Everyone wants a healthy beautiful garden, but sometimes people don’t realize that they are forgetting the most important thing to a perfect garden….food. Plants need a balanced diet of healthy nutrients and minerals just like all other living things. Plants can’t produce fruits or flowers properly if they are not fed the proper food. Feeding your plants can be done either through soil additives or through foliar spraying, depending on the additive. Here are some products to add to your soil that will benefit your garden.
Alfalfa Meal is an all natural, organic fertilizer made from fermented alfalfa plants. It’s great at replenishing worn out soils when used as a soil amendment because it is a good source of minerals. It can also be used as an accelerant in compost piles and build organic matter. Alfalfa Meal works as an organic fertilizer utilizing micro-bacteria to break down and produce heat that accelerates the decomposition of minerals within the meal. It’s an excellent soil conditioner that increases microbial activity in the soil and feeds microorganisms. Excellent addition to the compost pile for nitrogen content and absorbency. It also controls harmful nematodes and provides drought resistance.
Bone meal is mostly used to provide phosphorus and calcium to plants and soil. Phosphorus helps plants grow and photosynthesize effectively. Calcium is vital to the formation of healthy cells and helps plants move and retain other elements within themselves. Phosphorus occurs naturally in the soil, but plants often require more of it than the soil can provide without a supplement. Phosphorus helps plants build a strong root system along with increased flower and fruit development. Bone Meal takes time to break down, releasing nutrients into the soil slowly and providing plants with a steady dose of important phosphorous and calcium, instead of a quick burst. Unlike some chemical fertilizers, bone meal won’t burn plants if you apply too much. Small amounts of other important nutrients, like zinc and magnesium, are also in bone meal and have a variety of beneficial effects on plants.
Due to its very small molecular size, minerals chelated with fulvic acid enjoy rapid entry through plant walls. This characteristic has tremendous importance for fast-tracking the plant availability of rock minerals, rock phosphate, and lime. Fulvic acid is also a powerful electrolyte and bio-stimulant, which can balance and energize all plant and microbe cells for optimal cell division, elongation, and growth. As a foliar spray, fulvic acid increases the plant’s oxygen uptake capacity with an associated increase in chlorophyll production and an increase in the permeability of plant membranes, improving the uptake of nutrients. Fulvic acid is a potent, natural chelating agent, slowing oxidation and converting metallic elements into readily absorbable, bio-available nutrition with a very small molecular size allowing fulvic-chelated minerals rapid entry through plant cells. Offers drought protection, due to improved moisture storage. Fulvic acid is responsible for an increase in stomata opening and transpiration and assists plant respiration as well as improving the respiration of beneficial micro-organisms. Fulvic acid also stimulates the plant’s immune system, enhanced seed germination and growth, improved development of roots and shoots, increased resistance to fungal attack, and enhanced uptake of nutrients.
Humic acid increases nutrient uptake, drought tolerance, and seed germination. It increases the microbial activity in the soil, making it an excellent root stimulator. Humic acid increases the availability of nutrients in the soil. It will help to aerate the soil from the inside. It will also help to lower the pH of the soil to a more neutral level and will flush high levels of salts out of the root zone, all of which will help to promote better plant health and growth. It increases water infiltration and water-holding capacity of the soil. Humic acid greatly improves the soil, increases plant root growth and metabolism, enhance seed germination, and help plants deal with environmental stresses. It removes odors in slurry and compost piles, and keep irrigation lines clean.
Essential for improving germination, root development, leaf quality, general plant vigor and resistance to pathogens. Seaweed contains large traces of potassium and natural hormones making it a hearty fertilizer that strengthens roots and a plant’s overall system. Improves the uptake of nutrients. Increases yields. Prevents disease and heat stress. The seaweed will encourage vigor in the plant growth cycle as it consists more than 70 nutritional deporting minerals and enzymes.
What makes worm castings so great? It’s the worm. As it digests the organic materials it consumes, it refines them. Worm Castings are packed with minerals that are essential for plant growth, such as concentrated nitrates, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. It also contains manganese, copper, zinc, cobalt, borax, iron, carbon, and nitrogen. The castings have a neutral pH of 7.0. Castings do contain 4% to 5% more nitrogen than your average garden soil, but in a slow release form due to the mucous, the worms secrete as they digest. Worm castings make the soil more absorbent, making moisture more consistently available to plants and preventing soil from completely drying out. Worms introduce uncountable numbers of beneficial microbes and bacteria into the finished product, guaranteeing the healthiest soil possible. The humus in the worm castings extracts toxins and harmful fungi and bacteria from the soil. Worm Castings, therefore, have the ability to fight off plant diseases. The humic acid in Worm Castings stimulates plant growth, even in very low concentrations. The humic acid is an ionically distributed state in which it can easily be absorbed by the plant, over and above any normal mineral nutrients. Humic acid also stimulates the development of micro flora populations in the soil.
Yucca is high in natural wetting agents called saponins. Saponins are steroidal-based natural chemicals that actually make water wetter, breaking the polarity of the water molecule. So if you add yucca extracts to your irrigation water, the water and nutrients can better penetrate the soil surface and effectively spread to all the roots in the root zone. Since water is dispersed more evenly in the root zone, your plants will be able to use water more efficiently and should be able to go longer between irrigation cycles without adverse effects on the plants. Yucca extracts also help reduce salt buildup in the soil. Yucca extracts also contain organic molecules that directly protect plants against damage from environmental stress. Water and nutrients can be efficiently absorbed by leaf tissue, and yucca greatly improves the process. Leaves have a waxy coating of cuticle cells that help plants retain water and form a barrier against pests and disease. The waxy covering also causes water droplets to bead on the surface of leaves. Yucca extract is a natural surfactant that breaks up the water droplets and allows the water to spread out on the leaf surface in a thin film. The film allows the water and nutrients to be absorbed more evenly by the plant and doesn’t leave spots behind on the leaves.
Guano is an exceptionally rich source of natural nutrients that supplies many beneficial enzymes and bacteria, large amounts of minor and trace minerals as well as being high in nitrogen and phosphorus. Nitrogen promotes rapid, green growth, making bat guano a useful fertilizer, especially for lawns. Phosphorus promotes root growth and supports flowering, while potassium helps plants grow strong stems. In addition to the presence of these major nutrients in bat guano, it also has micronutrients plants need for healthy growth. Guano supplies both fast and slow release nutrients to the soil biological system. Leafy greens prefer high-nitrogen for growth, as the plant approaches budding and fruiting time the phosphorous, flowering guano, is more appropriate. It helps hold together loose soils and makes dense soils lighter. Guano is not easily leached out of the soil, so it benefits the plants and soil much longer than some inorganic fertilizers which are more readily displaced. The microbes can also increase water-holding capacity and air space by loosening the soil. Bat guano microbes are also efficient decomposers and help control the incidence of soil diseases and dangerous nematodes. When applied to leaves, bat guano fertilizer can ward off fungal diseases.