How to use organic fertilizers correctly. Part 1
To always be with the harvest
There are many gardeners and vegetable growers who do not know how to use organic fertilizers. Accidental use does not give the desired effect, or even can be dangerous.
The saying goes: "Decay is the mother of vegetation"... She is good at noticing the meaning of soil fertilization. The Indians of the American continent a thousand years ago fertilized the soil with fish, the peasants of the countries of Asia and Europe, at the dawn of agriculture, improved fertility with various household waste. Organic fertilizers are designed to increase decay in soils, change the microbiological composition and fertility, enrich the soil with nutrients and air with carbon dioxide and thereby contribute to an increase in the yield and quality of agricultural products.
Organic fertilizers include manure, slurry, peat, feces, bird droppings, composts, various household waste, urban waste, green fertilizer, etc.
They are also called local fertilizers. Because they are not imported from afar, but accumulated (manure, slurry, feces, bird droppings) or mined (peat, silt), or prepared (composts, TMAU), or grown (green fertilizer) on the spot. The main one is manure.
Manure and other organic fertilizers have a multifaceted effect on the most important agronomic properties of the soil and, if used correctly, sharply increase the yield and quality of agricultural crops.
Organic fertilizers are primarily an energy material and a food source for soil microorganisms. Plants do not feed on organic matter.
All organic fertilizers rich in fiber (straw manure, green fertilizers, composts, etc.) are the material from which microorganisms draw energy for themselves, since they themselves cannot use the energy of the sun. And such organic fertilizers as manure, poultry droppings, composts and feces, moreover, are themselves very rich in microflora (1 ton of 15 kg of microorganisms). Together with them, we replenish the soil with beneficial microorganisms. In this regard, organic fertilizers enhance the vital activity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria, ammonifiers, nitrifiers, converting nitrogen compounds in the soil.
Most of the microorganisms are in fresh organic fertilizers, therefore it is better to apply them during spring digging of the soil in order to more effectively replenish the living phase of the soil and accelerate microbiological processes. Only after 1-2 months from the moment they are introduced into the soil, as they decompose, these fertilizers begin to serve as a source of nutrients for plants. During this period, organic fertilizers not only cannot supply plants with food, but also take away all nutrients previously available to plants from the soil.
Rapidly multiplying microorganisms, which have received a lot of energetic material for themselves with organic fertilizers, "eat" everything that is in the fertilizer and in the soil. Therefore, the plants, despite the application of fertilizers in the spring, are very hungry from lack of food. This fact is the basis for the methods of joint application of organic fertilizers with mineral fertilizers, especially with a small dose of nitrogen, 15-20 g of ammonium nitrate for every 10 kg of organic fertilizer. This dose of nitrogen is sufficient both for the nutrition of microorganisms and for the development of plants in the first phases of growth.
Manure and other organic fertilizers are not only a source of mineral nutrients for plants, but also carbon dioxide. Under the influence of microorganisms, these fertilizers, decomposing in the soil, emit a lot of carbon dioxide, which saturates the soil air and the above-ground layer of the atmosphere, as a result of which the air nutrition of plants is improved. From this point of view, organic fertilizers cannot be stored in the garden and must be applied in the spring when digging the soil, so that carbon dioxide is not wasted in vain from the manure storages. The higher the dose of manure, peat or compost introduced into the soil, the more carbon dioxide is formed during their decomposition, and the more favorable the conditions for air nutrition of plants.
During the period of maximum vegetative growth of plants (June-July), the increase in the carbon dioxide content in the above-soil air increases by 2-3 times - this is an essential factor in obtaining high yields of agricultural crops.
When adding 3-4 tons of manure to the soil, compared to the unfertilized area, the plants additionally receive 10-20 kg every day. This amount is sufficient to obtain a high yield of potatoes, vegetables and fruit and berry crops.
On low-humus soils, organic fertilizers are an important means of improving the agrochemical properties of the soil. With the systematic application of 8-12 kg / m² of organic fertilizers, the soil is enriched with humus, its biological, physical, chemical, physicochemical properties, water and air regimes, and structure are improved. The absorption capacity and the degree of soil saturation with bases (Ca, Mg, K) increase, acidity slightly decreases, the mobility of toxic forms of aluminum, iron, manganese in the soil decreases, and the soil buffering capacity increases, i.e. soils become more capable of retaining all nutrients from leaching and evaporation into the air. Heavy soils become less cohesive, and light soils become more coherent, their moisture capacity increases.
