A Beginner-Friendly Guide To Fertilizing Plants

fertilizer types

fertilizer types

Fertilizing plants can be a pain especially when you are new to the gardening world. Don't worry because you are not alone. Many gardeners fail to answer questions such as how to fertilize‚ how much to fertilize‚ and when to fertilize. In this gardening basics guide, we will help you answer all such questions related to fertilizing your plants.

A Beginner-Friendly Guide To Fertilizing Plants

Choose the type of fertilizer

Understanding the needs of each individual species of plant you are fertilizing will help you to make the right choice of fertilizers. Select either a fertilizer with a higher level of nitrogen (for growth) or one with a higher level of phosphorus (for bloom).

Calculate the dosage amount

Measure the plant’s diameter to determine the proper dosage of fertilizer for your particular plant species. Also, read the labels on the fertilizer within your chosen brand for a specific total amount for the area.

Apply at the right time

Most often plants should be fertilized a few times throughout the growing season. Check the label to see if there is a specific time of season that you should fertilize. Other plants may need to be fertilized more often than others.

Water regularly

Make sure to water your plants regularly as fertilizing alone isn’t enough. Follow your chosen fertilizer instructions carefully to ensure proper application and success of your plants.

Why Do Plants Need To Be Fertilized?

Almost all plants from vegetables to fruits to houseplants need some essential nutrients to survive. The primary nutrients needed by every plant are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. If the plant doesn’t get a regular supply of these nutrients, it will most likely either stop growing or wilt due to lack of nutrition. 

Nitrogen helps in making the leaves healthy by giving them a green color. Phosphorus is essential for bigger blooms and fruits, and potassium keeps the root system healthy and strong. Potassium also helps protect the plant from temperature-related stress and diseases. 

Smaller and dull foliage with lanky stems indicates that the plant is not getting sufficient nutrients. Inadequate nutrition also makes the plant prone to die in winter, especially in frost-like weather conditions. 

Fertilizer is essential to replenish soil fertility by replacing the lost nutrients. Over long periods, the soil becomes infertile and unfit for further crop production. This is where fertilizer comes into play by keeping the soil rich. 

Proper Fertilizer Application

Fertilizer application might seem easy at first, but even the most experienced gardeners sometimes fail to understand each plant’s fertilizer requirements. Let us take a look at the ideal time to fertilize and how exactly to feed the plants.

When To Fertilize Plants?

Always follow the rule of fertilizing your plants in the growing season. Most plants need to be fertilized from spring to autumn with little or no feeding in the winter months. Early spring to summer is the ideal time to feed most plants. 

Avoid feeding your plants in the winter months as the plant does not show significant growth and hence, does not need nutrients to grow. Wait for spring to resume with the regular fertilizing schedule to boost growth.

If you have just bought a plant from a nursery, avoid fertilizing for a few weeks as most often, plants from shops come in a pre-fertilized soil mix. Waiting for a few weeks after purchasing the plant helps prevent the problem of over fertilizing which leads to root burn due to salt build-up. 

How To Fertilize Plants?

First, remove the dead leaves from the plant with a sterilized pair of scissors. It helps in channeling the plant’s energy to the healthier leaves. Once a leaf turns yellow, it won’t go back to its original green color. 

Make sure that the soil is evenly moist before fertilizing. Applying fertilizer on dry soil can cause root burn. If you are unsure of the amount of fertilizer to be used, follow the instructions on the label and apply one-fourth to one-half of the recommended dose. 

Always dilute the fertilizer to prevent root burn and salt build-up. Gently pour the diluted fertilizer until it comes out of the drainage holes. Repeat this process every few weeks during the active growing period. 

What Fertilizer Should You Use?

There are many forms of fertilizers available in the market such as liquid, granule, and slow-release ones. You can use any one of them but we give our vote to liquid fertilizers because they can be evenly distributed in the soil. Slow-release fertilizers are equally great. 

Try using balanced fertilizers such as the ones with an NPK ratio of 10-10-10. Balanced fertilizers suit most plants but if you want to get into the details of each plant’s needs, you might have to research more.

Avoid using lawn fertilizers on your plants as they contain too much chemical containing nitrogen that can be harmful to plants. The chemicals for weed control in lawns can kill your plant. 

Types of Fertilizers

Fertilizers can be organic or inorganic and you can use either or both types. Organic fertilizers include cow dung manure, vermicompost or worm castings, and bone meal. They are called organic because they are naturally available. 

Inorganic fertilizers are not available naturally and are often made with different chemical compositions. They are comparatively higher in nutrition content than organic fertilizers but at the same time, the plant runs at a higher risk of root burn due to overfeeding in the case of inorganic fertilizers. 

How Much Fertilizer Does Your Garden Need?

Depending on the plant varieties that you grow and various other factors, the amount of fertilizer will also vary. If you grow your plants in a soil mix with poor drainage and improper light and water, your plant might not respond well to fertilizer application. 

How Does Taim.io Help?

Fertilizing plants can be a tough task but if you are a beginner, we would recommend you try using Taim.io once. We promise you won’t be disappointed. Taim.io helps maintain a record of each plant’s needs by making the gardening experience interactive.

The frequency of fertilization varies from one plant to another. It is practically difficult to remember each plant’s fertilizer requirements. Each plant is different and has different needs. Taim.io has a large database that can help you know about almost every plant’s feeding demands. It will also provide timely reminders on plant care. 

Now that you have a fair idea of how to go about fertilizing your garden, it is time you go through Taim.io and learn in detail about fertilizing plants.

From the Blog:

Read All Articles

Your perfect garden awaits!

Launch your garden