What Is Fertilizer?
To know the best fertilizer for herbs, first you need to understand what fertilizer really is. We already know plants have basic needs including water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight. But how can we enhance the growth of our plants? The answer; fertilizer.
We need to know what fertilizer really is before we go and put it in the soil our herbs are growing in. Fertilizers are compounds put in the soil to promote growth in plants. The chemicals from fertilizers supply the soil with core nutrients to make it more fertile. So the best fertilizer for herbs would be ones that can deliver those compounds.
Looking deeper into the contents of fertilizers we can see the actual elements that are combined to promote growth. There is a multitude of elements that enhance the growth of plants. Hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen are supplied through the air and water existing around the plants. However, plants need more than these to add to the growth. Nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, potassium, and calcium are just a few of the elements that help maintain healthy growth.
The three main chemicals are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These elements are the building blocks of the cells in plants and are needed in the largest quantities.
- Nitrogen is used for leaf growth and providing a healthy green color to the leaf.
- Phosphorus develops new roots, seeds, and fruit. Further, it assists in fighting off diseases.
- Potassium helps stems grow strong as well as speeding up growth.
How Fertilizer Helps Your Herbs Grow
To help ensure our herbs grow to the best of their ability we need to use fertilizer. Fertilizing your herbs once every 3-6 months will maintain healthy growth. You may notice after planting your herbs that they begin to dry out or wilt after a month or so, this means you may need to fertilize more often to supply the soil with the nutrients it is missing. Applying a good fish and kelp fertilizer at half the strength for a few weeks will help the herbs get back on track with their growth.
If you are like many people and have your herbs planted in pots or boxes, you may find that your herbs are becoming dry and wilting more than you had hoped. This is a result of the nutrients from the soil being lost through drainage holes after you water them. It is recommended that you use supplementary fertilizers to assist with this issue.
There Are Two Types Of Fertilizer To Choose From; Liquid Or Granule.
Firstly, liquid fertilizers. These can be absorbed quickly and provide herbs with a quick boost of the nutrients they are lacking. Liquid fertilizers however often need to be applied more regularly to maintain their function in healthy growth. To apply, mix the recommended amount of fertilizer in with water and slowly poor at the base of the plants.
The second option is a granule fertilizer. Granules release the nutrients over time and as a result effectively feed the herbs for longer. However, the granules do not allow immediate absorption into the soil or roots. To apply, sprinkle the recommended amount at the base of plants and either using your hand or a hand rake mix in with soil being careful not to disrupt roots.
What Fertilizer Should You Use For Your Herbs?
The best fertilizer for herbs would be a 5-10-5 mix. That is 5% Nitrogen, 10% Phosphorus and 5% potassium. This is a good general fertilizer for all herbs. To know for sure what your soil is missing, it is recommended that you complete a soil test. These are provided in a test kit form, they are then sent to the lab to tell you exactly what you need for your garden to thrive.
What Else Affects The Fertility Of Soil?
Soil pH levels are another important aspect of fertility, so buying a pH tester is also recommended. As a rule of thumb a pH level of 6 to 7.5 is ideal for herb growing. To raise pH level apply some lime juice and to lower pH level apply some sulfur.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you are now aware of the bezt fertilizer for herbs so your garden is able to thrive.
Feel free to check out our other growing guides