When it comes to growing plants, the secret is always in the soil. Nutrient-rich soil is key when creating a comfortable environment for roots, which are vital to your plant’s growth.
But,if your soil lacks the essential components for growth, the health and development of your flora will be significantly affected. You can solve this by enriching the soil with natural fertilizers, like soft rock phosphate. Here’s what you need to know about it.
What It Is
Also known as CalPhos or colloidal phosphate, soft rock phosphate fertilizer is a soil amendment that consists of:
5% Phosphorus:A major element for plant health. It helps convertsunlight into energy, stimulating root growth and hardiness, and accelerates maturity.
20% Phosphate: A chemical derivative of phosphorus. As this decomposes, it slowly releases phosphorus into the soil.
20% Calcium:An essential element for plant development. It mobilizes and strengthens the plant’s cell walls when creating new roots and leaves.
55% Trace Minerals: These include micronutrients such as iron, manganese, copper, zinc, boron, and molybdenum. They help with plant growth, photosynthesis, enzyme breakdown, hormone production, cell wall formation, and nitrogen conversion.
How to Use It
CalPhos is used for its slow-release properties. While phosphorus and some trace minerals are readily available, phosphate and calcium, its two main elements, are only released once they start decomposing. This leads to a continuous supply of essential nutrients and micronutrients for around 5 years or until after the plants have completely absorbed them.
Having a rich amount of calcium in the soil also improves its salinity, water penetration, and chemical balance.
To maximize the benefits, add CalPhosto soil that is below 7 pH (acidic). The chemical bonds in CalPhos are tightly knit, and the microbes that thrive in such an acidic environment help break these bonds for easier root absorption. You can further improve this by mixing compost into the amendment. By doing so, you’re introducing more of the helpful microorganisms into the environment.
As a general rule, apply 5 lbs per 100 square feet in soilthat is phosphorus-deficient. When amending, here is what you should do for the following:
Planting: Mix it into the soil before planting seeds or seedlings.
Transplanting: Apply into the transplanting hole before moving matured plants.
Dressing: Top dress and rake into the root zone of established plants. You can also apply it after aerating the soil.
By using soft rock phosphate fertilizer, your garden will have a steady supply of calcium, phosphorus, and trace minerals for a long time. It will not only improve the soil’s quality but will help your plants grow lush and healthy as well.