A particularly valuable quality of organic fertilizers is their ability to increase the absorption capacity and absorption capacity of the soil. Other fertilizers cannot do this. This quality makes it possible to preserve all nutrients in the soil in a state accessible to plants and to reduce gaseous losses from leaching.
Various humic fertilizers can now be found in stores. However, they cannot, unfortunately, replace organic fertilizers. They can be used alone as a supplement to other fertilizers.
In soil fertility, the depth of incorporation of organic fertilizers is essential. A shallow incorporation of fertilizers leads to the loss of nutrients into the air, and a deep one greatly slows down their decomposition due to a lack of oxygen at depth. Optimally, it is applied to a depth of 15-18 cm into the moist soil layer.
The systematic use of organic fertilizers, especially in combination with mineral fertilizers, creates favorable conditions for growing high and sustainable yields of various crops. If we compare them, then the nutrients of manure and mineral fertilizers applied in an equivalent amount, in most cases, are equivalent to obtain a good harvest of agricultural crops. However, replacing part of the nutrients of manure with mineral fertilizers is usually better than applying one organic or one mineral fertilizer. This has been confirmed by many experiments.
Organic fertilizers must be applied together with lime fertilizers for plants sensitive to increased soil acidity; with the introduction of superphosphate when sowing all cultivated plants, with feeding with nitrogen and potassium fertilizers of row crops during the period of their intensive growth, with the introduction of copper, molybdenum, zinc and cobalt micronutrients before sowing, when sowing or feeding the corresponding plants. Their joint introduction dramatically improves the quality of vegetable and fruit and berry products.
Of course, low yields of agricultural crops can be grown using either one mineral or one organic fertilizer. However, with their correct combination, the specific disadvantages of both types of fertilizers are eliminated and thus the conditions for their most rational use are created. It is known that part of the nutrients of organic fertilizers, including manure, becomes available to plants only as they become mineralized. Consequently, by the introduction of organic fertilizers alone, it is difficult to meet the needs of plants for nutrients, especially phosphorus in the first growing season (during seed germination), in microelements, which are very small in manure. In addition, mineralization of organic fertilizers in the soil can go in such a direction and with such intensity that plant nutrition will not be satisfied even during the period of maximum nutrient intake. This happens in cool and rainy summers, when organic fertilizer decomposes very slowly and plants starve from a lack of nitrogen, phosphorus and trace elements.
Unlike organic, many mineral fertilizers are fast acting. The nutrients contained in them can be used by plants quickly, immediately from the moment they are introduced into the soil. With the help of mineral fertilizers, it is easier to meet the changing nutritional requirements of plants throughout the growing season. For example, the pre-sowing application of mineral fertilizers (primarily granular superphosphate) provides plant nutrition at the very beginning of growth and cannot be replaced by any other fertilizers, and fertilizing with mineral fertilizers in addition to pre-sowing organic and mineral fertilizers satisfies the plant more fully in nutrients during the period of their maximum growth. Manure alone cannot do this.
When using some organic fertilizers, the ratio of nutrients in them can be completely different than the ratio required for normal growth and development of plants. In the case of applying optimal doses of mineral fertilizers or combining them with organic fertilizers, it is easier to create any ratio of nutrients required by plants. However, when using some mineral fertilizers, some of the properties of the soil often deteriorate.
Thus, under the influence of the systematic use of physiologically acidic fertilizers in soddy-podzolic soils, acidity increases, the content of mobile aluminum increases, and the chemical fixation of phosphates increases. At the same time, when applied together with organic fertilizers, this does not happen.
It should be borne in mind that when meeting the needs of agricultural plants for nutrition with mineral fertilizers alone, the danger of creating a concentration of soil solution harmful to plants is much greater than when combining mineral fertilizers with organic fertilizers. This danger is especially great on low-buffer soils when high doses of mineral fertilizers are applied.
Some crops, such as cucumbers and corn, are very sensitive to increased soil concentration, especially during the first growing season. For them, the combined use of organic and mineral fertilizers has a clear advantage over the introduction of some mineral or organic fertilizers.
Due to the use of organic fertilizers, the doses of mineral fertilizers can be significantly reduced, and thus the appearance of excessive concentration of salts in the soil solution is prevented. In addition, the concentration of the soil solution created by mineral fertilizers also decreases due to the biological absorption of nutrients by microorganisms that decompose organic fertilizers. Experiments prove that when mineral fertilizers and manure are applied together, their effect is not simply summed up, but significantly increases.
