When you set out to plant your garden, you must have tilled your ground, added compost or fertilizer, watered the soil, chosen appropriate growth containers, prepared the seeds for germination, sourced for irrigation options and other necessary things to make your plants grow. However, nothing lasts forever. You might find out that you need a little extra of one mineral or the other for your plants to thrive. Below are some readily available sources of minerals your plants require:
- Most plants grow best in soils with pH ranging from 5.5 to 7. However many ornamental plants such as lily, daisy, geranium, morning glory, and maidenhair fern thrive in slightly alkaline soils. To make the soil more alkaline, try spent compost from a mushroom farm. It is readily available as mushroom farmers change substrate after each production usually every 30 days.
- To make nitrogen available for your soil, include sawdust, wood ashes, corn husk, and dry grasses to the soil. Introduce this when you observe that the older leaves at the bottom of the plant are turning yellow while the other leaves are light green in color and when the plant growth becomes generally stunted.
- A good source of calcium is eggshells. Wash, dry and grind them into powder. Add it to the base of your plant before watering. The calcium will be gradually added to the soil. This is especially good for tomatoes plants. Calcium deficiency is indicated in plants where the topmost/new leaves are distorted or irregular in shape, margin and tips becomes necrotic.
- A readily available source of magnesium is Epsom salt. Dissolve half teaspoon for every litre of water. Do not do this often as too much salt can kill your plant. Magnesium deficiency is observed when the edges of the leaves are turning yellow leaving a green arrowhead shape in the middle of the leaf.
- A good substitute for fertilizer in encouraging root growth and strong root systems is rock dust which can be gotten from any quarry nearby.
- Blend your fruit peels and leftover vegetables to make organic fertilizer for your plant. Spray plant base with the diluted recipe.
- Transport earthworms to your garden and multiply them. Earthworms love cool damp places like beneath a decaying log of wood and grass. They aerate the soil as they burrow into it while fertilizing the soil with their castings. The casting is a rich source of nitrates, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and calcium which can increase garden yield by 25%.
Do have a fun filled experience giving your plants a little extra.