Manures and organic fertilizers

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To make gardens and orchards healthier, you can use natural manure and fertilizers, able to restore the correct quantity of nutrients.

Manures and organic fertilizers
Arch. Valentina Caiazzo
Arch. Valentina Caiazzo

Organic fertilizers and manures for plants and soil

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In agriculture and in the world of gardening, for the plants to flourish and have an healthy growth, it is good to be fertilized regularly.
This is why are often used organic fertilizers. The massive use is due to the fact that this type of product is often admitted even in organic crop production because, by operating at the level of the substrate, the fertilizers and their nutrients improve its quality, having positive effects not only on single plant, but on the ground in general.

The use of manures and organic fertilizers is widespread in agriculture, but also in orchards and vegetable gardens. The best time to use these products is autumn, at the turn of the months of October and November, when the growing season is ending and the soil can be replenished with nutrients to form reserves for the new season.

Characteristics of organic fertilizers

There are different types of fertilizers. The organic ones are divided into several categories, as well as distinguished for the concentration of micro and macro elements, depending on the amount required by the plants and the soil.
These types are: organic fertilizers, organo-mineral fertilizers and natural organic amendments. The substantial difference between these is the content of nitrogen, which for the part of the fertilizers can never drop below 3%.

Among the fertilizers are also numbered products of animal origin, such as wool waste, guano or remains of blood, such as ox blood, while between soil improvers are mainly products of vegetable origin.

Types of organic fertilizers and soil improvers

Among the most common organic fertilizers there are:
compost, dry manure, blood, horn-hoof mixture, manure and distiller's residue.

The horn-hoof mixture fertilizers is one of the oldest. It is a product which is obtained by the fragmentation and atomization of animals horns and hoofs. It is generally sold in bags in the form of flakes and is widely used for its high percentage of nitrogen and phosphorus pentoxide.

The horn-hoof mixture can be used long before the plant or planting, in order to prepare the ground, creating and nurturing long-term reserves.
The slow release is ideal for ornamental plants and fights leaching due to rain and weather.

Dried blood, however, is a fertilizer with fast enough transfer and is a very powerful organic fertilizer to be used in very small doses as not to burn the plant.

It has a high content of nitrogen, particularly suitable for fruit plants and, together with the blood flour, even for flowers, it has a high amount of iron.

Among the organic fertilizers are the volcanic ash, also known as bentonite. This is a meal made from clay, which is incorporated into the soil and leaves to improve the structure.

When used in pots, bentonite can absorb some moisture (preventing rot) but also fertilizers that are released slowly over time.

Among the organic fertilizers there are, in addition, sugar beet, or a residue: molasses. This gives rise to the distiller's residue, which is obtained by processing beet and contains a high percentage of potassium.
Generally it is sold in the form of fluid organic fertilizer, suitable for soils extremely poor in organic matter and for sandy ones, it acts quickly, restoring the ecological balance.

Fertilizers for plants and soil

Not only fertilizers for plants, but designed for the soil.
To increase the quantity of organic material and humus in the soil, use the leonardite.
This fertilizer is obtained from lignite and is very rich in fatty damp that make the soil softer.

Among the most particular fertilizers and soil improvers, we find fertilizers based on algae, distributed in the form of powder or liquid, particularly useful in that they contain high amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and vitamins.
The release is immediate and the action is very strong for this are often used for fertilizers foliar spray.

For example, the lithotamnion is obtained by grinding a red alga widespread in Britain that contains high amounts of calcium. This make the plants more resistant to pest attacks, whether it be of fruit plants, both of garden plants.

This fertilizer is presented as a fine powder of white color light and can be spread on the soil or incorporated in minimum amounts, with percentages that vary depending on the type of cultivation.

Finally, among the natural fertilizers are guano, obtained from the manure of some birds of marine areas, which over time have been stratified creating real deposits that are widespread in South America. In this case, however, the product should be used sparingly, as it can create damage to the environment, due to the high amount of nitrate content.

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