Commonly used to promote growth in plants, fertlizer is applied to the soil after being obtained naturally or through a chemical process. Due to the fact that natural products are generally more healthy than those that are manufactured, natural fertilizer is often the best type to use. Fertilizer, alone, is designed to provide three major plant nutrients in various proportions. Humans need nutrition in order to grow and thrive as do plants and it is important to make sure that crops receive the proper care and nutrition during their growth process.
Fertilizer is commonly used in gardening, but it also used for growing flowers and plants. Commercial fertilizer is available at most home improvement stores or in the gardening department at most retailers. Because plants and gardens are not abundant during the winter months, most fertilizer products are sold just before spring as planting becomes seasonal. If planting is done too early, a late frost may eliminate the crops and will ultimately be a waste of planting and fertilizer. When the weather is ideal for planting, typically in the early spring, fertilizer will be widely available in stores.
Chemical fertilizer may lead to surface runoff if over applied, which is easier to do than with natural products. This can often lead to problems with growing and may even be dangerous to wildlife. While it is also possible to over apply natural fertilizer, their release rates are generally much less than with chemical products.
When purchasing fertilizer, it is recommended that individuals thoroughly read the care and usage instructions. In addition, any caution and/or warning labels should be read carefully before proceeding with use. These products should be kept out of children’s reach and may also prove harmful for animals.
Depending on the fertilizer, various storage requirements must be met. If purchased commercially, it is best to carefully study the ingredients and storage instructions on the fertilizer packaging. Knowledge of the nutrient content and requirements will help to maintain a healthy crop, usable fertilizer and less pollution to the garden.
Various climates and geographical locations will provide for different crop planting seasons. Some areas may have success with gardening during most of the year while other parts of the world are restricted to mainly spring and summer months. Extreme cold and inclement weather will reek havoc on crops, which is why it is important to know the optimal growing season for each individual location.