Today, there are many who choose to use strictly organic crops in their gardens or nurseries to obtain natural and healthier products from their plants. Whether you are looking to get a better yield from your plantation or if you simply want to have your plants as strong and healthy as possible, the use of organic fertilizer is a great option, which is especially important for delicate plants and arid or overexploited soils. .
In this EcologíaVerde article we bring you all the information about the organic fertilizer: what it is, types, benefits and how to do it.
Organic fertilizer: what is it?
organic fertilizer is actually a general term that refers to any material of animal or plant origin that can be used to provide nutrients and improve soil fertility. Simplifying it a lot, we can say that an organic fertilizer is a substance made with residues or vegetable or animal waste that makes our land better for plants.
However, it is not as simple as mixing any of these residues with the soil or throwing them on it. Organic fertilizers must be prepared properly or they can be harmful to our plants.
Types of organic fertilizer
There are a lot of types of organic fertilizers and ways to make them, however, in this article we are going to leave aside the industrial ones to focus on the most common types of organic fertilizer that you can make and use in your own garden or in your pots.
- Compost: Compost is the most basic of organic fertilizers and also one of the most used because of how easy it is to obtain. To prepare compost, you only need plant residues and a place to ferment them for 3 to 5 months. Here we explain more about the advantages of composting.
- Earthworm humus: this is one of the most nutrient-dense fertilizers out there. It is also very popular since to produce it it is only necessary to get the right worms. Learn more about the Benefits of earthworms in the garden or orchard with this other post.
- Wood ashes: if you have a fireplace at home, save the ashes from the burned wood. Diluted in water, they are an excellent source of phosphorus and potassium for the soil.
- Coffee grounds: Coffee lovers can get double the benefit of their favorite drink if they take advantage of the coffee grounds, since mixed with the soil they provide a large amount of nitrogen, which the plants will appreciate.
- Eggshells: ,smelled as finely as possible, crushed eggshells sprinkled around the base of plants can help keep out some pests, such as snails and caterpillars, as well as enriching the soil.
- Shredded branches and leaves: Pruning debris and fallen leaves, properly shredded and scattered, are also a great source of nutrients for the soil.
- Manure: This is nothing new, manure has always been one of the most used fertilizers. However, animal waste must be composted before it can be used as manure, and it must come from animals that have not been fed antibiotics.
- Bokashi obocashi: This is a variant of compost traditionally used by Japanese farmers, and its main advantage is that its preparation is much faster than this, since it can be completed in about two weeks. However, it has the disadvantage of requiring chicken manure, which not everyone has access to.
Benefits of organic fertilizer
The benefits than organic fertilizer contributes to the soil are many, but the main and most important are the following:
- Improvement of soil characteristics: both the nutrients it contains, as well as its acidity and its water retention capacity. Organic fertilizer helps to recover highly exploited soils, and even in the long term its effects are more than noticeable.
- Resistance to diseases and pests: By strengthening the microscopic organisms in the soil with the supply of nutrients, we make the soil, and therefore also the plants, more resistant to the attack of many pests.
- It is totally sustainable: Composting involves recycling substances and products that would otherwise be thrown away, making it an environmentally friendly way to strengthen your plants.
How to make homemade organic compost
compost at home It is very simple. To do this, follow these instructions and you will easily help your plants.
- Choose a place to compost. A hole in the garden soil, an out-of-the-way box, or even a suitably sized container will work. It is important that, in the latter case, you do not cover it and have ventilation.
- Gather your organic waste. Ideally, you should stick to plant-based waste, as using meat or droppings could attract flies and other unwanted pests, as well as bad odors.
- Put a layer of green or fresh organic waste, followed by a layer of dry waste (fallen twigs, dry leaves) and finally a layer of soil. You can add more layers like this as you have more waste.
- Stir it once a week, and if you live in a very dry or hot climate, moisten it slightly from time to time, but always without flooding it. One sign that your compost production is going well is that it should smell like wet soil and not rot or anything unpleasant.
If you follow these steps, in about three months in summer or five in winter you will have your compost ready to add to any substrate. In this other EcologíaVerde article we tell you more about How to make homemade organic fertilizer for plants.
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