What is Fertilizer?
Fertilizer is any substance used to enhance the soil so that it is capable of sustaining abundant plant growth. Naturally produced organic fertilizers are crucial to building healthy soil.
Most fertilizers contain Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (N-P-K) in big quantities, as these are the macronutrients needed by plants in large amounts, to support growth, flower, seed and root production. The ratios of these macronutrients can vary, depending upon the type of plant being fertilized. Other nutrients needed in large amounts by plants are Magnesium and Calcium. Calcium can commonly be deficient in soils. Dolomite or gypsum, are common providers of Calcium for plants. These fertilizers are also used in agriculture in large amounts to make the soil more alkaline and fertile, helping the soil absorb other nutrients.
There are also many micronutrients, such as Zinc, Sulfur, Copper and Iron, needed by plants in smaller amounts. We pay attention to the soil test results and make sure that plants get all the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong.
Earthdance Organics only uses organic and organic-based fertilizers. These fertilizers have the advantage of breaking down slowly over time and remaining in the soil for months, providing sustained nutrition for plants. They are also safe for wildlife and pets.
Organic fertilizers are made from natural sources, such as animal manure or composted plant material. Organic fertilizers not only provide well-balanced nutrients for plants, but they also improve the integrity of the soil. For example, calcium plays several roles in plant health. It improves soil structure and is an essential nutrient for plants. Calcium is said to “sweeten” the soil as it acts like a sticky sap binding organic matter in the soil with clay particles. This enhances the soil’s drainage and provides a holding place for nutrients.
At Earthdance Organics, we can help you build healthy soils on your property using organic and organic-based fertilizers. We adjust our fertilizing program depending on the time of year and the needs of the plants. For example, spring is the season for rapid plant growth and summer is the season for developing flowers. We can maximize plant health by applying the appropriate fertilizer during these growing seasons. We often use fertilizers from Hendrikus Organics, a local company that makes high quality, organic fertilizers. We also use Azomite, a natural mineral substance containing over 70 minerals and trace elements that help root development and is good for use in all soil types.
Plant Nutrition & pH
Here in the Pacific Northwest, our soils tend to be more acidic with a pH around 5-6. We're known for our gorgeous rhododendrons which thrive in these soils. However, lawns prefer a more neutral pH just under 7. The pH of the soil can determine the availability of nutrients to plants. For example, iron is often found in clay soils in good levels, but is only available at a pH of 7 or lower. pH adjustments are usually needed to get your soil to where plants can take up most minerals. We start every new customer with a comprehensive Soil Test to make sure we have the best plan for building optimal soils on your property.
Whatever your needs, Earthdance Organics can help guide you to the healthiest landscape you’ve ever seen.