A Guide to Feeding Plants in Malta

  • 12.July 2013
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garden-maltaThe first question that many people ask when they are travelling from the Malta International Airport (MIA) to their destination is “Where is the Greenery?”  Unfortunately, the passage from the MIA to St. Julian’s or Sliema is probably the most baron road one will find and can provide a wrong impression.  Malta, as a country is actually very green – in actual fact it is said that at least 25% of the Island is full of crops, trees and vine yards.

Finding a home with a garden is a difficult task though not impossible.  In fact on the Malta real estate market there are over 500 active properties that are for sale that have a garden.

Getting to the point, if you have a garden and you happen not to have green fingers here are some tips for feeding plants:

The main elements that plants need from their diet are potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen and they are present in garden up to some extent.

Why Plants Need Nutrients

Plants need nitrogen for the growth of leaves, phosphorus for good root growth and they need potassium for good quality fruits and flowers. All plants need different amounts of nutrients. However, if they are available in the soil they will take in the right amount of nutrients needed.

Adding Nutrients to Garden Soil

Homes in Malta tend to have good garden space so it is essential to add more nutrients to the garden soil regularly to ensure that plants will be able to fill up their reserves to grow healthy vegetables, fruits, flowers and foliage. There are two ways in which plants can be fed- through non organic or organic food.

Organic Food

These come from animal and plant sources that contain the necessary nutrients in a natural form. Organic products generally act slower since they have to be broken down before the nutrients can be released to the soil.

Types of Organic Food

Organic food types include nettle feeds, liquid comfrey, chicken manure, bone meal, fish bone and blood, dry fish, manure and seaweed. Many of these are found in stores since there are several companies offering affordable organic products.

Soil Creatures

A lot of soil creatures are considered to be great for maintaining the soil’s fertility and structure. With plenty of good organic matter in soil, micro-organisms, insects and earthworms will thrive and provide organic matter to plants as nutrients. Mixing bedding straw with animal manure is also useful. However, it should be sweet smelling and rich brown in color.

Garden Waste

Garden waste also tends to be very helpful as plant food. Using garden compost material is safe and economical. It is also full of essential natural elements that plants thrive on. Timber waste is another option. Composted bark is available extensively in stores and is a great way to enrich soil every autumn or spring. However, it is necessary to ensure that it is thoroughly composted before it can be used in the garden.

Non-organic Plant Food

This type of food will provide nutrients to plants in an artificial and synthetic form. A major advantage of using non-organic plant food is that the nutrients will be released quicker compared to organic food. It will also provide nutrients to plants in a shorter duration. However, they have their own disadvantages. Non-organic material may pollute garden soil and tend to be washed away easily by rain. If used too much, they can damage plants.

What type of plant food is best for plants?

Depending on your budget and the requirement of your plants, either of these two types of plant food will be suitable. While organic nutrients are always better for plants, using high quality non-organic products for short term has its own advantages.

 

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