Organic fertilisers should always have a place in garden establishment, care and maintenance.
Organic fertilisers are the gold standard, when it comes to fertilisers, they have a lower NPK nutrient analysis if compared to artificial formulations but have added benefits that can’t be measured until they hit the soil and start to break down.
In the gardening world organic is referred to as those materials that were once living or the by product of living things, such as worm castings, blood and bone or animal manures.
In addition, powdered minerals or rock dust is considered an organic fertiliser, even though they were not once living they are applied to the garden in their original form
What makes a good Organic Fertiliser?
It’s the soil conditioning properties that makes the difference to the health of the garden. Organic fertilisers are a concentrated food source for soil biota and the best are those that are composted (or fortified with additional beneficial bacteria) before they are used on the garden.
The soil biota, worms, nematodes and added bacteria get to work immediately, as soon as the organic fertilisers hit the soil. These ‘invisible’ hard working beneficial organisms increase soil condition, water holding capacity, improve soil structure and reduce water logging of heavy clay soils.
The increased level of microbial activity of the soil also ensures there is also a reduction in leaching of nutrients, which means more nutrients available to the plants.
Plants grown in a healthy environment in a balanced, improved soil are strong and healthy. They are more tolerant of water shortages, extremes in weather conditions and of insect attack.
Insects know when a plant is under stress and often an insect infestation is a symptom of an underlying cause. Reducing the use of chemical control for insects and pests in the garden starts in the soil. It’s more important than ever to keep soils healthy.
A healthy plant starts in the soil – focus on the soil and the plants will look after themselves.
What to use Liquid or Slow Release?
All organic fertilisers will provide soil conditioning properties, including liquids. Organic liquid fertilisers do not carry the bulk that granular formulations do but contain powerful beneficial bacteria and hormones which will work with already existing organic matter in the soil to give the soil and plants a boost.
Liquids such as Seasol are ideal for potted plants, vegies and for those crops that require immediate results. In this case you can have your cake and eat it too – instant improvement in plant health visible to the naked eye with the added benefit of soil improving properties and beneficial ‘hardworking’ soil biota penetrating deep into the soil. Liquid organic fertilisers are convenient for balcony and small space gardens and easy to apply.
Slow release formulations will add bulk to the soil and work on the soil from the top layer down. Perfect for established gardens, roses, vegie garden beds and fruiting trees.
Using slow release fertilisers at the planting and establishment phase will ensure plants get the best start in their life. Perfect for the garden which is larger with established garden beds and trees.
Seasol Plant + Soil Booster is a natural pelletised complete garden health treatment. It is a rich source of natural ingredients including seaweed and compost to boost soil health and growth in all plants including Natives.
Use it at planting time or to an established garden every 6-8 weeks throughout the year. Remember to mix it in and water it in thoroughly after application.
Make your own Organic Fertiliser.
Making your own organic fertilisers is easy, anything that was once living has the potential to be turned into rich compost or worm castings, ready to be spread around the whole garden. Worm castings can also be used as a granular slow release fertiliser or diluted with water and the leachate is used to water in plants.
There are many ways of recycling kitchen waste, through a compost bin, bokashi bucket, in bed composting or a worm farm. This fabulous resource is wasted in many households and with not a lot of effort can be turned into nutrient rich fertiliser and compost for the garden.
Tips to successful composting –
- Use equal parts green matter (vegie scraps and kitchen waste) to equal parts carbon which includes straw, chicken manure or lawn clippings.
- The composting process requires air to work effectively. Turning will assist in breaking down the pile quickly.
- Compost should smell earthy and rich and when ready have a crumbly texture.
- Worms love to be kept cool and damp.
Regardless of the method in which kitchen scraps are recycled the result is similar – a rich organic fertiliser that will make the garden thrive.