It has been a few months since most of our seeds, seedlings and plants were put into the soil. Some of those plants have probably used up most of the nutrients from the initial batch of soil and compost. If you want to give your plants the best chance of optimum growth and/or vegetable and fruit production, then you will want to monitor and adjust some of the nutrients throughout the season. Just a reminder, it is probably a good idea to read the labels and directions on the package. It works really well when we match these natural fertilizers to the right plants and soil conditions.
Small Bags for Small Space Gardens
We carry a nice variety of natural fertilizers in small bags. Having one of each on hand is a good way to be ready when plants start to show signs of needing more nutrients.
Alfalfa Meal is a well balanced (N2.8 P.29 K2.4) natural fertilizer. It can be used with a wide variety of soils and plants. So if you are going to use just one, this one would be it. If you want to do something but do not really know what to do…Alfalfa Meal is a good place to start. It has a gentle conditioning effect on the soil while it also adds lots of micro nutrients. Alfalfa Meal will give the summer crop a little boost to make it through the rest of the growing season.
Blood Meal is quite high in Nitrogen (N13-P0-K0). It is relatively concentrated and is sometimes referred to as “hot”. You might want to use a small amount and then increase as needed. Some plants are just Nitrogen hogs. For these, a little of the Blood Meal will give them a quick and natural boost.
Feather Meal is quite high in nitrogen (N12-P0-K0). However, Feather Meal is unique. It breaks down rather slowly and is not considered too hot. It can be used as a source of long and slow release nitrogen. An added benefit is that the feathers also add structure to the soil.
Bone Meal is high in Phosphorus (N3-P15-K0). Phosphorus helps plants flower. It is a good idea to test the soil before adding Bone Meal. First test the soil to see if the phosphorus level is low. If it is, then test the pH level because phosphorus does not work well in a pH environment above 7. If needed, adjust the pH before adding the phosphorus. Because of the high phosphorus content it can be mixed with other amendments and fertilizers, such as manure, to help balance the macro nutrient ratios. As part of your Fall soil preparation for Winter layover, you may want to add a little extra calcium and the Bone Meal will do the job nicely.