by VGCLJ member Ruth Barnett, Conservation Co-Chair
Virtually every soil will benefit from regular additions of organic matter and humus, and compost is the best material to handle this important task. If your plants need an additional boost of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium or trace minerals, add these "meals" to your shopping list.
NITROGEN is what plants need to grow vigorously.
Blood Meal - Good source for long term release nitrogen.
Cottonseed Meal - Slow release N-P-K. Typical analysis is 6-2.5-1, and somewhat acidic. An all-around source of slowrelease nutrients for many plants, especially acid-tolerant plants. A great choice for azaleas, gardenias and camellias.
Corn Gluten Meal - Fast release nitrogen. Great for lawns. Acts as a weed suppressant.
Feather Meal - Slow release nitrogen. Use on plants that like slow release including corn, leafy greens, trees, shrubs and many other vegetables.
Fish Meal - Slow to medium releasing source for nitrogen. Also contains phosphorus and potassium. For faster acting, water soluble fish fertilizer, use fish powders or liquid fish emulsions.
PHOSPOHORUS is what plants need to flower.
Bone Meal -Quick acting phosphorus and calcium. Great for bulbs. Also for use on roses and vegetables.
Cottonseed Meal -- Great for acid loving plants.
POTASSIUM is what plants need to establish vigor and resistance.
Greensand - Slow release potassium and trace minerals.
CALCIUM and SULFUR build sturdy cell walls in plants.
Gypsum - adds sulfur and calcium, leaches excess magnesium and sodium and loosens clay soils.
Oyster Shell Lime Powder- provides immediate and longterm release of nutrients that control pH levels. Promotes healthy root growth, and improves soil compaction.
TRACE MINERALS are as essential to plants as vitamins are to people.
Compost and Kelp Meal are both excellent sources of trace mineral supplements.
This information and products are available from the Peaceful Valley Farm Supply Catalog. Call 1-888-784-1722
or go to
. These products are also available at most local nurseries.