Ecological fertilizers and natural fertilizers

I ecological fertilizers and natural fertilizers they are used for the purpose of increasing and improving the fertility of the soil without resorting to toxic or harmful substances. Let's find out better.

> What is fertilization

>  Letami e compost

> Macerates and vegetable fertilizers

> An example of vegetable macerate

> Green manure to increase fertility



Ecological fertilizers and natural fertilizers


What is fertilization

In agriculture, the term fertilization refers to all the techniques that aim to improve the fertility of the soil. This can happen, depending on the cases and specific needs, by intervening with various methods that can be traced back to three categories, each relating to the characteristics with which the soil structure is classified and its fertility measured.

  1. Intervening on the texture of the soil: when a soil is unbalanced in one of its essential components (sand, clay, silt) we intervene by increasing the missing component, in order to restore structure to the soil, improving its fertility. Fertilizers that act on the texture of the soil are called amendments.
  2. Intervening on the pH of the soil: when the level of acidity or basicity of a soil differs too much from the fertility range of the plants to be cultivated, we intervene by correcting the pH of the soil by adding chemicals, both natural and synthetic. Fertilizers that act on the pH of the soil are called corrective. An example of an ecological corrective is ash, to make the soil more basic, 
  3. Intervening on the humus level of the soil: when a soil is too poor in organic matter, we intervene by adding it through fertilizers which can be of animal (manure) or vegetable (macerated) origin.

 



 

Manure and compost

Fertilizers that fall into the category of fertilizers can therefore be of animal, vegetable and mixed origin. Manure derives from the maturation of animal waste which, through a different composting period depending on the animal of origin, is transformed into organic material that can be used as fertilizer. This type of fertilization has very ancient origins, linked to the origin of agriculture itself and the most used types of manure are:

  • bovine manure (mixed with straw or dried)
  • horse manure (considered a "hot manure")
  • pig manure (considered a "cold manure")
  • sheep manure
  • rabbit manure
  • droppings (derived from birds)
  • blood, bone, horn meal

Each manure has a different final chemical composition and is added to the soil in different percentages depending on the needs of the soil.
Manure belongs to the great category of compost, i.e. organic waste materials (manure, food waste, pruning, foliage, sewage, etc.) degraded and decomposed in an environment and in precise physical and chemical conditions that allow micro and macro organisms to transform everything into organic matter.

In addition to manure, we also have other types of compost, without the contribution of animal waste, such as domestic compost, produced thanks to food waste and garden residues.

 

You can learn more about how to make natural fertilizer at home

Ecological fertilizers and natural fertilizers

 

Macerates and vegetable fertilizers

There are fertilization techniques that do not involve the use of animal derivatives. Among these we find first of all the vegatal macerates, very useful to the farmer as a tool not only for fertilization but also as pesticides, repellents, tonic and fortifying plants. Some examples: nettle macerate, horsetail macerate, comfrey macerate, etc ...



 

We know an example of vegetable macerate

The nettle plant has many properties that can synergistically help other plants that are grown and its repellent properties are also excellent for warding off insects and unwanted pathogens.

The active ingredients present in nettle are salicylic acid and formic acid which once arrived in the lymphatic circulation of plants sprayed with nettle macerate help to activate the immune system of the plant itself and fortify its defenses.

To prepare the macerate it is sufficient to buy dried nettle or collect it fresh and put it to macerate in water for a predetermined time depending on the uses. Once the time has elapsed, the macerate is ready for direct or diluted use.


Use the nettle leaf macerate without dilution keep away the ants while diluting it is useful against some types of fruit flies, moths and other insects.

The macerate left in incomplete fermentation between 12 and 24 hours is useful against aphids, scale insects and mites by carrying out treatments 3 days away from each other but with 3 daily sprays in the morning, half day and evening on the cultivated plant that needs it . The nettle macerate accelerates composting when it is sprayed on the heap and is used during transplants to recover the wilting of the roots or seedlings with an immersion in water and macerated which allows a recovery of vitality of the seedlings.

Some precautions also exist in the use of vegetable fertilizers, in the case of nettle macerate it should not be used on plants of the cruciferous family (eg cabbage) and on some fruits such as pumpkins, apples, cucumbers and tomatoes it is advisable to sprinkle the soil and not the plant.


 

Green manure, an agricultural technique to increase fertility

Among the purely vegetable fertilizers, green manure is a green fertilization obtained by cultivating plants with precise characteristics and properties in the fields which, after mowing, are left to decompose on the ground as mulch or composted with the possibility of integrating them even inside the soil.

The plants most used in the green manure technique are, for example, mustard, clover, hops and other plants of the legume family that bring fertility to the soil thanks to their ability to be nitrogen fixers. Once they are sown and grown on the ground, they are expected to grow and cutting and burying are done before flowering.

 

READ MORE

Among the properties and uses of pistachio, the use of shells as a fertilizer

 

Other articles on ecological fertilizers and natural fertilizers:
> The do-it-yourself natural fertilizer

> Make compost with fruit and vegetable peels

> Do-it-yourself compost


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