The correct combination of organic and mineral fertilizers does not mean that they must be simultaneously applied to the soil or by preparing mixtures. In the crop rotation, organic fertilizers are embedded under row crops (potatoes, etc.), and for subsequent crops, one mineral fertilizer is applied for 2-3 years. This is also a joint contribution. Consequently, the concept of "combination of mineral and organic fertilizers" is very broad, it cannot be reduced only to application at one time. The main thing here is to ensure the mandatory use of both at each site.
Read the second part of the article →
Candidate of Agricultural Sciences, Associate Professor,
Chief Specialist of the North-West Scientific and Methodological Center of the Russian Agricultural Academy
Humates and humic fertilizers: how to use them correctly
Today, a large number of fertilizers are on sale, called humic, or humates. Their price fluctuates in a wide range, in advertising materials each is called the best, the only one, etc.
How to understand what humates are, and how to use them correctly in the garden?
The best organic fertilizer for potatoes when planting in a hole
Such a perennial vegetable works well for fertilizers of any type, so you can safely choose both mineral and organic, or complex purchased ones.
Agricultural technicians recommend the use of settled manure as the main organic fertilizer. Suitable for both cow and horse or even rabbit.
The recommended amount of manure per hole is no more than 300 grams, but it all depends on the fertility of the soil.
Bone meal is also well used by gardeners as a phosphorus fertilizer - it works slowly but safely. Use half a glass in one well.
Bird droppings are also nutritious for nightshades. However, it contains more nutrients when it is fresh, so it is better to add it to the soil during plowing.
When planting, droppings can be added to the hole, but not fresh. It must be filled with water (10 parts of water are taken for one part of the droppings) and insisted for 3-4 days.
Ash is applied per well in an amount of 150 grams. At the same time, it is important that other fertilizers, especially organic ones, are not used at the same time.
Also, chopped dry onion husks are often introduced into the hole to protect the crop from pests.
For fertile soil, the amount of fertilizer should be slightly reduced. If the soil is infertile, then the amount of top dressing should, on the contrary, be made a little more.
How to fertilize correctly in the fall?
In the garden
Everything is simple here - all the "mineral water" and organic matter are introduced in the same way - they are evenly scattered over the surface of the site, and then they are dug onto the bayonet with a shovel.
In the garden
Top dressing of trees is carried out along furrows dug in a circle at a distance of 1.5–2 m from the trunk for vigorous trees and 1 m for low-growing ones. Fertilizer is dissolved or stirred in water, poured into furrows and covered with earth. Instead of a furrow, you can dig 8-12 holes 20 cm deep at the same distance from the trunk and distribute the fertilizer evenly over them.
Top dressing of fruit shrubs is combined with watering, distributing fertilizer along the projection of the crown.
General information about urine as a fertilizer: the positive and negative aspects of using the liquid on the site
Urea contains all sorts of components that have a beneficial effect on crops and soil. The main element of this liquid is ammonia, which is a stimulant for the growth of greenery. It is composed of trace elements such as iron, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, phosphates and calcium.
Human urine contains high amounts of sodium salts, therefore, it cannot be used in its pure form, but should be diluted in a 1: 3 ratio.
Often it is impossible to water crops with such fertilizer, you can spoil the soil with salts, as a result of which the vegetation will die.The concentration of the liquid plays an important role, taking this into account, you need to know which solution can be used for feeding, and which is undesirable.
The baby's urea is less concentrated, so it is used for watering indoor plants, diluted in a 1: 2 ratio. As a liquid fertilizer, cattle urine in a ratio of 1:10 is suitable.
Do not use pork urine solution. It contains the highest level of ammonia, which acidifies the soil and prevents crops from growing for several years.
The chemical composition of dog waste is also detrimental to greens.
Any type of fertilizer, like urea, has its own advantages and disadvantages. From the above, the pluses of urine include:
- Natural product
- Ease of operation
- Soil safety (personal control)
- Used as a control of some pests
- No cash costs.
A person can reproduce up to 2 liters of urinary fluid during the day.
- Bad smell
- Not suitable for all soil
- Requires excessive caution.
Many summer residents are wondering about the sterility of human waste. It is worth assuring that urine, if enriched with bacteria or pathogens, is not capable of infecting the crop or a person who ate the fruit of a plant treated with such fertilizer. This is due to the fact that during the growth of the seedling, various chemical reactions take place in it, and any substance participating in this process does not remain in its original form.
