Plant based fertilizers
Fertilizers made from plant raw materials have a low or medium N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) value, but nutrients from them, when they enter the soil, quickly become available to plants. Some of these fertilizers also provide an extra dose of minerals and micronutrients. The most common plant-based fertilizers are:
- Alfalfa flour. Is derived from the alfalfa plant and is produced in the form of granules. Contains nitrogen and potassium (approximately 2 percent), as well as a small amount of minerals and growth stimulants.
- Compost from plants. Mainly used to introduce organic matter into the soil. Unlike fertilizers containing nutrients, it is not very valuable in itself, but in the soil it promotes the transition of any nutrients into a form accessible to plants.
- Сompost. Prepared from a variety of organic materials. Plant residues not affected by pests and diseases, feces, bird droppings, manure and other materials are piled in a loose heap (pile) on a flat surface, alternating with sod land or peat. The basis of the heap is a litter of leaves, sawdust or peat with a layer of 10-12 cm.
Periodically, the pile is moistened with water or a solution of fertilizers, after 40-50 days the compost is stirred, and when its temperature reaches 60 ° C, it is compacted.
- Corn gluten meal. Derived from corn kernels, this flour contains 10 percent nitrogen. Applies only to actively growing plants, because it inhibits seed germination. The manufacturer recommends starting sowing seeds 1 to 4 months after using this product, depending on weather and soil conditions.
- Cottonseed meal meal. Made from cotton seed bolls. This granular fertilizer is especially good for applying nitrogen (6%) and potassium (1.5%). It is best to use flour made from organic cotton seeds because industrial cotton fields are heavily treated with pesticides that may be present in the oils contained in the seeds.
- Seaweed ash. This product is obtained from seaweed and is produced in liquid, powder and granular form. Although it contains only a small amount of nitrogen-phosphate-potassium fertilizer, it contains valuable trace elements, growth hormones and vitamins, which help to increase yields and plant resistance to drought and frost.
- Soy flour. Derived from soybeans and produced as granules, soy flour is prized for its high nitrogen content (7%) and phosphorus content (2%). Like alfalfa flour, soy flour is especially suitable for nitrogen-loving plants like roses.
- Humus. Humus, humates and humic acids are organic substances that are often present in compost. It is believed that humus improves the activity of soil microbes, thereby improving the structure of the soil and promoting the development of the root system of plants.
These products have no value as a fertilizer and are used, rather, as stimulants, to maintain the microbial activity of the soil, which in turn improves the living conditions of plants.
- Peat. Peat contains few nutrients available to plants, but it increases the humus content and improves the soil structure. The dark color of peat promotes heat absorption and rapid soil heating. Several types of peat are distinguished by the degree of decomposition.
Horse is characterized by a low degree of decomposition of plant residues and high acidity. Lowland is characterized by a high degree of decomposition and lower acidity. Transitional peat occupies an intermediate position between them. Peat is collected in bogs, then laid out for ventilation or laid in a compost heap. They bring in peat at any time of the year, even in winter on snow. But we must not forget that lime must be added to it. In the garden, peat is best added to composts, as well as to soil mixtures for growing seedlings and greenhouses.
- Silt (sapropel). Accumulates at the bottom of ponds, lakes, rivers and other bodies of water. It contains plant and animal residues in the form of humus, rich in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. After a short airing, the sludge can be successfully used on sandy soils (3-9 kg per 1 m2).
- Siderata. Natural organic fertilizer is a high-stemmed plant mass of one- or perennial legumes (spring peas, spring vetch, forage beans, lupine, seradella), as well as phacelia, buckwheat, sunflower and others, pre-grown and plowed into the soil. By their action, green manure is almost equivalent to fresh manure.
Nutrients contained in the plant mass of green manure, getting into the soil and gradually decomposing, become available for subsequent crops, and organic green manure contributes to the restoration of the soil structure. Some green manure crops (lupine, buckwheat, mustard) increase the solubility and availability of low-mobile soil phosphates for plants, and lupine can use hard-to-reach forms of potassium.
- Sawdust and bark. Cheap organic fertilizer, which can significantly increase soil fertility, improve its air permeability and moisture capacity. Only they should not be brought in fresh, but rotted or mixed with other materials. Usually sawdust is used as a fertilizer in combination with urea, since they practically do not contain nitrogen.
To accelerate the decomposition process, sawdust is piled up, moistened with water, slurry. You can mix them with fallen leaves and plant debris. It is useful to interlayer sawdust with earth. During the summer, the pile is shoveled twice, adding the accumulated plant debris and nitrophosphate.