Fertilization - a necessity in the garden

pot with flowers and accessoriesGardening is a great hobby, though it is still necessary, in addition to relaxation, to obtain satisfactory results with their plants. Very often gardeners fail growing their plants because the soil of their garden is unproductive or because they have never worried much about their soil and did not try to improve it.


The soil is a layer of solid, more or less finely ground, where there are animal and plant debris partially decomposed. Called topsoil, the layer of earth disturbed through tillage or gardening tools. The thickness of the soil or topsoil may vary from four to eight inches depending on the culture system practiced. There is also the basement, that is to say the layer of soil between the topsoil and bedrock. It can vary from a few inches to several feet. The basement is generally lighter in color than the floor because it contains less organic matter. It is usually more compact and its nutrients are less available than the topsoil.

Heavy soil and light soil

But before speaking of organic matter and nutrients, briefly review the structure of the ground or in the aron whose particles are bonded to each other, el how to improve it.
It is known that heavy or clay soil holds water well el nutrients, but it is difficult to work with el warms slowly in spring. Among the fixes, signed the Ion digging in the fall, applications of lime, sand ri organic matter (manure, compost, green manure, heavy horticulture, etc.)

Must fertilize

Soil productivity is maintained and improved by intake of nutrients, that is to say, by fertilizing.
However, before applying anything, the first thing to do is soil testing in order to know precisely the deficiencies and use the appropriate fertilizer.
You can easily do the analysis yourself, to know the degree of soil acidity (pH) and the need for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potash (K). You will find in most garden centers, sets or kits that allow you to perform rapid analysis. However, for accurate analysis, it is better to entrust the task to a specialized laboratory in this area. See in this regard, the office of your local agronomists.

Mineral elements

Plants require 16 chemical elements for normal growth. Carbon, oxygen and hydrogen exist in the air and water but the other 13 elements must come from the ground. The Quebec soils are usually deficient in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and other elements sometimes under special conditions: too sandy soil texture, plant requiring a specific item.
Usually, to obtain good results in the cultivation of garden plants, add the ground three elements that are lacking, namely nitrogen, phosphorus and potash, the three essential elements or major.
There are also secondary elements, which are just as important as the primary, but used less in large quantity by plants: calcium, magnesium and sulfur. Finally, there is a range of seven elements called minor elements or micronutrients because they are used in very small amounts in soil and plants. These are boron, copper, zinc, molybdenum, manganese, iron and chlorine.

The role of the elements

Nitrogen (N) is the essential element that promotes rapid growth. It helps the development of leaves and stems, and gives them a dark green color. It allows them to increase grain protein content.
Phosphorus (P) represents the health and vigor in the plant. It is essential for good flowering and fruit and grain.

Potash (K) promotes the formation of starch, protein and chlorophyll in the plant. It plays an important role in the stiffness of straw and plant resistance to diseases and harsh winter. Together with phosphorus, it promotes root development.
The three secondary nutrients, calcium, magnesium and sulfur, are often added to the soil with liming. They are, however, an important individual role in plants.
Calcium (Ca) with the passage through osmosis of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium soil within the root; fermentation neutralizes the acids in the soil, creating an environment conducive to feeding the plant.
Magnesium (Mg) is the essential part of chlorophyll. Is the regularizer in the absorption of other elements of the plant. It facilitates the transfer of P from older to younger parts.
Sulphur (S) is an integral part of the protein. This element facilitates the formation of nodules on legume root nodules that allow these plants to produce nitrogen directly from the soil air.
For their part, the minor elements or trace elements have the function of helping others most important elements to play their role in plants. They therefore have a catalytic role, but their absence may, cons, creating significant reductions in yields.