How Does the Concentration of Fertilizer Affect Plant Growth

Many gardeners have asked, “How does the concentration of fertilizer affect plant growth?” Several factors influence the growth of your plants. The answer depends on the amount of fertilizer you give to your plants.

You must carefully read and follow the labels because too much fertilizer can damage your plants by creating a high salt concentration which could hurt helpful soil microorganisms. Excess fertilizer causes rapid plant growth with an underdeveloped root system. This limits the supply of water and nutrients to sustain the entire plant, reducing the number of flowers and fruit production.

How Does the Concentration of Fertilizer Affect Plant Growth

Can Over-Fertilizing Kill Plants?

As we’ve already established, using too much fertilizer can permanently damage and even kill your plants. It can also cause fertilizer burn.

 

What is Fertilizer Burn?

Fertilizer burn results in foliage scorch caused by over-fertilization. This happens when gardeners overfertilize plants or apply fertilizer to wet leaves. Fertilizers contain sodium, which can dry out your plants. Excess fertilizer results in the yellowing or browning of the leaves, as well as root damage.

Symptoms of fertilizer burn usually appear within a day or two. For slow-release fertilizers, it may take a few weeks before symptoms manifest. You’ll be able to notice yellowing, browning, and withering. For lawns and gardens, you’ll see white, brown, and yellow streaks from where you applied the fertilizer.

 

How to Prevent Fertilizer Burns

Fortunately, you can easily prevent fertilizer burns. Here are some of the tips you need to keep in mind:

 

Tip #1

Avoid fertilizing wet lawns or make sure not to let fertilizer come in contact with wet leaves.

 

Tip #2

Fertilize according to the needs of your plants. Contrary to what most people think, you won’t get better results if you use more fertilizer. It’s only going to do more harm than good.

 

Tip #3

After applying granular fertilizer, make sure to water your plants thoroughly to rinse off any residue and allow the salts to go deep into the soil.

 

Tip #4

Choosing to fertilize plants with compost reduces the risk of fertilizer burn because it slowly releases the nutrients into the soil rather than all at once. You can add one to two inches of compost at least once a year.

 

Tip #5

Plants are more vulnerable to fertilizer burn during drought as the fertilizer becomes more concentrated. Avoid adding fertilizer during hot seasons and wait until moisture conditions have improved.

 

The Benefits of Mini Greenhouse Gardening

Investing in a mini greenhouse is a great way to prevent fertilizer burn. Since you can control the indoor climate of your greenhouse, as well as the temperature, humidity, and other important factors, you may not need to fertilize your plants. Other than that, here are some of the benefits of having a greenhouse:

 

Keep your plants safe from harmful insects that’ll eat your produce

Aphids, cabbage worms, flea beetles, and other insects love to eat your leaves and produce. When this happens, your plants become more susceptible to other diseases. It could also affect plant growth and harvest. Keeping them inside a greenhouse lowers the risk of attracting these pesky critters.

 

Perfect for gardeners with small spaces

Want to start gardening but you don’t have enough space? Small greenhouses are the perfect solution. You can plant almost anything inside a mini-greenhouse, and you can place them anywhere too – on balconies, decks, patios, and even indoors. The standard size of small greenhouses are around six square feet, but there are other smaller options for those looking for more compact greenhouses.

 

Great for gardeners who want to know more about greenhouse gardening

If you want to know more about greenhouse gardening, a mini-greenhouse functions similarly to regular-sized greenhouses. Before you invest in a larger, more permanent greenhouse, you can use small greenhouse kits to learn the ropes and know more about the growing conditions of different plants.

 

Start plant growth early

You can use a mini greenhouse to start planting even before the cold season begins in your area. Once the weather gets warmer, you can transplant the crops from your greenhouse and into your garden. Planting earlier means you’ll be able to harvest your crops earlier than you intended.

 

Protect your plants from erratic weather

Most plants cannot survive during cold winter months, especially the more tender variants. A mini greenhouse protects your plants from snow, frost, high winds, and storms. You can keep them safe inside the enclosure until spring rolls in again.

 

The Bottom Line: How Does the Concentration of Fertilizer Affect Plant Growth?

If you’re not careful, too much fertilizer can permanently damage your plants. To prevent this from happening, test your soil to see if it lacks any nutrients. It’s best to improve the quality of your soil and forego using fertilizer. You can do so by adding amendments like organic compost, cover crops, alfalfa, bone meal emulsions, or cured manures.

If you need to use fertilizer, natural organic ones work best because they slowly release the nutrients for plant growth. Commercial fertilizers, on the other hand, are more concentrated, increasing the risk of fertilizer burn and permanent plant damage. Hopefully, this article answers the question “How does the concentration of fertilizer affect plant growth?”

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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