Soil Amendments and How to Decide

Every gardener runs into the problem of a plant needing a boost. Do you want to feed the plant or do you want to feed the soil microbes to help the soil feed this plant and more in coming planting seasons? With our climate being so very wet many nutrients and minerals will leach out of our soils each fall-winter-spring season. There is no real differences here between these three seasons, they are all wet rainy and dreary. I know that some like this weather pattern, but our vegetables do not for the most part.

This creates an dilemma for us. We want to produce the best plants possible, but we also want to go the organic route. Well you could wait until about now and feed your soil. The end of April is about the time that the rain stops and the sun begins.

A little bit of a background on fertilizers. On commercial blends you will see a three number combination, such as  indicating the N-P-K blend. N stands for Nitrogen, P stands for Phosphorus and K stands for Potassium. Nitrogen is great for plant’s growth. It helps to develop the leaves and stem structures of living plants. Phosphorus assists with root and bloom growth. Potassium assists with the movement of water, nutrients and minerals throughout the plant.

Each year, I broadcast an organic supplement for my potatoes and asparagus. It is a fish bone meal and it smells like it. The fish bone meal has an NPK signature of 3-18-0. The bone meal is an excellant source of phosphorus for the growing plants, phosphorus assists with root growth, which is very important to both of the aforementioned vegetables.

I also provide a general organic soil amendment/ fertilizer for the other veggies in the garden. It has an NPK signature of 5-7-3. The tomatoes, cucumbers and beans all get a broadcast of the general fertilizer.

My blueberry bushes get a spring dose of soil acidifier. They get this because the soil near me is only slightly acidic, not low enough though for the blueberries to be happiest. This year the apple tree will get a 7-4-2 blend. This will assist in growth of the tree.

Fertilizing is important, choosing the right blend is just as important. Many times, blends will call out what they best work for. If you have a special circumstance, leave a comment below, and I will answer your questions.

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