Vegetable Garden Tips – What Type of Fertilizer Should You Use?

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Vegetable Garden Tips – What Type of Fertilizer Should You Use?

When it comes to fertilizing your vegetable garden, there are a myriad of products from which you can choose. Regardless of which one you select, a good bottom line to follow is to always select a fertilizer that is made from organic, not synthetic, materials.

Organic fertilizers are made from natural ingredients, such as animal blood and bones, seaweed, manure, kelp, and bat droppings (guano). All of these materials are not harmful to the earth, and are sustainable and renewable. Comparatively, chemical (synthetic) fertilizers are made from materials that are mined from the earth, or petroleum, or gasses that are found in places where petroleum exists underground. This makes the production of chemical fertilizers quite an unfriendly, “un-green” process. To make matters even worse, the vast majority of chemical fertilizers don’t stay where you put them, but instead run off into your ground water.

There is also a very significant difference between chemical and organic fertilizers when it comes to how they work. Organic fertilizers contain nutrients that are not immediately available to the plant when they are applied. These nutrients must combine with the natural bacteria and fungi that are found in the soil in order to be used as food by the plants. This is a very good thing, because it allows your plants to only use the correct amount of nutrients that they can assimilate at any given time. Basically, they will only use what they need, while the fertilizer allows your soil to become healthy and chock full of beneficial nutrients. Comparatively, chemical fertilizers contain nutrients that are immediately available to the plants, and therefore feed only your plants, not your soil. This causes the plants to absorb all of the synthetic nutrients at one time. This may lead to the burnout of your plants’ roots, as well as vegetables that simply develop too quickly, lack nutrients, and taste bad. Plus, your soil is not going to be in a good condition for the next planting season.

Organic fertilizers are an all-around better option that will allow you to grow healthy chemical-free vegetables for your family, and nurture your soil for future use. When selecting a fertilizer, you’ll need to walk past the rows of Miracle Gro at your local garden store. Instead, shop online for a quality natural fertilizer, or just head to your kitchen to easily make your own organic fertilizer. Here are three great options that will nourish and feed your vegetable garden:

– Fish emulsion- Fish emulsion is an excellent, balanced fertilizer that naturally supplies your plants with nitrogen and macronutrients. It is made from a blend of decomposed fish, and is a byproduct of the fishing industry. You’ll find fish emulsion in a number of organic fertilizers, because it is quite popular with organic gardeners. The best fish emulsion fertilizer that I would recommend is called Protogrow. Protogrow is a very highly rated, safe and powerful organic fertilizer. It is excellent for use in vegetable gardens, as it will help your plants to reach their maximum potential and yield. The greatest thing about these nutrients is that they will, in turn, allow your fruits and vegetables to develop their highest nutrient potential as well.

-Egg Shells and Coffee Grounds- Here are two natural fertilizers that you can easily find in your kitchen. Egg shells are naturally made of about 95% calcium carbonate, and calcium is essential for the growth of all plants. Mixing the shells with coffee grounds helps to add beneficial nitrogen to your soil as well. Before using your egg shells, give them a good rinse to remove any egg residue. Then rake the mixture of shells and grounds into the soil around your plants. This is beneficial for all vegetable plants, but particularly for tomato plants.

-Seaweed- Seaweed is an excellent all-around fertilizer for your garden. It is most often soaked in water, then the “tea” is applied in liquid form. If you decide to brew a tea yourself, make sure to use just plain dried seaweed that has not been roasted or seasoned. Or, you can choose a good quality fertilizer containing seaweed extract, such as Liquid Karma, which is made by a company called Botanicare, or Liquid Seaweed Extract that is manufactured by Garden Direct.

Source by Mike D Walters

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