Seedlings For Zone 7
Easy and Affordable Ways To Fertilize Plants
Plants, Fertilizer and Soil
The basic equation for gardeners who seek easy and affordable ways to fertilize plants begins with plants, fertilizer, and soil. The connection between the types of plants, the strength of fertilizer and nutrient composition of soil should be studied before attempting to fertilize plants. There are many vegetables, flowers, trees and shrubs with diverse nutrient needs that soil doesn't always provide. This is when fertilizer can be an additive that increases the health and growth of plants.
Start with a Soil Tester
To evaluate components in soil properly, invest in a soil tester. This will show the pH of the soil as well, as acidity or lack thereof. By clearly identifying nutrients existing in the soil, the type of fertilizer to choose is easier and more affordable.
One tip when using organic composted materials is to remove all pits and seeds before composting. Many gardeners find a surprise fruit tree seedling growing in their flower gardens or tomato seedlings growing beneath their rose bushes.
This is a result of seeds that take root in fertilizer-enriched soil. Potato scraps used coffee grounds, animal waste and even wood ash from the fireplace serve as easy and affordable ways to fertilize plants.
Search for Fertilizer
When using potato scraps, be careful to remove the "eyes," so these don’t take root. It's advisable to mix used coffee grounds with other organic or composted materials to neutralize high levels of acid. Orange, lemon and grapefruit peels are also suitable for acid-loving plants. Shrubs like azaleas or hydrangeas can withstand a dose of coffee grinds once or twice during their growing season. Animal waste is another means of fertilizer for flowers and shrubs.
When the Garden Needs Bone Meal for Fertilizer
Certain types of plants need phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. Read fertilizer package labels carefully when applying bone meal fertilizer. If your soil pH is lower than 7.0, bone meal fertilizer will increase the pH and help plant growth.
Oyster Shells, Clam Shells, and Egg Shells
The shells of oysters and clams have a certain amount of nutrients that help plant growth. These can be crushed. Some gardeners prefer to place these beneath their shrubs and trees and allow shell nutrients to leach naturally into the soil with each rain event. Egg shells are another easy and affordable way to fertilize plants. Egg shells also calcium rich. These can be crushed or powdered before adding to garden beds.