Saturday, November 12, 2022

Plantita Saturdays: Understanding Fertilizers

I just realized after killing off the garlic and lettuce a second time around, that you have to be mindful about what fertilizers (pampataba) you give to your plants. It's all part of the learning process so I told myself not to feel frustrated. I can always plant again until I figure out the right way. 

I paused planting anything for the time-being since it's bagyo* season and we have work being done at home. Sawdust has been flying everywhere and it's been cumbersome wiping it off. I probably need to move them tomorrow before they start again. 


Spent a day last week reading up on what fertilizer goes on which plant. When I was in SG I just put rice water on everything once a week. I noticed though that the tomatoes and bell peppers that grew were smaller, so I knew something was missing. 

There's many different types of fertilizers. I'm trying to avoid synthetic ones, so I also watched a couple of videos on how to make homemade fertilizers. Much as I want to use organic fertilizers, there are some that would be hard for me to make myself. Here's what I understand so far about providing your plants proper nutrition -

Compost - the secret to a healthy plant is to germinate it in properly prepared soil. Adding compost and organic matter to soil to improve its properties. I tried making compost before in SG and it ended up as a stinky mush. Apparently you have to add green + dry ingredients together with soil. Water it once a week until everything decomposes. 

Complete fertilizer - I just got it off the shelf from an online platform and watered the plants with it once a week. The plants looked healthy, but they weren't producing any fruits. It's synthetic and I realized it's probably not complete after all. Apparently this is good for flowering plants.  

Epsom salt - epsom salt is good for some plants. It provides magnesium and helps seeds germinate, makes plants bushier and encourages plants to flower. How much to put depends on the plant. 

Nitrogen - best used for green leafy plants. I read you can make swamp juice and then use it to water your plants. The easier alternative is to just use urea. 

Potassium - plants like tomatoes and tomatoes need a lot of potassium. I've been making banana peel tea for my tomatoes and they've been producing more flowers. I just need to be more vigilant in helping them pollinate (no bees in our backyard so far). Another thing I'm about to try is camp juice (banana peel + epsom salt + burnt eggshells). 

It is overwhelming, so I'm working on making a matrix to make sure I provide the right pampataba for the plant. This would hopefully help me keep my plants alive and productive! 

Happy gardening everyone!

#BeKind #StaySafe

*Bagyo - typhoon

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