The importance of fertilizing soil is unhidden. By applying the right fertilizers, you help your garden plants grow to their fullest. But the bigger question that gardeners have to face is how to select the right fertilizer for their soil. Furthermore, there are different types of fertilizers to choose from.
From Seaweed fertilizers available at Plant Doctor to fish emulsion fertilizers, you’ve got many options. In this article, learn how to boost your soil by selecting the right fertilizer.
What Does Right Fertilizer Mean?
There’s no such thing as the right fertilizer for every soil. It varies depending on the necessities of the soil.
Fertilizer is just one type of soil amendment you can find. The other two are soil inoculant and soil conditioner. So how do these three differentiate from each other? Let’s look at the definition.
- Fertilizers – The fertilizers are those soil amendments that add nutrients to the soil. The nutrients can be both macro- and micronutrients. But gardeners primarily apply fertilizers to add nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to the soil. That’s why, you’ll see most fertilizers display their NPK ratio at the top in bold.
- Soil Inoculants – Soil inoculants are added to the soil to increase its biological life count. The biology includes certain fungi and bacteria that enhance the carbon cycle of the soil.
- Soil Conditioners – Soil conditioners do much more than increase the soil’s nutrients. They alter the soil structure by influencing cation exchange capacity, pH value, and water retention capacity. So you’ll use soil conditioners to completely change the soil’s fundamental properties.
Some products are a mix of fertilizer and soil inoculants or fertilizer and soil conditioners.
You should apply a soil amendment based on the soil test. Overdoing anything will negatively affect your soil and the plants that grow in it.
How to Properly Apply Fertilizer?
After you’ve selected the right fertilizer or soil conditioner for your soil, you need to apply it appropriately for success.
How to apply your fertilizer will depend on the type of fertilizer you’re using. There are four types you’re going to come across. Those are:
- Granular fertilizers
- Liquid fertilizers
- Synthetic fertilizer
- Organic fertilizer
Granular fertilizer is easy to apply. You just have to sprinkle the granules across the garden and water regularly as you do. The focal point here is whether you’re using a fast-release or slow-release fertilizer. Fast-release fertilizers release the nutrients faster. So you’ll have a lot of nutrients supplied into the soil in a short period. This can be either good or bad, depending on what the soil requirement was. That’s why a soil test is vital.
If you’re using liquid fertilizers, you need to look for the concentration. If it is a highly concentrated fertilizer, you’d have to add an appropriate amount of liquid to it. Then there are dilute fertilizers which you directly spray into the soil.
Synthetic fertilizer is chemically produced. They are designed to release the nutrients quickly, just like the fast-release granular fertilizers. You apply them directly to the soil or by preparing solutions.
Organic fertilizers are easy to apply, and you don’t have to worry much about the concentration. But they tend to break down slowly.
If you’re using something like a Seaweed fertiliser available at Plant Doctor, then you’ll get a valued mix of both conditioner and fertilizer. Similarly, some products are only meant to add potassium to the soil. So they are Potassium-specific fertilizer. So to boost your soil’s nutrition, you need to pick the right fertilizer.