healthy food which will help to build long-term soil quality.
In this particular process, instead of making an attempt to fulfill the immediate craving by providing a quick fix without any genuine nutritional value, the focus will be on providing the soil with whatever is required by it to provide nutrients naturally to the plants in the garden.
It is imperative for the organic nutrients to be broken down at first and they should be digested by the fungi and bacteria present in the soil along with other creatures such as small insects and the earthworm. Together, they help to provide nutrients organically that can be used by the plants while improving the structure of the soil as well.
As compared to synthetic chemicals which are water-soluble, nutrients which are derived organically will bind to the soil particles effectively. The end result will be a cache of nutritional elements which stay within the soil until they are used by the plants.
While we’re providing the soil with organic matter, the existing soil organisms use these inputs and go on supplying nutrients and food which help to support plant life and other living organisms. As a result, we are rewarded with a balanced and thriving ecosystem.
Compost – the most effective way of feeding the soil
It does not matter whether you purchase or prepare the compost it is the best way of feeding the soil and allowing it to feed the plants. In spite of improving soil drainage, compost enables the soil to retain adequate moisture. It aids in creating the sort of soil structure which is essential for water and nutrients to be absorbed and the roots to spread. Apart from this, compost likewise aids in minimizing soil erosion as well as runoff. It helps to safeguard the plants from certain ailments, moderate pH levels, provide food to the earthworms as well as other creatures which live in the soil, support useful microorganisms, and also buffer toxins within the soil.
And the good thing is that it is possible to prepare your own compost without spending anything whatsoever. Every single ingredient required by you will be available from lots of things which would be otherwise thrown away by you from your residence.
How much should you apply?
Make use of a soil calculator for figuring out the amount of compost that will be required for covering an area; try to find out the amount of soil that will be required by you. For this, it is imperative to know the square footage of the location that you want to cover as well as the desired depth.
Moreover, in case you want to make certain that the compost purchased by you is one of the best out there, look for a vendor providing certified compost. In fact, certified composts go through various tests to make sure that what you are purchasing is quite safe and effective for you to use.
Non-compost, organic nutrients
While purchasing other organic substitutes for feeding your soil, the options are usually listed primarily by what they happen to be, such as rock phosphate or bone meal. Below, we have provided a list of the most typically obtainable organic nutrients out there.
Phosphorus – Rock phosphate, bone meal
Nitrogen – Fish emulsion, cottonseed meal, blood meal, seaweed extract
Potassium – Sulfate of potash, greensand
Begin with a soil test
It is a fact that on most occasions, we start providing inputs in the soil without any idea of what will be required out there. Luckily, you will not be causing much damage in case you are adding organic matters. However, the same is not applicable to synthetic, inorganic fertilizers. Nevertheless, make sure not to use organic fertilizers excessively. A soil test will be imperative for figuring out what you have to work with. This will be obtainable from a number of sources. You can buy DIY kits online or from a garden center. However, these kits typically are not accurate when compared with the results you will be getting through private laboratories or your county extension service.
We like to conclude this article by asserting once again that provide the soil with nutrients and allow it to feed the vegetation. Make it an integral part of your gardening mantra and you will be able to do gardening in a safe and eco-friendly manner in the long run.