In Today’s post, let’s look into some very important benefits of organic rock phosphate fertilizer in organic gardening and horticulture and let’s learn how much and how to apply rock phosphate for your plants.
The three primary nutrients essential for plants are the NPK – Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium. Nitrogen (N) is largely responsible for the growth of leaves on the plant. Phosphorus (P) is largely responsible for root growth and flower and fruit development. Potassium (K) is a nutrient that helps regulate important physiological processes or the functional processes in a plant.
Having said that, now let’s look into what is Rock Phosphate and the difference between Rock Phosphate fertilizer and Bone meal fertilizer.
Rock phosphate, also called phosphorite, is a natural mineral fertilizer obtained by mining from sedimentary clay deposits and rocks that contain phosphorus. Rock phosphate is a long-standing or slow release best organic fertilizer for adding phosphorus to your vegetable garden.
Both Rock Phosphate and Bone Meal are good sources of organic phosphorous for home gardeners. Bone meal is mainly used as a short term phosphorous supply and rock phosphate as a long term phosphorous supply, as it’s slower to break down plus it’s a non leachable source of phosphorous and calcium.
Now let’s look into 5 important benefits of using organic rock phosphate in gardening and How much and how to use it:
- STRONG ROOT SYSTEM: Rock phosphate promotes the development of strong roots throughout the growing stage of a plant and makes your plant healthy and high yielding by accelerating plant maturity.
- RESISTANCE TO PEST ATTACKS: a strong root system and a healthier plant means a plant highly resistant to pest attacks. Applying phosphorous at early growth stage of a plant will confer a great immune system and help resist pests.
- FLOWERING PLANTS: Any flowering perennial plant like rose and hibiscus love rock phosphate as it helps them develop more buds and larger sized flowers.
- VEGETABLES AND FRUITS: Strong roots, healthy immune plant and more buds means more vegetables and fruits. One or two applications of rock phosphate early in the growth stage is important to achieve this.
- Improves Soil Structure and water holding capacity. Rock phosphate is in Powdered form and hence can be mixed with soil and proves very beneficial while you prepare the potting soil before planting.
- EARTHWORMS and Beneficial microbes in soil are not harmed and infact they love it.
- DOSAGE and How to Apply: Best way is to mix the rock phosphate powder in your potting mix along with other stuff like compost, cocopeat or peat moss and others. This is because for proper phosphorous uptake by plants, the soil PH has to be slightly acidic and and adding compost like decomposed cowdung or vermicompost will help achieve this task. You can watch a detailed video on making the best potting soil here.
Well, Now, How to use Rock phosphate in potted plants and plants grown in ground or raised beds.
First of all loosen the soil around the plant by raking or tilling the top layer. For Potted Plants start with 1 teaspoon per container and then add 1 tablespoon after 15 days. For ground plants or raised beds start with 1 tablespoon per plant, preferably in its growing stage and then two tables spoons after 15 days. And this one time application will help your plant throughout its stages of growth till flowering and fruiting.