Plants need to eat

Even a home inspector knows that food is vital to all life whether it is here in Calgary or elsewhere in the world. This means that your carefully cultivated seeds and plants require more than water and sunshine to thrive. Plants that are properly fed grow more quickly, are healthier, and become larger than their lesser fed counterparts.

Finding the right kind of feed for your plants can be very confusing. There are so many types, and each plant type requires its own kind of food. So, how do you determine what is the best type to buy?

Granular, liquid, and controlled release are the three types of fertilizers. These fertilizers have three main nutrients which are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Of course, depending on the type of fertilizer there may be iron, manganese, and other kinds of micronutrients.

Granular plant foods only need to be added about once a month, and should be used on the lawn or as a part of general garden care. This kind is usually for those mixed gardens that have differing types of plants close together. To use granular plant feed sprinkle over the desired area and then mix it down into the soil. After mixing it in soak the soil so that the fertilizer goes where it is most needed.

Photo by SuSanA Secretariat.

Liquid plant food needs to be diluted in water, and then sprinkle as close to the base of the plant as you can get. This type of food is most effective for potted plants. It should be used about once a week, but there are some that only require the feeding to be done twice a month.

With controlled release fertilizer there are bead granules which keep plants fed over a few months. This type of plant feed only needs to be done annually or bi-annually depending on the product. To apply just loosen the soil surface and then drop the directed amount in. It is ideal for a variety of plants.

There are number of organic fertilizers that are good to use too. Home inspectors have seen all types of plants and fertilizers in their jobs. Here’s hoping the green thumbs of Calgary find the food that is right for their gardens!

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