How to choose a fertilizer for your vegetable and ornamental garden ?

In the vegetable garden as in the pleasure garden, the plants are nutrient intensive. It is therefore necessary to carry out amendments to nourish the soil and to make, in addition, fertilizers in order to promote the production of vegetables as well as the flowering of decorative plants or to strengthen the lawn. There is a wide choice of fertilizers, green, organic, chemical, some are slow-release, others fast-release. The selection is therefore not easy, especially since it is very important to choose your fertilizer according to the season of application but also according to the plants you wish to fertilize. Let’s do a check in.

The different types of fertilizers

There are three main families of fertilizers to be used in the vegetable garden and in the ornamental garden.

Green manures

These are plants that are sown in the fall specifically for do not leave the floor bare and therefore to enrich it with organic matter. These plants should be mowed in the spring, just before they go to seed. They are then left to dry on site and then integrated into the ground. In this way, the land will be fertile, suitable for cultivation.

Organic fertilizers

In this category, we find among others:

  • organic potash,
  • fish bone meal,
  • dried up blood,
  • Seabird and bat droppings or guano,
  • organic potash,
  • Roasted or crushed horn,
  • bone powder,
  • Comfrey…

This is fertilizer rich in mineral salts at diffusion progressive, which limits the risk of overdose. They result from the decomposition of animal or vegetable matter.

chemical fertilizers

This is’mineral fertilizers marketed in different forms: sticks, powder, liquid, granules. These are boost fertilizers because the soluble salts are assimilated directly by plants. In this category, we find universal chemical fertilizers that are suitable for all plants and specific fertilizers for certain plants such as fertilizers for geraniums, for Mediterranean plants, for orchids, for vegetable garden plants, etc.

They contain three essential elements, namely:

  • Nitrogen (N): it promotes the development of foliage and stems.
  • Phosphorus (P): it has an action on the development of stems, the root system, fertilization. As a result, plants produce more flowers and therefore fruit.
  • Potash (K): it promotes the development of flowers and fruits, improves their color, increases the taste quality of vegetables and fruits. It also allows plants to better resist parasites and diseases as well as difficult climatic conditions such as drought, cold, frost.

The dosage of a chemical fertilizer is always indicated on the packaging. The percentages of the mass are always specified in the following order: NPK (nitrogen/phosphorus/potash), i.e. for example 10-10-10, 20-10-10 or even 14-7-17, etc.

Tips for choosing a fertilizer

The choice of a fertilizer is not made at random. The following points should be taken into account:

  • The season :
    • in spring and summer, preference is given to fertilizers quick release because it is the full period of vegetation,
    • in autumn and winter, organic fertilizers are used since they are complete and their diffusion is spring. During this period the plants are at rest.
  • The planting period, because the fertilizer will promote plant growth. It is, for example, stimulated with an organic fertilizer. During growth, for plants that are very greedy in nutrients, it is necessary to supplement with well-balanced chemical fertilizers.
  • The type of plants : potted plants have high nutrient requirements, and they are different from those of plants grown in the ground. Similarly, we must distinguish perennial flowering plants from shrubs or even vegetable plants. Even the lawn needs a fertilizer to take root after sowing, then to strengthen itself following the multiple mowings it undergoes.

Beginner gardeners sometimes find it difficult to choose the right fertilizer. They can use a complete universal fertilizerat controlled release, at any time of the year. The advantage is that universal fertilizers are suitable for all types of plants, whether in the vegetable garden or in the ornamental garden. With a little practice, these gardeners will eventually refine their choice and will be perfectly able to choose other more specific fertilizers.

But be careful, in any case, it is essential to respect the dosages literally, because a extra fertilizer Has very bad consequences for all plants without exception. It is even preferable in this area to sin by default rather than by excess. The purpose of fertilization is to avoid deficiencies, not to force-feed your plants at the risk of exposing them to an overdose.

Leave a Comment