All the nutrients required by the plants cannot be provided by the soil or water alone. The soil might be deficient in certain elements which are essential and can hamper their growth. And we don’t want our beautiful plants to wilt and become brown due to lack of proper nutrition. So today let’s learn the different forms of fertilizers and how we can apply them.
- Solid fertilizers – Most of the nutrient supplements are available in solid forms like powder, pellets or small bead like structures known as granules. They can be applied through –
- Broadcasting – It is one of the most basic and common methods. You just need to sprinkle the fertilizers as evenly as you could in your pots or in your garden soil. One dose can be applied before sowing and one, 3-5 weeks after sowing.
This method consumes very less time and hardly any precision is needed. The major flaw is that the fertilizers are washed away with water and are not absorbed by the plants completely. It may also lead to the growth of unwanted plants i.e. weeds.
- Placement – It is a modified form of broadcasting as in this we carefully place a limited quantity of fertilizer at regular distances. This help us in controlling weeds and minimises the loss of chemicals. The fertilizers can be placed on the top of the soil or you can plough the soil a little bit to place them a few centimetres below the top layer. Deep placement can also minimize the loss due to water runoff.
- Liquid fertilizers – These are liquid formulations which can be added to water and can be applied through –
- Foliar application – They can be directly sprayed on the leaves of the plants. They are relatively easier to apply and less time consuming. One of the major advantage of foliar spray is that the nutrients are directly applied and absorbed by the leaves which result in faster growth. For potted plants foliar spray is the most convenient and effective method.
- Soil application – Instead of spraying the fertilizer formulations, we can use a pressure pump to inject the fertilizers into the soil directly. The same form of fertilizer can be applied in our backyards by creating furrows and filling them with fertilizer liquid so that the soil can absorb it. This is a non-pressure technique. Liquid formulations are mostly used for micronutrients and contain more than one nutrient in a solution. They are very useful in reviving a dying plant or plants with extreme symptoms of deficiencies.
Note – Please wear a mask and a pair of gloves while applying the chemicals as direct contact or inhalation may trigger an allergic reaction.