• Keith Collins

Ideal Fertilizer for Garden Plants

Fertilizer is any material of natural or synthetic origin (other than liming materials) that is added to soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. Fertilizers can be inorganic (composed of simple, inorganic compounds) or organic (composed of complex organic compounds). They are applied to crops either through the soil (for uptake by plant roots), or by foliar feeding (for uptake through leaves).

The three primary macronutrients required for healthy plant growth are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These nutrients are commonly referred to as NPK. Secondary macronutrients needed in smaller quantities include calcium, magnesium, and sulfur.

Additionally, there are a number of micronutrients required for plant health which include iron, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, molybdenum and chlorine. While these elements are only needed in very small amounts, they are essential for certain metabolic processes and lack of them can lead to deficiency symptoms.

There are many different fertilizer formulations available on the market today designed for specific purposes and uses. The ideal fertilizer for garden plants will depend on a number factors including the type of crop being grown, the soil type and pH, as well as other conditions such as temperature and amount of rainfall. It is important to choose a fertilizer that is best suited for your particular growing conditions in order to achieve optimal results.

In general terms however, most garden plants will do best with a balanced fertilizer that contains equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. This type of fertilizer will provide the three main nutrients needed for most plants in an easily accessible form. For example: 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 fertilizers contain 10% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 10% potassium respectively; 15-30-15 contains 15% nitrogen, 30% phosphorus, and 15% potassium; while 0-52-34 contains no nitrogen , 52% phosphorus ,and 34% potassium.

There are also various forms of fertilizers available including granular, liquid, slow release pellets. The form you choose should again be based on your particular growing needs but all forms will work if applied correctly.

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