Archives for : December 2013

What You Need to Know About Fertilizers When Gardening  57

Plants need enough light, water and nutrients to grow healthy. Fertilizers provide the desired nutrient in the soil for plants to thrive well and produce more yields. Gardeners are usually unsatisfied with the nutrients present in the soil, thus adding necessary fertilizers can really improve its quality. Sometimes, organic materials are not enough to supply the needed supplements of plants which fertilizers can possibly complete.

What Chemicals is Present

In purchasing fertilizers, checking the labels is a must. The bag contains the list of the contents and the percentage of the chemicals included. Usually, plant fertilizers have “NPK” numbers which symbolizes for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These three are the basic nutrients needed by the plants to grow.

  • Nitrogen – this is represented by N in the label. This chemical is needed for foliage growth. However there are nitrogen fixing crops, usually from the legume family, that have bacteria in their nodules which produce nitrogen compounds for healthy growth of the plants. These kind of plants ask little amount of nitrogen.


  • Potassium – this nutrient speeds up plants maturity which helps in the development of its tissues for good blooming and fruit production. This is the P in the label.


  • Phosphorous – this chemical is used by plants for cellular process and photosynthesis. This is the third number in the series, K.

Test Your Soil

To determine your garden’s soil PH, it is essential to have it checked and analyzed. This will verify how much percentage of the chemicals is needed for plants to thrive well. This is the best idea to do if you are planning to plant a specific crop in your garden.

What Fertilizers Do Your Plants Need

Bags of fertilizers usually have NPK printed on its package to show the content of each chemical. Also, each bag is different from the other as one nutrient is higher than the others.

  • There are fertilizers that came from plants which can be applied as often as you need it, depending on how much your plant requires. Examples include the soybean meal, corn gluten meal and alfalfa meal.


  • Another variety of fertilizers are those derived from plants. This kind of plant is perfect for foliage growth as it is abundant in nitrogen. While manure may not be rich in nutrients, it helps in keeping water moisture and promotes necessary microorganisms.


  • Fertilizers that are mineral-based seem slow in releasing nutrients in the soil which makes it a long-term soil fixer. Applying them consistently creates a healthy soil which doesn’t need more fertilizers in the future. These kinds of fertilizers are of general use and are usually labeled as “all-purpose” or “balanced”.


Fertilizers are applied on the soil to give it a boost in ensuring the healthy grow of the plants. It is very important that you test the soil to determine what nutrient is missing and how much does it need. Also, the plants you want to place in your garden play an important role to determine the kind of fertilizer that is needed.


More than the high yields, it is self-satisfying to see your lush garden blooming with healthy crops and flowers. For starters, please be guided in using these fertilizers so as to avoid any hassle in the future. And keep in mind that it is always wiser to read the labels when you are unsure of what to do.