Many people (especially beginners) have found themselves in a moment of carelessness, pondering these questions: Should I have bought fertilizer for the plants? But is it really as necessary as they say? Maybe they'll grow even if I keep them in the supermarket pots...
It's fundamental; you can't forget to fertilize! Whenever you start talking about fertilizers with someone who knows about them, it becomes difficult to keep up: powdered fertilizers, granular fertilizers, slow-release fertilizers, liquid fertilizers, organic fertilizers, chemical fertilizers, lupines, fertilizers for newly sprouted plants or flowering plants... fertilizers of all kinds!
Thanks to the collaboration of experts from Symbiagro, an Italian company specialized in the formulation, production, and sale of innovative nutritional and biostimulant products for agriculture, we will try to translate into simple terms what actually seems worse than legalese, and we will focus on the most suitable fertilizers for urban gardens!
But first, we need to understand one thing: what are fertilizers used for?
Just like humans, good nutrition helps us grow, develop, and strengthen, the same applies to plants! Fertilizer nourishes plants and allows them to continue growing and producing flowers that will turn into fruits. Their absence, therefore, hinders full development and resistance to diseases, fungal attacks, and adverse weather conditions.
Now, let's understand their composition!
Fertilizers are nothing more than compositions of macro and micronutrients. Without going into too much detail, you just need to know that the three musketeers for plants are:
- Nitrogen (N)
- Phosphorus (P)
- Potassium (K)
Nitrogen (N) stimulates the growth of all green parts of the plant, including trunks, stems, shoots, leaves, flowers, and fruits. It also facilitates photosynthesis, a fundamental process for the development of all plant components.
Phosphorus (P) affects the production of healthy roots and, consequently, provides strength to the plant's structure. In its absence, plants remain small, fragile, and the stem remains thin.
Potassium (K) influences the plant's ability to absorb water and nutrients, thus determining the quality of leaves, flowers, fruits, and bulbs. In case of potassium deficiency, the plant weakens and becomes susceptible to disease attacks.
Organic fertilizers, why choose organic agriculture?
Things are changing! Each of us is increasingly oriented towards healthier eating habits, such as seeking organic foods. For this reason, it is essential that the agricultural production cycle is based on natural compounds, not chemical ones.
While chemical control is quicker, it can also have negative effects on plants and even on us (they should be kept away from children). Therefore, if we want to eat healthy products, they must be grown in a healthy environment free from synthetic substances!
Symbiagro emphasizes the importance of the symbiotic interaction between soil components, meaning the teamwork of nutrients for creating an ecosystem with greater biodiversity! The use of organic fertilizers enriches your substrate, stimulates the production of useful microorganisms and bacteria, and has positive effects on the yield and final benefits of the consumed plants.
On the other hand, commonly used synthetic fertilizers erode the soil, depleting microorganisms and breaking down important strategic relationships, besides creating an infertile environment for plant growth.
What is the best fertilizer for balcony gardening?
Now, let's get to the most practical part: "Yes, all very interesting, but in the end, which fertilizer should I buy?"
One option to increase fertility is to mix your substrate with soil or peat, or you can add nutrient-rich soil to your substrate even after transplanting, in the form of compost. However, if you have a closed-cycle irrigation system, where excess water in your garden is drained and recycled into the reservoir, like in the case of Poty, adding peat or soil could risk clogging your pump and blocking irrigation.
Therefore, it's important to clarify that for urban agriculture, liquid plant fertilizer is ideal! This is the category of fertilizers we'll focus on in detail, and it's perfect for those who grow plants in pots inside their homes or on balconies. Liquid fertilizers are more convenient to transport and apply compared to solid fertilizers: you just mix some fertilizer with irrigation water, and you're good to go!
These are not just assumptions! They come from the experience of professional agronomists like those at Symbiagro and the knowledge of their lab technicians, who develop natural and quality solutions while fully respecting the environment and the health of all living beings.
Why choose liquid fertilizers?
Each growth stage requires specific nutrients for the plants, and it's not trivial to independently take care of these particular needs. Our recommendation at Hexagro is to use complete fertilizer kits designed to meet all the needs of the plants, easy to apply and understand. For example, we always provide our urban farmers with Poty, the symbioethical veggy A+B kit. It's a kit of fertilizers for the complete and effective nutrition of your organic vegetables.
Once you get home, just follow the instructions on the label for dosing, dilute with water, water your plants, and enjoy the excellent performance of your garden in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. Liquid fertilizers are the breakthrough, and the best way to fertilize is through the automatic irrigation system!
But what does this irrigation system consist of?
Ferti-irrigation is the addition of liquid nutrients to the water used to water the plants, which is then automatically provided to the plants through a pump and a timer. This way, nutrient intake becomes much simpler, both for you, as you only need to pour the liquid fertilizer into the water (instead of mixing substrates), and for the plants, as they will absorb nutrients into their system more quickly.
Discover Poty, the vertical garden that uses this automatic irrigation system. It's practical and perfect for your balcony, plus you won't have to worry about which nutrients to give your plants: they are already included in the package.