Why fertilize you ask?
The earth’s soil is a rich storehouse of nutrients essential to the growth, beauty and good health of plants. Science tells us that plants must have 16 basic nutrients available to them through the soil and air. But different soils contain varying amounts of the nutrients required to support growth and development. When a soil does not contain enough of a particular nutrient, a fertilizer must be used. Fertilizers are supplemental feedings of nutrients not found in the soil in a sufficient quantity to satisfactorily promote plant growth and good health.
Of all the essential nutrients, Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) are required in relatively large quantities and usually need to be supplemented.
Benefits of Fertilizing:
1) To promote new growth and hardiness
2) To relieve stress, effects of aging and wear.
3) To counteract damage due to insects or disease.
4) To eliminate competition with weeds for available nutrients.
5) To help replace nutrients lost to leaching, volatilization to the air, and removal of clippings and the harvesting of fruits and vegetables
Basics of Fertilizer
The three large numbers printed on each fertilizer bag (sometimes called “NPK” number) indicate analysis or grade.
These numbers refer to the guaranteed percentages of:
- Nitrogen (N)
- Phosphorus (expressed as P2O5)
- Potash (expressed as K20)
and are always printed on the bag in that order. Ratio refers to the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash on any given product.
For Example: A 16-4-8 analysis indicates a 4-1-2 ratio.
The fertilizer analysis printed on the product label indicates the quantity of the nutrient content, not the quality, or type of nutrients used in the product. For example, some fertilizers may be organic while others are inorganic, but both are designed to achieve similar results.
Types of Fertilizer
- Natural Organics are composed of hydrocarbon compounds, which are derived from decaying matter. Examples include: animal manure, bone meal, dried blood, compost, peat moss and biosolids. Organic Fertilizers are essentially non-burning and long lasting since they break down usable nitrogen over a period of 8-10 weeks.
- Inorganics are composed of mineral compounds which are derived from non-living matter such as ammonium nitrate, ammonium phosphate and calcium nitrate. This is usually lower cost fertilizer…specifically used for fast greening, and not for long term feeding. Burning can occur if not used carefully.
Vetorino’s licensed experts can help you choose the program that’s right for you. Call today for your free consultation