Friday, 2 February 2007

How to Apply Fertilizer to Plants

A range of fertilizers, both organic and inorganic is available for exotic plants. Organic fertilizers are bulky like garden compost prepared from mounds of decomposed dried leaves and other plant remains, whilst others may be available in trendy forms like in pellet or powder form. Usually blood, fish and bone particles are used as the perfect organic manure. T

here are also some other variants of fertilizers like ‘soluble' fertilizers, ‘slow-release' fertilizers. While inorganic manures might give speedy results, they can be extremely harmful. If applied copiously. For that reason green manures are a better option. When applying fertilizers, you should always follow the manufacturer' recommended application rates for best results. It's also important to know how to apply powdered or pelleted forms of fertilizers around plants and widely, by broadcasting or scattering. The following few steps will aid you:

Step #1 For applying fertilizer to specific plants, scatter fertilizer evenly on the topsoil around the plant avoiding any contact with stems and leaves.

Step #2 For broadcasting over a large area, mark out your border and calculate the area with a tape or a cane. According to the manufacture's instructions for 1sq units, calculate the amount of fertilizers required and fill a large container or bucket with the right amount.

Step #3 Use a small cup to scatter fertilizers evenly over each section of your plot, by shaking the cup lightly. Make sure that you don't sprinkle any on the plant leaves and stems as this might scorch them. Continue in the same manner until each section has been covered. Then lightly scrape the fertilizer, collecting it into the top layer of the soil. This helps the soil to take in nutrients better, enabling the plant's root system to grow stronger.

Cultivate Your Exotic Plants With Clay Soil The most important attributes of any general-purpose soil are to provide nutrients and to ensure good drainage. Composition and proportion of soil mix might vary to a large extent but any good soil contains large amounts of organic matter like dung, bark compost or peat moss. Gravel and coarse sand help to prepare a well-drained soil. Minerals like airlite, perlite or vermiculite are usually added to increase the nutrient content of the soil.

In their natural state clay soils are most inflexible and unfit for cultivation, but with alterations they can be highly productive. When wet, the minute clay particles stick closely together, excluding air space that the plant roots need for survival. On drying, this compressed matter becomes extremely solid like concrete. Whether wet or dry, clay is largely impervious to water, causing water logging or flooding during winters and in rainy weather. As compared to lighter soils, it warms up awfully slowly; as a result the growing season is shortened significantly. To add to the list of woes, wet clay is extremely sticky and ‘unpleasant' to work with. Growing plants on clay soil is thus generally easier said than done and can only be handled when the soil is somewhat moist but not totally wet.

The prime purpose of cultivating clay is to break up the tiny particles so that air and water can trickle down. A natural way to achieve this is by temporarily leaving the dug up surface open to action by winter frosts. This ensures breaking up of large masses into smaller parts, which can be easily worked with and allows air and water to percolate. However, the effects being transitory, exposure to usual rainfall makes it sticky, unless of course if attempts are made to prevent it. To have a lasting impact, it's appropriate to include crude materials that will help in keeping the small lumps separate. A mixture of minute rough granules, as of sand or stone is perfect. However, builder's sand or sand from a beach side isn't useful at all because the granules are too fine and smooth.

Adding any kind of humus, a brown-black organic substance consisting of decayed vegetable, garden compost or animal matter, is ideal for providing nutrients for plants and for increasing the ability of soil to retain water and fertilizers. It also forms a haven for the innumerable soil microbes that work continuously; breaking down soil minerals into forms, easily consumable by plant roots.

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