Fertilizers and plant protection products that are used improperly negatively affect human health. In the home garden it is better to reach for natural fertilizers. See what you can use.
What are natural fertilizers?
Natural fertilizers have returned to favor in home gardens. People’s growing environmental awareness and the tangible negative effects of artificial fertilizers make us choose natural fertilizers more often than before when growing our own carrots or cucumbers. Their advantage is not only the lack of harmful effects, but also high efficiency and low price – we can have some of the fertilizers almost for free.
Well known to every gardener, compost is a fertilizer that we can make ourselves from fruit and vegetable leftovers and crop waste, tree leaves, cut fruit tree branches, etc. The great advantage of compost is its high humus content and the almost zero cost of obtaining this fertilizer. All you need to do is to set aside a shady place in the garden for a compost heap (you can build a wooden frame yourself or buy a ready-made one from a gardening store) and throw plant scraps into it (it is good to sprinkle the resulting heap with soil from time to time).
Compost is an excellent fertilizer for vegetables (such as cucumbers, radishes and lettuce). It should not be dug up, since as a humus fertilizer it should lie in the top layer of the soil.
Biohumus is a liquid fertilizer made from the excrement of California earthworms (or vermicompost). It is a humus fertilizer rich in nutrients and beneficial bacteria from the digestive system of California earthworms. Biohumus improves soil properties and protects it from sterilization. This highly concentrated fertilizer should be diluted with a large amount of water and the resulting mixture should be watered over the plants. In gardening stores you will find biohumus designed for vegetables, conifers, ornamental plants and potted flowers – it is worth using the right kind for the crop.
Used since time immemorial, manure contains all the necessary components for plants. Its action is wide – it positively affects the structure of the soil and its biological properties. It is worth knowing that it makes light soils more compact, and heavy soils more loosened. Manure is best applied in autumn, and it is necessary to dig the soil after using it.
In garden stores you can now find dried granular manure, which is packaged in sealed bags of various sizes. This is a full-fledged manure in a very functional way – during autumn garden work, it is enough to scatter the manure granules and cover them with the dug soil. Manure decomposes gradually, so the risk of over-fertilization of plants is low.
In July and August, it is a good idea to sow catch crops on beds that are already empty. For green manure, fast-growing plants that produce a very large amount of so-called green mass (such as yellow lupine, phacelia, beans or fenugreek) are best. Plants sown in late July and early August are dug in autumn to a depth of about 16 cm (on compact soils, where decomposition is slow) or 20 cm (on light soils). It is worth knowing that green manure has a beneficial effect on all vegetable species.
main photo: unsplash.com/feey