How, why and when to fertilize your plants


The maintenance of plants and to keep them as fresh as you’d want them to be is often difficult. Amidst the climate, pests, and other challenges you need to ensure that the plants look as healthy and sound as they could be expected under the circumstances. Plants that are not well-fertilized will be slow-growing, discolored with plenty of weeds, and pest infestations.

Fertilizers provide the essential nutrients to grow and maintain a healthy garden. Without fertilizers, mother nature struggles to replenish the basic nutrients in the soil. Plants need fertilizers as much as they need sunlight and water for their survival and growth. A regular and balanced dose of important nutrients goes a long way to ensure better growth of the plants. If the soil is not replenished with basic nutrients the plant health will deteriorate over time.

When it comes to feeding the plants, it can be overwhelming to most of us. If the plants are not provided with sufficient nutrients, they will start showing signs of distress. Once you understand what your plants need based on the nutrient deficiency symptoms it will be easier for you to apply the right nutrients in time. If you skip fertilizing your plants, they won’t grow as healthy as they should.

There are several great benefits of fertilizing your garden periodically.
Through this post, we are going to give you a few reasons why fertilization is important for the well-being of your plants. Without further ado, let’s break into the details.

So why exactly do plants need fertilization?

Nutrient-rich soil is all you need to establish and maintain a healthy-looking garden. Just like humans, plants need a set of basic nutrients to grow healthy. Fertilizers provide the essential nutrients required for plant growth. There are three key elements or macronutrients in the soil including potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus that are required for the well-being of plants.

The deficiency of these essential nutrients can retard plant growth. You will eventually end up with sad plants with weaker stems, smaller leaves, fewer flowers with very poor colors. These key nutrients play an integral role in plant health and development. There are some micronutrients that are required in trace quantities, but you don’t need to worry about them.

Though these nutrients are naturally present in the soil, they can be often washed away at the hands of time, rain, climatic changes, and harsh environmental conditions. Due to these adversaries, the soil becomes deficient in one or more essential nutrients. At the end of the day what you get is a clumsy-looking garden full of faded grass.

Fertilizers are a great source to supply plenty of nutrients to encourage the lush and healthy growth of the plants. Fertilizers will keep your garden fresh throughout the year.

Fertilizers boost healthy plant growth

You must have experienced the frustration of plants growing healthy in one patch of the garden, while unhealthy in the other patch of the garden. This is mainly due to the deficiency of essential nutrients in unhealthy plants.

A healthy garden needs plenty of nutrients to flourish. Fertilizers increase the nutrient availability in the soil making the soil nourishing for the plants. The plants will grow healthier and faster in fertile soil. Fertilization will make the plants root better and grow deeper.

Moreover, a healthy plant will be more tolerant to the attack of insect pests and diseases. The plants will grow healthier and thicker with better fertilization and will be difficult for the pests to invade and damage. Give your plants plenty of nutrients to grow healthier and last longer.

Fertilizers are easy to apply

Fertilization is quite an easy task. You don’t need special training or a degree to fertilize your garden because it’s not rocket science. You can spread fertilizer easily across your garden without hiring professional help. Make sure the fertilizer is evenly applied across the garden. With just a little effort you will make your garden look great.

Fertilizers are not expensive

You might be worried about the cost of fertilizers. Don’t worry you will get the best look for your garden without stressing your budget. Luckily, the cost of buying fertilizers is very low and you can make your plants grow healthy and happy with minimal investment. It will not only save you money, but it will also improve the curb appeal of your garden.

For best results with your fertilization efforts, you should also treat your plants with lime.

Lime treatment

Several factors can hamper the growth of your plants ranging from harsh weather to insect pests and diseases, the list is quite long. One of the most important factors is soil pH or soil acidity levels. Soil pH also alters the microbial activity in the soil the is responsible for the decomposition of organic matter and replenishes nutrients in the soil. The neutral soil pH provides favorable conditions for microbial activity that increases the availability of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur. This is where the lime treatment works. Lime treatment is a great way to help your garden recover the basic nutrients that may have been lost due to acidity.

By lime application in your garden, you can adjust the pH levels in the soil that reduces weed growth and sustains the beneficial microbial activity in the soil. Lime treatment also enhances the root development in plants and helps in better absorption of nutrients from the soil. By fertilizing your garden plants monthly, you will be able to keep your plants looking healthy and great.

How often should I fertilize my plants?

Humans can take vitamin supplements daily, but plants don’t need fertilizers very often. How many times you should fertilize your garden depends on the types of plants you are growing and the time of the year. Some garden plants need more nutrients these include the species that are fast-growing and bloom a lot such as annual plants, veggies, roses, and fruits. These plants like to be fertilized once a month during the active growing season with a general-purpose balanced liquid fertilizer.

Some other crops and perennials such as coneflowers and bee balm, trees, and shrubs don’t need fertilizers at all. You may need to feed them once in the spring season as they start preparing for new growth.

During the active growing phase spring and summer seasons, the plants benefit from liquid fertilizers once a month. Many flowering and leafy houseplants follow a seasonal fertilization schedule, their nutrient needs tend to slow down during the cooler months of the year.

If you often forget to fertilize your garden use slow-release granule fertilizers or pellets that you can easily put into the soil every few months or so. For indoor succulents, that don’t need a lot of fertilizers just one or two does of balanced liquid fertilizer will be enough year-round.

How to apply fertilizers to your garden

To apply fertilizers correctly you must know when and how to apply fertilizers. The correct application of fertilizers at the right time is essential to ensure the supply of nutrients to your plants.

Here is what you must know to apply fertilizers effectively.

1. Choose the correct dose of fertilizer

Choose a well-balanced dose of fertilizer of 5:5:5 or 10:10:10 strength. The numbers indicate that the fertilizer is balanced in key nutrients. The first number indicates the strength of nitrogen in fertilizer, the second number indicates the amount of phosphate and the third number indicates the amount of potassium.

Before purchasing fertilizer, it is important to know which fertilizer is best suited for your gardening needs.

2. Add fertilizer to the base of the plant to feed the roots

To feed the roots of your plants you can apply manure or compost during planting or before the growing season. It will increase the nutrient availability in the soil through composting.

When the plants are established in the soil you can apply fertilizers at the base to supply essential nutrients to the plants.

3. Apply fertilizers to the foliage

Though plant roots acquire essential nutrients from the soil, it is essential to feed the foliage too. Plants tend to absorb 20 times more nutrients through their foliage than roots. Therefore, it is recommended to apply liquid fertilizers to the foliage from time to time. However, make sure what type of plants you are going to feed because some plant varieties don’t need fertilizers as much as the others do.

In addition, liquid fertilizers can increase the yield of crops. It is always a great idea to spray your plants with a liquid fertilizer before transplanting, during blooming, and after the fruits begin to appear.

4. Check the fertility status of your soil and PH

Make sure you check the fertility status of your soil for any nutrient deficiencies. In case of any deficiency, you will need to apply a balanced dose of fertilizer to replenish the soil with the deficient nutrients. Also, check the soil pH because if the soil pH is not suitable the plants won’t be able to absorb sufficient nutrients. Most of the plants usually work best at 6 to 7 pH.

Well, now you know all the basics of why, how, and when to fertilize your plants, if you keep feeding your plants then in time, they will grow fine.

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