Which one to use?
We all know that while building a house, you first need to prepare the land so that it becomes capable of holding a vast building. Similarly, before sowing a seed, you first need to prep the land and soil for it to become nutrient-rich and robust enough to grow a healthy-living plant.
But what happens when we have little or no prior knowledge of gardening. We don't get the required results even after providing a sufficient amount of food to the plant. This is because we don't choose the right soil, fertilizers and manures.
What makes the soil healthy? Fertilizers and manures, but what are they and how to use them? And primarily what is the difference between fertilizers and manures?
Here is a small guide to what are fertilizers and manures.
What are fertilizers?
A natural or chemical substance mixed with the soil or put up on the land to make plants grow better. It can be in a solid, liquid or powdered form. The fertilizers carry nutrients that can help a plant to grow in a better and healthy way. There are two types of fertilizers.
● Rock phosphate
● Chicken litter
● Bone meal
Chemical fertilizers are synthetically originated, and they possess a high amount of phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium, which are essential elements for plant growth.
Few examples of chemical fertilizers are:
● Ammonium sulphate
● Ammonium phosphate
● Ammonium nitrate
● Ammonium chloride
What are Manures?
Manures are natural soil amendments or soil additives that generally are excreta of the animals. The decomposed form of dead plants and animals is also manure. They increase the production of the soil. They work very well in improving soil
fertility. The different types of manures are:
1.) Animal manure
● Cattle dung
● Excreta or animal droppings
2.) Green manure
● Plants waste
● Domestic waste from food
Which one is better - Manure or Fertilizer?
Selecting one as the best will be partial as both fertilizers and manures are important and work differently in their sections.
Organic Fertilizers are better at providing nutrients to the plant; because they carry a complete list of nutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium, Amino Acids, etc.
However incorrect use of fertilizers can sometimes affect the microorganisms present in the soil.
Hence one should opt for Organic Fertilizers in a combination of Slow release and Liquid fertilizers as both are essential for healthy growth of plants.
On the other hand, since Manures are naturally obtained, their nutrients depend on the animals and they may not contain the required nutrients in proper quantity.
Manures work slowly but provide nutrients, enrich soil fertility and increase good microbes’ activity in the soil.
Hence Manures should be used as a Soil Amendment and not solely as a fertilizer. They should be a part of the potting soil mix so that they provide slow and steady release of nutrients to the plants.
The ideal way to use Fertilizers and Manure is as follows:
Manures should be mixed with your potting soil while transplanting your plant in a pot or a container.
Fertilizers should be used as a top up every few days depending on the usage mentioned on the pack. Ideal way to fertilize any plant is a mix of Organic Slow Release Fertilizer and Organic Liquid Fertilizer.
One can follow the below Fertilizer Regime for a Month:
1st week - Top up the soil with a slow release fertilizer which will feed the plant continuously.
2nd week - Use a liquid fertilizer which will provide instant nutrition.
3rd week - Top up the soil with a slow release fertilizer which will feed the plant continuously.
4th week - Use a liquid fertilizer which will provide instant nutrition.