Organic fertilizers, particularly the nitrogen-based variety, have become popular among horticulturists and gardeners. They have distinct advantages over chemical fertilizers, offering a safer way of enriching your garden soil.
Non-organic or chemical fertilizers tend to have side effects like raising the acidity of the soil. This causes damage with long-term use.
Organic fertilizers can maintain the appropriate pH of the soil and catalyze natural microbial action that make the soil most fertile. They are available as retailed powders, pellets and liquid form.
Liquid Organic Fertilizers
Liquid organic fertilizers are commonly used for supplying nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus to the soil. Liquid fertilizers are particularly useful for sandy soils, as they tend to bond with the sand particles. This raises the water-holding capacity of the soil, making it fertile and more workable.
Liquid fertilizers are applied in two ways:
- Directly sprayed on the plants
- Manually added to the soil
Through directly spraying the liquid organic fertilizer, the nutrients are absorbed much faster, through the stem and the leaves. Direct application to the soil, also called Tea Application, is a more tedious method, providing reasonable but lesser effectiveness. There is a chance that nutrients like nitrogen may not be completely absorbed from the soil in this manner.
Common liquid organic fertilizers are prepared from:
- Fish meal (best for nitrogen nourishment requirements)
- Bone ash (recommended for its high phosphorus content)
- Earthworm castings (used commonly in smaller gardens)
- Fish emulsion (a widely-retailed liquid fertilizer)
- Sea kelp
- Rock phosphate
- Dried bat or bird manure (guano)