Sunday, August 24, 2014

Organic Fertilizer

From time to time I have plants that need a little extra oomph and do not have enough compost or manure to go around.  I usually let it go because I know the plant will hold its own until some is available, but occasionally I do buy an organic fertilizer.  Here are some fertilizer tips and a couple I have recently tried and liked.  Both products are available from Amazon.

Many people think 10-10-10 is a well balanced fertilizer, but a NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) ratio of 3-1-2 is preferable.  High numbers sound good, more bang for your buck, but they also indicate non-organic, and the faster growth they provide is also more prone to pests and problems.

Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings 1-0-0

Ease of use is definitely an advantage to the worm castings. According to the instructions, the castings are to be worked into the soil, but I did not have time or desire, so simply put a few tablespoons at the base of plants and waited for rain and Nature to do the rest.  I have also been using a handful around the roots in planting holes.

I was asked about the price of worm castings, were they not terribly expensive.  If you compare them to the cost of little packages of fertilizer, no, not really, and the benefits are far greater.

Neptune's Harvest Hydrolized Fish
& Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1

Some people in reviews complained of the smell.  It is made from fish and seaweed; if you have ever smelled either, it should be no surprise to you that it is not delightfully fragrant. However, the smell dissipates fairly quickly, so if applied in the evening as recommended as opposed to before a dinner party, it should be no problem.  I have also been using it to water new plants in.

Bottom line on my opinion of both products ... I can tell a difference using them both individually and together.  I even decided to give most of my plants a little to help strengthen them for winter. Will I buy them again?  I have already ordered larger sizes of both and intend to keep them on hand.

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