Indoor planting season is now in full swing. If you haven’t started your own seedlings yet, we suggest you read the article on how to seed indoors in an eco-friendly manner.
It will soon be time to transplant your seedlings into the garden and plant the crops that need to get started directly outside.
But how should the soil be prepared before the plants arrive? Should you fertilize the soil or add compost? How much and when should you add chemical or natural fertilizer? Read on to find out the answers to all these questions!
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What is a natural fertilizer?
Often called organic fertilizer, natural fertilizer is an amendment derived from natural sources, either animal or plant origin.
Tero natural fertilizer is therefore an organic fertilizer, comparable to those sold in stores or garden centres, regarding its composition, its use, and its nutrients. It is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and many micronutrients. However, the nutrients it contains vary depending on the type of food processed by the Tero device (e.g., it will be rich in potassium if you eat a lot of bananas and rich in calcium if you eat a lot of eggs).
Other natural fertilizer solutions include:
- Dried chicken manure
- Insect frass
- Bone or horn meal
- Blood meal
- Shrimp or fish bone meal
To find out more about Tero natural fertilizer and its benefits, visit our website.
Using Tero natural fertilizer for indoor seeding
Using organic fertilizer, such as Tero natural fertilizer, is not recommended for indoor seedlings. Their roots are still too fragile to intake such a large quantity of nutrients.
For example, seedling soil should be very light and low in nutrients for optimal germination conditions. For healthy growth, the soil should not be too rich.
That said, using fertilizer can be interesting during the transplanting stage, which consists of moving the seedlings from a small pot to a larger one when they start to grow. At this point, the roots are stronger and may be able to take a small amount of natural fertilizer (about 1% of the soil volume).
But be careful! If you buy potting soil from the garden centre to transplant your seedlings, be aware that it is already very rich in nutrients and sometimes already contains compost and organic fertilizer, in which case it isn’t necessary to add fertilizer to the soil.
Using Tero natural fertilizer for the garden
One of the best ways to use Tero natural fertilizer is outdoors. In fact, we highly recommend using it to prepare the soil for your garden crops.
Adding organic fertilizer to the soil, such as the one created by the Tero device, enriches the soil and promotes plant growth. You can do this a week or two before transplanting your seedlings.
This gives the microorganisms in the soil time to digest the organic matter and make the nutrients more readily available to the new plants.
In this regard, Tero’s co-founder and gardening enthusiast Valérie Laliberté is pleased to share the following three valuable tips.
Although it takes more time, it is the most effective method to prepare your crops for the garden. You can do it by hand or with a specialized tool, adding about 5% of the volume of soil in fertilizer.
If you have animals visiting your property, this is the best way to do it, since all organic fertilizers emit a slight odour. By burying the material in the soil or hiding it under a mulch, for example, you avoid attracting animals.
However, the soil should be mixed on the surface and not turned over completely (with a rototiller, for example). This technique could damage the natural structure of the soil and the balance of microorganisms and bacteria it presents. Instead, use a fork, a spade, or a broadfork to aerate the soil and mix the fertilizer properly.
#2 Sprinkle natural fertilizer on the soil surface
Unlike the soil-mixing technique, this one is faster and can be practical if you are short on time. It also allows to feed the soil which, in North America as elsewhere, is poor in organic matter.
Simply sprinkle Tero natural fertilizer directly onto the soil surface or grass. However, you must be careful to avoid direct contact with the roots of the plants when transplanting to the garden, as they are still fragile at the beginning of the season.
After only a few days, it will have completely disappeared because its fine texture allows microorganisms to take in the material quickly. Besides, doing this just before it rains accelerates the integration into the soil.
#3 Use natural fertilizer AND compost
These two amendments are slightly different, but highly complementary. While an organic fertilizer will be released into the soil more quickly, compost will take several months or even years to release its nutrients.
Moreover, in the long run, it will improve the quality and texture of the soil. So, by combining the two, you get good soil that can absorb and release important nutrients for your plants during their growing season.
Now that you know more about preparing your crops and soil fertilization methods, it is important to remember that gardening remains a very intuitive activity.
When practising whether indoors or outdoors, remember that you are manipulating living things and must not be afraid of trial and error.
Nevertheless, for a great gardening season and to maximize the effects of Tero natural fertilizer, here are several resources:
- Our blog posts
- The Natural Fertilizer section of our Help Centre
- Our Online Fertilizer Guide