Organic Fertilizers: Which Ones To Use And When To Apply Them To Plants?

Fertilizer is used to nourish plants and promote their growth and fruiting. But to be really effective, it must be used at the right time.

Engrais naturel : lesquels utiliser et quand les appliquer sur les plantes ?

What is the difference between organic and mineral fertilizers?
Organic fertilizers are derived from natural waste products, either from plants or animals. Mineral fertilizers come either from deposits or from the chemical industry. Organic fertilizers are slower to be assimilated by the plant, whereas mineral fertilizers are assimilated very quickly. Nevertheless, natural organic fertilizers are respectful of the planet and do not deplete the soil.

4 fertilizer recipes to make with what you already have at home
Your plants and your garden would appreciate a little fertilizer but you don’t have any? While waiting for garden centers to reopen, we suggest you make your own fertilizer with ingredients you probably already have at home. Recipes.

Organic fertilizers

Organic Fertilizers: Which Ones To Use And When To Apply Them To Plants?

Organic fertilizers have multiple advantages: in addition to respecting the environment because they are made from recycled organic matter, they also respect plants. Some fertilizers will have a quick effect, like guano or dried blood. Rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, they allow the plant to grow quickly, without burning its roots. These fertilizers should be used in the spring, for your new plantations.

Crushed horn, for example, has a longer-lasting effect: it is a so-called bottom fertilizer. Rich in nitrogen, it is deposited around the plant and allows it to feed for several months. It is ideal for fall plantings (to strengthen plants before winter), but it can also be used in spring. Do not hesitate to use this fertilizer when preparing your soil, before planting.

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Mineral fertilizers

Complete fertilizers are very often produced by chemistry and are composed of several minerals: nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus. You will find in stores precise dosages corresponding to the different types of plants. Chemical fertilizers have the advantage of being used immediately by the plants, and act more quickly than organic fertilizers. However, they feed the plants but not the soil! They quickly need a new fertilizer “boost”, while at the same time the soil is altered by these chemicals. You can use these fertilizers during spring watering for example, but also in autumn. However, beware of the risk of overdosing: these products can burn the roots and impoverish the soil. They should be used with caution. Instead, choose products that are more respectful of nature.

3 nutrients :
Nitrogen acts on the growth of leaves and stems. Useful for leafy vegetables such as cabbages and salads, but also for tomatoes and peppers, to boost stem growth.
Phosphorus acts on rooting and fertilization. An active ingredient recommended for fruit trees, plants and flowering vegetables.
Potassium acts on resistance (to pests and cold) and on root development. This active ingredient is used on bulbs and tubers.
Which natural fertilizers to choose?
Rich in nitrogen: nettle manure, dried blood, guano and horse manure
Rich in phosphorus: fish bones and bone powder
Rich in potassium: horn, comfrey and wood ash

When to apply fertilizer?

Natural fertilizers can be applied at the end of winter, one to two months before planting. This way, they will gradually nourish the soil throughout the season. It is also advisable to apply a thick layer of compost in late fall, so that it decomposes over the winter. In summer, no fertilizer is needed, the hours of sunshine are enough for the plants to develop.

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What dosage?

The dosage depends on each natural fertilizer chosen. Follow the instructions on the packaging carefully. Indeed, even if they are organic, do not overdose, it can be very harmful for the soil and plants.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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