There are a variety of organic additives for plants that you can buy or easily make with common materials.
How Additives Help
No matter what you grow - houseplants, produce, or a flower garden - sometimes deficiencies in the soil, water runoff, and pests sap plants of vital nutrients and minerals. Maintaining green life with a regular fertilizing schedule is helpful, but on occasion, plants need a little something extra.
That's when organic additives for plants can help. Benefits include:
- Stronger growth
- Protection from pests
- Heartier blooms and fruit
- Stabilized root systems
- Enhance nutrient uptake
Remember, unless you're rotating crop fields every year, which is highly unlikely in a bed of tulips, you're relying on tired, compacted soil in that old familiar flower or vegetable garden to produce the same results year after year. After a time, without natural replenishment, it's just not possible to grow great plants, and the plants start to break down.
Compost: The Easiest Additive
Take a few vegetable scraps, mix in some dried leaves, grass clippings, a little dirt, and a splash of water, and you have the makings for the best plant additive on the planet: compost.
Why is compost so great? As organic matter, it is the foundation of the earth's regeneration. Natural products that came from the dirt return to dirt through decomposition. Powerful microbes build up in this mixture, increasing its potency.
It's not enough to just throw a banana peel near your rose bush. Proper decomposition is a wonder, which is what makes it such a boon to your garden. A fifty-fifty mix of green and dry organic scraps (no animal products), water, regular aeration, and all the natural critters, such as earthworms and fungi, combine to make a rich, dark humus, the perfect superfood to any growing thing. What you take from the earth, you return.
Additionally, as good as fertilizing is, you'll need to use less of it the more you supplement your garden with compost. See? Easy.
Learn how to build a compost pile. If you can't have a compost pile in the backyard, try a tumbler, which fits easily on a back patio or near the garage, without the mess. Throw scraps in, water, turn, repeat.
Buying Organic Additives for Plants
Before you purchase any organic additives for plants, you need to have specific objectives in mind. Here are some common claims you might find on additive packages:
Better Branching - Look for an additive that mixes well with NPK fertilizers.
Higher Yields - Often found in formulas with less nitrogen and more phosphorous, or no nitrogen and more potassium. Can be an additive or an "all-in-one" fertilizer.
Increased Nutrient Absorption - Usually an additive specifically designed to correct micronutrient deficiencies.
Better Water Absorption - Sometimes referred to as a "wetting agent," this formula softens packed soil.
Stronger Growth - A booster of nitrogen that works well with a general growth fertilizer or alone.
Using specific additives will improve the overall soil composition and lessen the stress on plants. Consequently, you'll have no need for pesticides or other harsh chemicals, because you're improving the soil, quite literally, from the ground up.
Some popular manufacturers and retailers of organic additives for plants include:
Other Organic Products
Since you want to use organic plant additives and organic fertilizer, why not use organic recipes for insecticides and fungicides as well? The DIY Network offers a couple of easy home remedies for these products.