How to get the most out of your balcony plants? You will need to fertilize them the right way. Here is a small guide to the type of fertilizer to choose.
The fertilizer allows the plants to be healthy and produce flowers and leaves. Fertilizer therefore represents a real ally for green thumbs, even for those who only have a balcony to take care of. Plants in pot, in fact, they cannot live with water and light alone but also thanks to the mineral salts present in the soil. Furthermore, with chlorophyll photosynthesis, the matter is organic and the plant is able to produce fiber, fats, sugars and proteins.
If light and water come from outside, mineral salts they stand where the plant is located. Especially if it is potted, these items they need to be reinstated from time to time.
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There are different types of fertilizers on the market, but it is important to know how to recognize them to understand which ones can be useful for your potted plants on the balcony.
What is fertilizer and what is it used for
The fertilizer is a compound that contains the nutrients useful for the composition of the soil and for the plant to be able to sustain itself. It serves to ensure that the soil can always be fertile and, therefore, can provide the plant with everything it needs to grow.
Among the functions of the fertilizer stand out:
- fertilization: or enrich the soil with those elements useful for making plants grow
- amendment: or to improve the physical-mechanical characteristics of the soil
- correction: or to correct the anomalies that may exist in the soil as regards the reaction but also to favor microbial activity.
What is the right time to fertilize? It cannot always be added but at specific times of the year. It is necessary that fertilization should be planned so that the plants can receive the right nutritional action. The fertilizer must be applied homogeneously into the soil and, at the same time, it should be treated with: aeration, plowing, watering.
Fertilizer works by changing the pH of the soil. The aim is to make it obtain a balanced acidity state, to ensure that it can grow and develop the plants that will be placed inside it. Thanks to the fertilizer, plants will be able to grow healthy and strong.
Classification of fertilizers
Fertilizers can be classified according to the number of substances they contain. The elements contained are indicated on the package using numbers. The first issue concerns the contained percentage of nitrogen (N); the second number indicates the contained percentage of phosphorus pentoxide (P₂O5) while the last one it concerns potassium oxide (K₂O).
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They are called simple those that they work when not fertilization is required particular but Basic. Complex fertilizers consist of two elements used concurrently. General or complete fertilizers, provide to the soil nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, therefore three elements.
A further classification concerns whether the fertilizers are natural or chemical. The former are available in nature, completely organic, and are back in vogue. The best known and most used is manure. It contains all three main fertilizing elements but also trace elements. Obviously, using mature manure for your potted plants could be particularly tricky. It can be remedied with kitchen waste, dry macerated leaves, coffee grounds, etc. The chemical fertilizer is produced in the laboratory and is made up of nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium and other minerals.
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Yet, according to the release of nutrients, fertilizers are divided into three categories: fast-acting, gradual release and very slow release.
When using fertilizer
Fertilizer is mainly used in spring, that is when the plants are preparing to live a new vegetative cycle. Depending on the organoleptic types of fertilizer, they can be divided into: liquid, powder, granules and pellets.
Liquid fertilizer works quickly and runs out within a few days. Its administration must take place every week / 10 days to take effect. Precisely because it is liquid, it can be added to the water used for watering which must be uniform.
Powdered fertilizer, on the other hand, is sold in the form of salts. When you put it in the ground it is necessary to check that it dissolves perfectly.
The fertilizer in granules, on the other hand, has a slow but constant release. It must always be incorporated and distributed evenly in the ground.
As for the pellet fertilizer, however, it is generally natural and organic. Also in this case, the product is sprinkled on the ground or incorporated into it. With water, the pellet flakes off and is slowly absorbed by the ground.
Be careful to read the packaging carefully. In fact, all the dosages are written on it. Remember, an overdose of fertilizer could be bad for your plant.
Fertilizer: which one to choose for balcony plants – photos and pictures
Now you just have to put on your gloves and get to work with your plants on the balcony. Good job!