As a container gardening enthusiasts, I’ve know for many years that plant health depends on the quality of the soil – especially if you have a container garden. Plants only flourish when the soil is well aerated and contains the essential nutrients for their growth.
Your plants must be able to draw nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium from the soil. Synthetic chemical fertilizers may ensure quick soil fertility and plant growth but their constant use robs the soil of essential microbes, depleting its quality. Over time, salt build-up in the soil damages the roots of the plants.
Choosing organic soil for your container gardening needs is a smart option. Organic soil contains the remains of various organisms which are decomposed by the microbes present in the soil. The decomposition of organic material releases nutrients which are directly drawn by the plants, promoting lush growth.
Benefits of Organic Soil
Organic fertilizer improves the soil quality. The decomposed organic matter releases the nutrients slowly over a period of time allowing sustained growth in your container garden. It also prevents erosion of nutrients. Unlike synthetic fertilizers that erode the soil micro-organisms, organic soil helps feed the microbes that are essential for plant health.
Since the release of nutrients is a slow process your garden will need time to flourish. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are present in small quantities in organic soil. So, will need to add more organic fertilizer so your plants are able to get the right amount of nutrition. There are many choices on the market today. I personally like fish and seaweed (kelp) fertilizers. These organic fertilizers come in a liquid form and are mixed with water, then used to water plants where nutrients are taken in through the leaves. And, luckily, there are many companies that produce outstanding commercial organic fertilizers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amelia Painter lives in the desert community of Sun City, AZ and her entire garden is planted in containers on her patio. She mostly uses fish fertilizer, but compliments it with worm castings and what is fondly referred to as “worm tea” — a liquid form of the worm castings. Painter is the co-author of the book “Organic Container Gardens for All.”
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