Organic supplements for N-P-K
Healthy plants are not a coincidence, they are products of a well-chosen site with adequate sun, proper drainage, and nutrition.
To supplement your soil with fertilizer – the numbers on the package refer to N – P – K (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium).
- The benefits of Nitrogen are seen in substantial leaf development,
- Phosphorus improves the blossoms/seeds/fruits and
- Potassium is for root development.
Depending on what you are growing
- – Nitrogen (N): leafy plants - spinach – the leaves are most important and a fertilizer of 10-0-0 would be most beneficial.
- - Phosphorus (P): tomatoes need good blossom development to produce fruit, look for a higher number in the middle 20-50-0.
- - Potassium (K): the lawn is an example of focusing on root development so 13-0-44 or even 0-0-60.
In organic gardening, the labels aren’t quite obvious.
Here’s a summary to help:
- Nitrogen: - alfalfa meal (3% N), leaf compost (varies), blood meal (12% N), fish meal (7-10% N)
- Phosphorus: - wood ash (2% P) – (caution, significant amounts can change the soil pH), bone meal (27% P), colloidal phosphate from clay surrounded with P (2-3% P)
- Potassium: - granite dust
Things you may have around the house: used coffee grounds (NPK - acid loving plants), egg shells (calcium/lime), fish
tank fresh water (N):
The following is from http://txmg.org/hamilton/2014/06/18/ask-a-master-gardener-about-fertilizer/
- “Coffee Grounds: Don’t throw them away. They make an excellent fertilizer for acid-loving plants such as roses,
rhododendrons and azaleas. Line a cookie sheet with newspaper and spread it with used coffee grounds to dry completely.
Sprinkle sparingly around the base of the plants. Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, potassium and magnesium.
- Egg Shells: Save them and let them air dry. Then grind them up in a blender until they are powdery and sprinkle
them on the garden. Egg shells are almost entirely calcium carbonate, the main ingredient in agricultural lime.
- Fish Tank Fresh Water: When it’s time to replace the water in your fresh water fish tank, don’t pour it down the drain or flush it down
the toilet along with the dead fish. It contains nitrogen. Use it on the garden.”
Permission was requested for using the above.
Submitted by Barbara Bozek