Earth Day is celebrated worldwide this Friday, and it’s the perfect spring holiday to focus on your fertilizing and composting schedule to promote the best health for your plants. Natural or organic fertilizers give plants valuable nutrients that they might not receive innately to grow. Compost is an all-natural organic material to improve the quality and tilth of your soil. When used together, your garden will be healthier than ever. So, when should you fertilize your plants and compost your soil, and how often? Today, we’re going to help you put together a fertilizing and composting schedule in honor of Earth Day.
What is Fertilizer?
Fertilizers can be seen as natural or artificial substances that have chemical elements that improve growth and productiveness of plants. They strengthen the natural fertility of the soil and replace chemical elements taken from the soil by previous crops.
What is Compost?
Compost is a combination of decayed natural substances, typically coming from vegetables, fruits, leaves, eggshells, coffee grinds, and grasses. The substances are added to the soil to make it more fertile while giving the soil a little boost of nutritional elements that also help your plants grow.
Normal Plant Fertilization and Composting
For houseplants, you can use compost in your potting soil or you’ll need to fertilize more regularly because the nutrients they get from fertilizer don’t get replaced like some natural nutrients they get from the compost. Typically, you want to fertilize them once spring starts because this is when plants awaken from dormancy and begin the rapid growth process that happens towards the start of the spring season.
If you choose to use compost and fertilizer, be sure to use an organic one. These fertilizers release at a slower rate than non-organic varieties, which minimizes the chances of shocking your plants.
Fertilizing and Composting Edible Plant Gardens
If you have plants that produce fruit, you should fertilize them right before the fruiting stage begins. Use your compost pile to spread around your garden with edible plants in the early spring. Take note of the moment when flowers start forming on your plants because this is the ideal time for fertilizing in order to maximize the yields. Not only will your flowers grow larger, but so will the fruit it produces. Your edible herbs and vegetables will need to be placed in soil with plenty of nutrients. If you are using compost and want to supplement with a fertilizer,
pick one with plenty of nitrogen for your edible plants. Always follow the manufacturer instructions so you don’t overwhelm your plants.
Fertilizing When Repotting Plants
If you are repotting any houseplants, you should apply compost and/or fertilizer the moment repotting is done. The same goes for any seedlings you have. Treat your seedlings to compost and fertilizer inside of the new beds and containers where they are planted. This is especially crucial because many seed-starting mixes don’t include the nutrients the seedlings really need. Offer these seedlings nutrition no later than four weeks after planting them, but three weeks is preferred. If you’re repotting plants due to them growing larger, the extra nutrients are more important because larger plants will require larger doses of nutrients.
Compost in Outdoor Gardens/Pots and Indoor Pots
Compost is a healthier, more organic fertilizer – and it’s free! If you have time to dedicate to composting, try it. Spread it around all your outdoor gardens, including in your flowerpots, and provide your indoor plants with some natural nutrients that they will love. A little goes a long way. Help them grow strong and healthy. Do something for Mother Nature and your plants this spring. Happy Earth Day!
Questions? Lehnhoff’s Supply is Here to Help
If you still have more questions about how to best prepare your garden for spring, the trained professionals at Lehnhoff’s Supply are here to help you.
Find us at 2708 Belair Road, Fallston, MD 21047, and give us a call at 410-510-7646. For tips, tricks, and to see what we have been up to, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!
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