Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Garden Fertilizer And Gardening Basics For Novice Gardeners

Keep your garden fortified

Garden like a lonely child needs care. Moreover, it needs plenty of nutrition or fertilizer. For those novice gardeners, here is some speedy lowdown on gardening basics.

jill111 Pixabay

Gardeners sometimes tend to forget that garden plants have life. Like all living organisms, plants need these basic elements for growth.
Ø Soil
Ø Air
Ø Water
Ø Nutrition

 Dimensions of your garden bed

This is your starting point in gardening basics. If you want to grow small plants, you have to use nursery beds and compost pits help you use organic fertilizing method. Novice gardeners should mark the outer lines and passage in between various sections of this garden bed. Then  choose your bed area according to your crop size.

Prepare your soil: Gardening basics

It does not matter if your soil has too much of clods or has no nutritive value. You can prepare your garden soil so that it is just right for your plants. To do this, follow gardening basics and remove that hard top layer of earth using a pickax to dig about 3 – 5 inches deep and a shovel to remove the soil. Now, in another part of the garden prepare a mix of red soil, sand and compost or you can add fertilizers if your garden does not have a compost pit. Turn this prepared soil over many times and let it air and dry completely. Once you are reasonably certain that your soil is dry and usable, spread it around all over the marked bed area. Novice gardeners should note that nutrients will be lost easily to atmosphere and water. So, you must make haste and plant your crops immediately. It is a good idea to spread some dried leaves over your prepared soil in this respect.

Make room for air

One of kitchen garden basics deals with air required by roots for proper growth. You have to make sure that the soil is loose and has plenty of air pockets. If you add sand, this will ensure good drainage and passage of air as well. However, excess sand will lead to water seeping off into the ground.

Go easy on water

Over watering will cause roots to rot away. So, avoid stagnation of water in your garden. Keep water flowing in a gentle slope so that stagnation does not occur.

Do not spare the nutrition

Nutrition is very essential aspect of gardening basics. Kitchen garden soils that have enough nutritive value will help you raise crops that are appreciably bigger and tastier. The basic components will be the following.
a)   Nitrogen
b)   Phosphorus
c)   Potassium
d)   Calcium
e)   Magnesium
All fertilizer bags will mention these basic components. It will be depicted as 40 – 12 – 20 meaning that each bag contains 40 parts of nitrogen, 12 parts of phosphorus and 20 parts of potassium. If your bag is 40 kg in weight, then you have 22.222 kg of nitrogen, 6.666 kg of phosphorus and 11.111 kg of potassium.

Choosing your kitchen garden crop

Usual kitchen garden vegetables are cucumber, greens, cabbage, onion, carrots, beans, peas, radish, pumpkin, drumstick and beets. Fruits like papaya, banana, mango, jackfruit and grapes are also favorites with home garden enthusiasts. They also grow various spices and herbs like coriander, basil, dill, parsley, sage, thyme, pepper, mint and curry leaves. These are best choices for novice gardeners who are still struggling with their gardening basics.

Check on nutrient requirements

Now each of these has a specific nutrient requirement. In general, nitrogen is required more since this is lost more rapidly to environment. Most fertilizer mixes would have more nitrogen content though some would have excess of potassium. In gardening basics for novice gardeners, one of the first things is that one should readily recognize marks on labels of fertilizer mixes that would read something like 50 –12 – 20 or 15 – 8 – 20. The first figure represents the nitrogen content while the last one represents the potassium content. The one in the middle would be your phosphorus.
PeterDargatz Pixabay

Plan your fertilizer application procedure

Fertilizing your garden could include random acts of kindness like throwing ash or fish meal in your vegetable bed or lawn or it could be a calculated act of strategy like using fertilizer rich in nitrogen (three to four times that of phosphorus and about twice that of potassium) for your lawn and fertilizer rich in potassium about twice the nitrogen content. Phosphorus requirement is less since they deplete slower. If there were one sixth to one tenth of phosphorus content, it would suffice for most kitchen gardens. Vegetables would require more potassium while leafy vegetables like spinach or greens would require more nitrogen. If you are a novice gardener, once you are thorough with gardening basics, you will find this art more enjoyable.