Adding fertilizers to soil is very important because properly fertilized vegetable plants will be healthier and are better able to resist diseases and pest attacks. Fertilizers increase the productivity of the plants and also provide better quality vegetables.
Depending on the origin, fertilizers are broadly classified into two categories, namely organic fertilizers and inorganic fertilizers. Although both fertilizer types contain similar nutrient composition, they differ in their origin and availability.
Organic fertilizers are those that come from an organic source such as a plant or an animal. Some of these include dried blood, kelp, bone meal and organic manure. These organic products must get decomposed by the microorganisms in the soil before the nutrients are taken up by plants. This is because organic sources are made of complex organic molecules that need to be converted to simpler forms over a period of time. Organic fertilizers like manure are important in improving the soil texture.
Inorganic fertilizers or chemical fertilizers are a well-balanced mixture of three principal nutrients that include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Apart from these, fertilizers also contain other nutrients in small proportions. A typical inorganic fertilizer used in a vegetable garden has a composition of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the percentage of 10-10-10. Inorganic fertilizers must be used in a vegetable garden as long as the nitrogen content of the soil is not more than 20 percent.
While organic fertilizers are not readily available for plants, inorganic fertilizers improve the nutrient composition of the soil instantly. Both the types of fertilizers have a significant effect on the yield if used properly.