Understanding organics

Evergreen 101

Evergreen

In Bloom
Organic gardening is.. Organic gardening is growing plants in harmony with nature by using biologically sound cultural practices to improve the soil, promote healthy plant development and encourage a fruitful harvest. By utilizing a diverse selection of natural and organic fertilizers, as well as minerals and soil amendments, we can support this process. Feeding the soil is the foundation of organic gardening. Conventional gardening practices treat the soil as a structural medium and focus only on feeding the plant directly with synthetic fertilizers. This may diminish the soil’s natural capacity for supporting plant health because it ignores, and may harm, the essential living components of soil that plants rely on. Organic gardening emphasizes continually strengthening the complex soil environment. That promotes healthy, vibrant plant growth, and allows the plants to grow at a natural pace and produce the best tasting, most nutritious foods for you and your family. For plants to grow, they need air, water, food and a porous medium for root expansion. The food is provided by minerals and organic matter in the soil, and can be supplemented with the addition of amendments, composts, manures, minerals, natural fertilizers or by companion plants such as legumes. Besides providing plant nutrients, organic matter provides additional functions. It adds structure to sandy soils and helps loosen clay. It also retains moisture, improves aeration and feeds the beneficial inhabitants, such as bacteria and fungi present in the soil. Organic matter originates from once living sources such as plants and their root systems, mulch and woody materials, soil organisms and plant and animal waste in the form of compost. This process of renewal and decay eventually transforms organic matter into humus, a highly complex substance that is often described as the “life-force” of a healthy soil.

Composting: Mature compost is also is thought by some to be the most important factor in the enrichment of soils in both a physical and chemical sense. Besides increasing fertility compost helps the soil retain moisture and encourages the formation of good soil structure. Chemically, it makes nutrients more available to plants and feeds the soil population of micro-organisms and other creatures, thus maintaining high levels of healthy soil life. Compost is also an ideal way to recycle what would otherwise be considered home and yard waste. Backyard composting transforms waste into a valuable resource, and it reduces the amount of materials heading towards landfills.

Organic Fertilizers derived from plant, animal or mineral resources, and combined with organic matter, are ideal for enhancing soil fertility and stimulating plant growth in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. Organic fertilizers add nutrients to the soil for uptake by plants and for use by the myriad microorganisms that inhabit healthy, productive soil.

UNDERSTANDING THE NPK RATIO Fertilizers are labeled with numbers that represent the percentage of the three primary macro-nutrients – nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) – that are available in the fertilizer. These elements are listed as the NPK ratio. Each nutrient plays specific and complementary roles. Generally, nitrogen energizes vegetative growth, phosphorus produces expansive roots, flowers, fruits and viable seeds, while potassium promotes sturdy stems, plus resistance to disease and temperature stress. Most fertilizers also contain varying amounts of the secondary macro-nutrients – calcium, sulfur and magnesium – along with trace elements or micro-nutrients that also play essential roles in plant nutrition. Since organics break down at a slower rate, they release nutrients slowly with greater effectiveness than conventional fertilizer, reducing the need to reapply fertilizers as often in order to maintain soil fertility. This minimizes the possibility of “burning” plants with concentrated chemical supplies of nutrients. By encouraging soil microbial life to flourish, they improve overall soil health rather than degrade it. Since organic fertilizers last longer and release their nutrients slowly, their long-term NPK amounts will be greater and more beneficial than what is shown on the label.
 
Evergreen 101

Evergreen

In Bloom
ELEMENTS FOR OPTIMUM GROWTH There are 19 beneficial elements that contribute to healthy plant growth. Three of these essential elements, oxygen, hydrogen and carbon, are provided by air and water, while the rest are absorbed by plants through the soil.

Boron (B)- stimulates cell division, flower formation and pollination.
Calcium (Ca)- raises soil pH, promotes root hair formation and early growth.
Chlorine (Cl)- is needed for photosynthesis, stimulates root growth and aids water regulation.
Cobalt (Co)- improves growth, water regulation and photosynthesis.
Copper (Cu)- stimulates stem development and pigment formation.
Iron (Fe)- stimulates the formation of chlorophyll and helps oxidize sugar needed for energy. It is also necessary for legume nitrogen fixation.
Magnesium (Mg)- aids in chlorophyll formation and energy metabolism. It increases oil production in flax and soybeans, and helps regulate uptake of other elements.
Molybdenum (Mo)- is needed for nitrogen fixation and nitrogen use. It stimulates plant growth and vigor much like nitrogen.
Nitrogen (N)- is necessary for chlorophyll and genetic material (DNA & RNA) formation, and stimulates green, leafy growth.
Phosphorous (P)-is necessary for genetic material (DNA & RNA) formation, and stimulates fruit, flower, root production and early season growth, and increases disease resistance.
Potassium (K)- produces strong, sturdy plants with thick cell walls, increases disease resistance and stimulates fruit, seed and root production.
Silicon (Si)- increases seed quantity and strengthens cell walls.
Sodium (Na)- increases sugar content and resistance to drought (in some crops).
Sulfur (S)- aids in formation of certain oil compounds that create specific odors in some plants such as onions, garlic, mustard, etc.
Magnesium (Mn)- is necessary for the formation of chlorophyll.
Zinc (Zn)- stimulates stem growth and flower bud formation.
 
Dankman_420 100

Dankman_420

In Bloom
Lots of great information @Evergreen . I'm just learning about organic growing. After 5 years of soil growing with bottles. I decided to try organics last year. I did some research and went with subcools super soil recipe. I only mixed up a half sized batch. I had a few runs in flower with the best results to date for me.
Also I believe it greatly improved the flavor and smoothness. I did lose small amount of yield, but I'm not growing for quantity. I'll soon be making a full batch as soon as it warms up outside. During the use of this batch I'm going to research what does what and decide if I want to come up with my own formula.
This thread has already started my understanding of what each element does.
Thanks for posting :)
 
Evergreen 101

Evergreen

In Bloom
Lots of great information @Evergreen . I'm just learning about organic growing. After 5 years of soil growing with bottles. I decided to try organics last year. I did some research and went with subcools super soil recipe. I only mixed up a half sized batch. I had a few runs in flower with the best results to date for me.
Also I believe it greatly improved the flavor and smoothness. I did lose small amount of yield, but I'm not growing for quantity. I'll soon be making a full batch as soon as it warms up outside. During the use of this batch I'm going to research what does what and decide if I want to come up with my own formula.
This thread has already started my understanding of what each element does.
Thanks for posting :)
You'll gain that yield back once you get it down.
 
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