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Preparing Your Home Garden: Fertilizers and Soil Fertility
For gardeners who have a green thumb, preparing garden beds, applying manure, watering and weeding would
hardly figure in the list of necessities.
Main worries for the experienced
gardeners would be preparation of next vegetable and flower nurseries and
selection of plants for replanting. They also worry about soil depletion since
each crop will use up nutrients for its growth process.
Garden soil replenishment
Soil loses most of the nitrogen over time. Choosing a fertilizer is simple
you have many garden fertilizer companies that advertise their fertilizer bags
for use in common home gardens. You have to watch for two things.
of fertilizer components: This is ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium
that normally remain printed on bag as 40 – 30 – 30. This numbers will
vary according to your choice. Plants need first component nitrogen in large
quantities for growth of leaves. They get this from dissolved nitrogen that
they absorb through their roots.
They synthesize proteins and nucleic acids.
Proteins are mostly in the form of enzymes. Plants deficient in nitrogen will
show yellow leaves. Phosphorus takes part in cell division since it forms a
component of nucleic acid present in plants that involve in protein synthesis.
Thus, phosphorus involves in large energy transformations within the plants.
Potassium the third component will leach out of a sandy well-drained soil
because it dissolves very readily. It regulates growth and related processes by
providing the ionic environment in the cytosol of the plant. Symptoms of
potassium deficiency are scorching or leaf tips and curling. In some cases,
there may be chlorosis – yellowing in between the veins of leaves.
or slow acting fertilizers: Fast release fertilizers do not last long in garden
soil. Maximum period is 20 – 30 days. These field-grade nitrogen fertilizers
are water-soluble. You apply these just before flowering or fruiting or when you
want more leaves on your garden plants.
Slow acting fertilizes have a longer duration in the
garden soil. Of these, polymer coated slow release fertilizers will last up to
90 days, while sulfur coated ones, will last about 60 days. If you water the garden
too much or if there is rain, these fertilizers will wash away from the soil.
Weeding and watering
Grass gets into flowerbeds more
quickly than one can imagine. This is because of the intrinsic nature of grass,
which make their propagation easy. Their roots run along the surface helping
them to grow roots as soon as they find some fertile spot.
Driving a border helps you keep
your grass within the lawn. One could also
use borders around the flowerbed but
they would then get in the way every time spreading along the ground. They have
sufficient height (say 1 ½ inches) to prevent grass from climbing over.
Watering has to take place when
soil temperatures are not extreme. In cold regions, one has to wait for soil to
acquire sufficient heat while in hot regions one has to either water before sun
gets too hot or wait until the sun sets to go ahead with watering.
Problems of restricted growing
Home garden usually have very
restricted space. One could add to this space through one of these methods.
i.Portion of the terrace: For this,
you need to have space on your terrace for moving around in addition to keeping
pots. You will have water spillage that could prove messy if you are not
ii.Grow indoor plants: main function
of these plants is to remove toxic substances and chemicals from the indoor air
space. These plants such as aloe, spider grass, Gerber daisy and chrysanthemum
filter trichloroethylene that comes from dry cleaning and benzene present in
inks along with carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and xylene that comes from rubber
and leather items.
i.Pots and buckets: Ideal plants
for pots and buckets are Nasturtium, Begonia, Petunia and Pansy. Nasturtium and
petunia needs full sun. Agave, Bamboo and Pentas are also ideal for pots.
ii.Frames: Plants such as squash,
cucumber beans and tomato need a plant frame that may have netting. When you
support your plants properly, they will yield more fruit or vegetables.
iii.Shelves: You can grow carrots,
tomatoes, potatoes and peppers in shelves. These plants need plentiful
sunshine. You can use old washtubs, huge oil containers or big buckets for your
vertical garden. When you use shelves, provide slats so that plants receive good
air circulation and adequate water.
Spruce up your living space
A wonderful garden will turn any
ordinary space into a scene from a dream. Having a good garden is also useful
when you want a conversation topic. Gardens like pets need care and will behave
when you pay enough attention to it.