Looking out for the best Organic Fertilizer for Vegetable Seedlings? Here are some of the best ones you can use for good growth!
Organic fertilizers are made from natural materials, depending upon the microorganism of the soil to release their nutrients, and prepared from animal waste, agricultural byproducts, or vegetable scraps. The degree of nutrient and organic matter present in them depends upon its bio-degradability. Here are some of the best Organic Fertilizer for Vegetable Seedlings.
Check out our article on succulent fertilizers here
Why Use Organic Fertilizer Over Chemical Fertilizer
Gardeners often get confused about which fertilizer to choose for the vegetable seedlings. Both chemical and organic fertilizers have their own pros and cons, but still, organic fertilizers are the best option for vegetable seedlings.
Chemical fertilizer readily dissolves in water and absorbed by the roots of the plant immediately. Hence, they work faster as compared to organic ones, but only for a short period. Chemical fertilizer benefits the plant, but it does not nourish the soil. Instead, it wards off the beneficial microorganism like earthworms from the soil, which gradually degrades the soil productivity.
On the other hand, organic fertilizers depend upon the microbes like earthworms to break down and release the nutrients. Organic fertilizers are made from natural matter, hence are more environment and earthworm friendly. Moreover, unlike chemical fertilizer, it takes time to break down its nutrients. Hence it works as a slow, but long term fertilizer, eliminating the worry of overfertilization.
Best Organic Fertilizer for Vegetable Seedlings
1. Bone Meal
Bone meal is derived from the byproduct of the animal bones and is a great source of calcium and phosphate. Its application aids in a stronger root system and stimulates flowering and fruiting.
2. Fish Emulsion
This organic liquid fertilizer comes from the byproduct of the fish, including bones, scales, and skin. Rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, it is good for vegetables and flower seedlings, both.
3. Blood Meal
Nitrogen loving vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, greens, sweet corn, and cucumber get benefit from blood meal applications. It is prepared from the dried blood of the animals, and should never be applied in excess.
4. Bat Guano
A rich source of nitrogen and phosphorus, Bat guano, is good for vegetables and herbs both. Unlike other fertilizers, it is usually diluted as a tea and applied to vegetable plants like a foliar spray.
5. Worm castings / Vermicast
Vermicast is a digested, organic matter left by the earthworms in the soil. You can DIY it by making layers of sand, compost, kitchen scraps in a bin with a handful of worms, and then leaving it for a week.
6. Cow Dung Manure
One of the most popular fertilizers in India, it is easy to make and use. Just use the cow dung and prepare a mixture by mixing it with grass clippings and you’re good to go!
Nothing can boost up the vegetable seedling like a dose of compost. It helps the soil to retain moisture and supplement plants’ growth.
8. Neem cake
Neem cake is an eco-friendly option that enriches soil fertility while working as a natural pesticide. It also balances the alkalinity of the soil and is compatible with beneficial soil microbes.
Seaweed is like a tonic for plants to supplement their growth. It enriches seedlings with zinc and iron. Vegetables like cucumber respond well to its feed and are less prone to rotting.
10. Alfalfa Meal fertilizer
This airy and light-texture fertilizer has a mixture of fermented alfalfa seeds and plants. Its nitrogen and other nutrients are beneficial for vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.
Note: Seedlings get more benefit from the application of liquid fertilizer, so dilute it at half of the strength or as recommended on the label.
When to Use Fertilizer on Vegetable Seedlings
Initial stages of growth, when the vegetable seedling sprout up and a couple of leaves emerge is the best time to fertilize. You can also provide a light dose when a set of new leaves appear.