How do you fertilise your garden soil?

Water is not the only essential element for plants. The land in your garden contains vital elements which roots will use to take what your plants and shrubs need to grow.

However, in terms of their nutrients, these reserves are far from infinite. The land will tend to lose nutrients over time, notably due to erosion and exportation due to harvesting. It is therefore fundamental to maintain the fertility of the land with regular feeding. As, fertile land allows for growth of your plants by giving them the means to defend themselves against parasites and resist weather patterns.

The 3 pillars of fertilisation

Fertilising soil leads to optimising its nutritional value for your plants. To achieve this efficiently, you should take consideration of 3 fundamental pillars. If any one of these is missing, the system will work badly and the plant will suffer. It will then become more vulnerable to illnesses and attacks by insects and other predators.

Organic or mineral contribution

The contribution of supplements is used to balance the nature of the soil so as it offers the best possible protection to develop your crops. To achieve this, you should firstly know your soil. Is it clay, sand, limestone or chalk ?
It is only after answering this question that you can identify the characteristics and give it the organic and mineral contributions necessary to maintain or improve its nutritional functions.

Animal dung pies and compost heaps are the primary organic supplements. Other materials such as hay, bark or compost from green waste may also be used. You should incorporate these into the land in Autumn or Spring. Once combined in with the land, they will reconstitute the stock of organic materials and the humus of the earth.

So as to be sufficiently fertile, soil should have a minimum of 3% humus. This organic material provides the main nutrients and allows for the development of microbes so essential for plant growth. 
Over time, humus undergoes transformation in the soil (2% er year) by the phenomenon of mineralisation. If no organic fertilisation is applied, this will have negative consequences, such as:

  • The risk of compacting soil.
  • The phenomenon of slaking crust.
  • The difficulty for the soil to store water and nutrients.

Stimulation of roots

If the plant roots in your garden are under developed, the volume of land which they will explore will be weak. Consequently, your plants will not have access to a sufficient quantity of water and nutrients and this could harm their growth, notably during droughts.
To avoid this problem, use a root growth stimulator made from Osiryl. This product is 100% natural and stimulates the growth of roots and can be used at the time of planting and during maintenance. Offering visible results from 4 days, the Osiryl stimulant respects the environment and is used in organic farming.

Stimulation of roots

Fertiliser

To renew elements which are taken throughout the year and enrich the land in your garden, you will need to undertake a "maintenance" fertilisation by providing simple or natural organic fertilisers. 
Fertilisers comprise several elements which will feed the solid, and consequently your plants.

  • Nitrogen (N) : This is one of the major components of living beings, and plants. A nitrogen deficiency will lead to a pale colour in the foliage and slow growth.
  • Phosphorous (P) : This plays a role in the transfer of energy into cells and acts on flowering and root growth.
  • Potassium (K): This plays a role in colouring and the taste of fruits. It reduces transpiration and increases resistance to cold, illnesses and insects.
  • Calcium (Ca) : It accelerates the maturity of fruits and also has a beneficial effect on the soil by favouring microbe activities, humidification and mineralisation. A shortage of calcium may lead to poor storage of fruit.
  • Magnesium (Mg) : This reinforces the colour of the foliage and flowers. Major contributions in potassium should be combined with magnesium, otherwise there is a risk of shortage.
  • Sulphite (S) : This has an anti-fungal and acidifier effect in the soil. Plants which require a lot of sulphites are those from the crucifer family: cabbage, radishes, turnips and lileacious (garlic, onion, leek).

The use of a green fertiliser is also a simple and effective solution to maintain the fertility of land in a garden between two plantings. You can find out more about this natural soil fertilisation technique by reading our article on this subject.