Experimental data from Swiss scientists have shown that urine is a "complete fertilizer" for agriculture. It reduces wastewater exposure, improves the recycling of the three main nutrients and, when properly handled, minimizes hygiene risks.
Historical fact! In 1933, the Soviet authorities created a decree on the arrangement of special canisters for collecting urine in all farms, since the efficiency of the urn was considered 2 times higher in comparison with artificial fertilizers.
Manure differs from different animal species in composition, it is undesirable to introduce it into the soil when fresh, since it contains plant seeds, pathogenic bacteria and even helminth eggs. But settled from 4 months to 3 years is an excellent means for enriching different types of soils.
However, if the land is very poor in nitrogen, you can feed the plants with fresh slurry diluted with water (1: 5). Such dressings have a beneficial effect on the development of all types of cabbage, beets, carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers, eggplants, zucchini and some other types of vegetable crops.
The settled manure is introduced into the soil during digging: from 5 kg to 10 kg per 1 m². (depending on the degree of its decomposition and the type of animal). You can make a solution for irrigation: add 2-3 kg of manure to 10 liters of water. Usually it is prepared in advance and allowed to brew for 10-15 days. And to get rid of the unpleasant odor, silica is added to the barrel with the infusion: 200-300 g per 100 liters. It is useful to add superphosphate to the manure infusion: 0.5 kg per 100 liters.
Horse manure in granular or liquid form can be found in our catalog, which contains the offers of many large online stores. View a selection of horse manure.
Manure is suitable for absolutely all plants and for all types of soils, and 2-3 water dressings per season will be enough to get a good harvest and improve the ornamental qualities of plants. The most valuable fertilizer that is obtained on the basis of completely rotted manure is humus. Read more about the use of manure in the articles:
- Manure - the king of organic fertilizers
- How to apply manure in an ecological garden. Secrets from the doctor
- Add organic matter and set a country record
It does not contain many nutrients by itself, but it increases the humus content in the soil and significantly improves its physiological properties. In addition, the soil, abundantly flavored with peat, becomes light and "airy", and the roots of our green pets feel very at ease in such conditions.
Peat increases the humus content and significantly improves the physiological properties of the soil
Peat (like manure) differs in the degree of decomposition and happens:
- riding - poorly decomposed plant parts (leaves, branches, roots, etc.), which is usually not used as fertilizer, but is perfect for mulching (sheltering) plants for the winter and as bedding for pets
- low-lying - completely decomposed plant remains (usually located 8-15 cm below the soil level). It is often used for the preparation of peat-mineral composts. It is especially good to apply it under vegetable crops and delicate exotic plants.
- transition - an intermediate state of peat between high and low. As a rule, it is used in composts of various compositions. Mineral fertilizers, bird droppings or manure, phosphate rock, micronutrient fertilizers, lime or ash are added to it.
Peat can be collected from swamps and spread out to dry if you want to mulch the soil with it, or you can put it in a compost heap for rotting if you want to use it as fertilizer. By the way, peat almost 2 (!) Times reduces the content of nitrates in fruits and significantly weakens the effect of pesticides that have got into the soil.
To improve the fertile properties of the soil, it is usually enough to apply 2-3 buckets of peat per 1 m² of soil. Moreover, it is better to scatter it evenly over the garden in the fall, and dig it up only in the spring, before planting the plants. It is useful to add wood ash - 200 g to peat (per bucket), a little superphosphate - 20-30 g and up to 1 liter of slurry.
Due to the fact that bone meal contains a large amount of phosphorus, it can be compared with superphosphates. Therefore, bone meal in the form of fertilizer can be added to the soil even during the autumn and spring digging of the garden.
How to fertilize correctly
To feed garden plantings, you need to follow the instructions:
- If vegetables grow in a greenhouse, then for each hole you need to add 2.5 tbsp. l. bone meal. Open beds are fertilized with the same amount of top dressing
- If berries are transplanted, then 50-100 g of fertilizer is added to each hole (depending on the size of the bush)
- When planting trees, it is worth adding flour in the amount of 200 g per sq. m. The procedure is carried out three times a year.
- Daffodils, lilies and tulips are fertilized with bone meal mixed with earth
- When perennials are transplanted, each hole must be fertilized with 2.5 tbsp. l. bone meal
- If you need to fertilize indoor plants, then the flour should be mixed with earth in a ratio of 1 to 100
- Even lawns can be fertilized with bone meal. For this, only 2-3 glasses per square meter are enough.