Choosing Fertilizers


Selecting fertilizers is one of the confusing
decisions many gardeners face each year. Today let’s clear up the confusion. Regardless of type, any fertilizer you buy
will specify the percentage of nutrients it contains, primarily nitrogen (N), phosphorus
(P) and potassium (K). This is called the N-P-K ratio. For example, a fertilizer labelled with a
ratio of 7-22-8 contains 7% nitrogen, 22% phosphorus, and 8% potassium. Let’s look at some common products. Granular fertilizers are made from synthetic
sources. These contain readily water soluble nutrients
that are released quickly in response to rain or irrigation. But this quick release can injure roots if
heavily applied. Water soluble fertilizers are just the name
sounds, these are dissolved in water before applying. I think this is an easy way to feed your all
of your plants at the same time while watering. Controlled Release fertilizers have a coating
around release their nutrients in response to rain or irrigation and feed your plants
over a period of time. There is also a time period, indicated in
months, as too how long the fertilizers are effective. Organic Fertilizers are preferred by many
gardeners. These products release their nutrient slowly
by breaking down in the potting mix rather than relying on moisture solubilize the nutrients. Feeding your plants is not rocket science
when you supply enough nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll
see you next time on Southern Gardening.

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