Often we take our oxygen-giving plant friends for granted, but this should not be so. If you’re thinking of growing your own plants in your garden for food and therapeutic purposes, organic plant food is the best way to ensure that you save yourself and the environment from unwanted chemicals. Plants themselves are already as organic as anything on this planet, but when they’re fertilized with synthetic chemicals; their nutritional value comes into a doubting light. Providing them with organic plant food is sure to preserve all their health benefits.
Organic Vs. Inorganic
Often when you visit your grocery store, you’re presented with various organic produce such as organic cereals, organic bread, organic dairy products and a whole lot more. The thing is, organic plant food is not the same. Not really. When plant food is labeled organic, that means it is derived from plant or animal sources, and not the safer type of manufacturing for products labeled organic.
Organic plant foods have some significant benefits over inorganic plant food and are important to take note. First of all, since they are derived from living organisms, they break down slower and thus provide nutrients to the soil and plants over longer periods than inorganic fertilizers. It is true that conventional plant foods can boost plant growth but the effects are short-lived. They require frequent application and can cause the plants to become overdosed on synthetic feeds. Another significant drawback from using this kind of feeds is that the compound in inorganic plant foods can be carried off in rains and storms, polluting soils and water bodies. Lastly, organic plant food gives your garden the boost of elements without deviating from natural processes. All the essential nutrients, minerals and elements can be obtained from natural sources, making your organic garden a truly green and planet-saving endeavor.
Types of Organic Plant Food
Organic plant food can be derived from many sources and organic materials, and their benefits vary. Some of the most common organic plant foods are bone meal, cottonseed meal, blood meal, fish emulsion, activated sewage, seaweed-derived plant food and the ever popular manures.
Bone meal is a mixture of crushed and coarsely ground bones that decomposes slowly. These are very useful for planting bulbs such as onions. The cottonseed meal is a by-product of cotton manufacturing, therefore very helpful as it decreases waste. It is ideal for acid-loving plants such as azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons as they are somewhat acidic. The blood meal is dried powdered blood from cattle slaughterhouses and is a very rich source of nitrogen and therefore should be used carefully. It is also an effective way to keep deer out of your garden if there are some in the vicinity. Fish emulsion is a decomposed blend of finely pulverized fish and is also high in nitrogen. It also has a strong fishy smell that goes away after a day or two. Sewage sludge is recycled product from municipal sewage treatment plants. They are usually sold in a dry, granular form for use as a general purpose, long-lasting and non-burning fertilizer, and very popular on lawns and golf courses to give than fresh, shining, green look. Seaweed fertilizers are derived from, of course, seaweeds and are superb organic soil enhancers. The granules can also be mixed into the soil around trees, shrubs, pots, vegetable plots, baskets and indoor plants resulting in stronger roots and healthier, greener foliage and are natural boosters for ailing plants. Lastly, manures are commonly available and are usually from horse, cow, pic, chicken and sheep products. Different manure sources have different effects, and it is best to know which type will be best for your plant.
Make Your Own Organic Plant Food
If you wish to cut down on costs, making your own organic plant food is easy.
First, grow a small nettle or lovage patch. Nettles are preferred as they are loved by butterflies and ladybugs alike, but lovage comes to a close second if you are worried about nettle rash. Let the nettle or lovage plants grow naturally, and when they reach a height of a foot or so, chop them down from the base and chop them up. Place them in a bucket with a lod and add water (a gallon for every two pounds of nettles). Leave the bucket outside for the produce to develop for about two weeks and strain out the remaining plant material. This is your rich, stinking, liquid, organic plant food that your plants will just love. Drop it on the compost heap and dilute with 6 parts water to one part feed and use it to boost flowers, tomatoes, and basically any garden plants that need a helping hand. The smell disappears after about 10 to 15 minutes.
Whether buying your or making your own, organic plant food is an excellent choice for helping save the planet while giving your plants the best nutrients they need. Going organic surely will not disappoint your planting needs.