Two Types of Products Every Organic Gardener in Canada Should be Familiar With

by Growers Lane Admin on June 28, 2019

organic tomatoes canada

Gardening organically is not just possible, it is practical and rewarding. Artificial, inorganic chemicals are applied to many commercial crops to help them grow, mature, and remain healthy until they are harvested.

High-quality organic products can be used to achieve the same goals, but without introducing problematic, unnatural substances into the equation. Becoming familiar with the basics will make it clear that organic gardening products which are readily available in Canada provide everything needed to cultivate beautiful, thriving gardens.


Organic Soil Builder: Setting the Stage for a Successful Garden

Naturally occurring soil varies tremendously in quality and character, oftentimes even across a relatively small area. The ability of a given patch of soil to support gardening can always be improved, though, and without using any synthetic, artificial substances at all.

Getting a head start on each growing season by putting down a carefully formulated organic soil builder will ensure that seeds, sprouts, and plants will have everything they need to thrive and succeed. Organic soil builders are normally heavy in a naturally occurring compound called "humic acid" that stimulates the growth of desirable microorganisms and help plants draw nutrients from the soil more efficiently.

While there are a variety of possible sources for this effective soil improver, some are purer and richer with humic acid than others. One of the purest deposits of humic material found anywhere is located in Alberta and was thought to have formed about 250 million years ago.

Turning that raw material into a highly effective organic soil builder takes relatively little processing. Containing at least 80 percent humic acid by weight, along with other desirable ingredients like fulvic acid, the resulting organic soil amendment will:

  • Promote microbial growth. People and other animals rely on microbes living in their guts to break down food so certain of its components can then be converted into energy. Microorganisms found in fertile, high-quality soil perform the same function for plants by partially digesting organic material, leaving behind nutrients that roots can absorb directly.
  • Improve aeration. Soil that lacks organic material tends to settle and compact to the point that atmospheric air no longer penetrates easily. Properly amended soil has a lighter, fluffier character that helps air work its way below the surface. That allows the roots of plants to establish themselves more easily and for supportive microorganisms to thrive.
  • Enhance soil's water- and nutrient-holding ability. Hard, dense, low-quality soil tends to do a poor job of capturing and storing water and the nutrients that plants need to survive. An organic soil builder will increase the ability of soil to maintain a nutrient- and moisture-rich environment that helps plants grow.
  • Help plants absorb nutrients and water more effectively. The humic acid that makes up the bulk of most high-quality organic soil builders gravitates toward the roots of plants and helps them draw in moisture and nutrients. A lack of humic acid in the surrounding soil will cause the development of a barren, overly large "depletion zone" around a plant's roots that will stunt growth and can eventually lead to other problems. Soil that is rich in humic acid and its close relative, fulvic acid, will promote the free flow of nutrients and moisture to roots that seek them.

By providing benefits like these, high-quality organic soil builders provide a strong foundation for any garden. As soil builder normally only needs to be mixed in once a year, it will always be productive to prepare for each growing season with an application. Being familiar with the quality of a garden's soil will help clarify just how much builder will be needed to bring it up to par.


Organic Fertilizers Provide Everything Plants Need to Grow and Bloom

Most plants need 17 distinct elemental nutrients in order to carry out the photosynthesis that supplies them with energy. Of these, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are pulled in directly from the air, while the rest must be obtained through the plant's roots or foliage in other forms.

Organic fertilizers are used to ensure that plants will never lack any of these crucial resources. There are quite a few different types of organic fertilizer on the market, with particular products often being intended for specific application techniques or schedules. Some of the kinds of fertilizers that are most often used in organic gardens in Canada are:

  • Organic fertilizers that are meant to be applied every few weeks or even less often most often focus on the macro-nutrients nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Together with the three nutrients that are drawn from the air, these elements contribute the most to the process of photosynthesis. Plants are able to move nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium within themselves relatively easily, making soil-based application practical, in many cases. The naturally occurring compounds found in fertilizers of this kind will break down over time to release the macro-nutrients within them. When necessary, though, the process of absorption often can be sped up by applying a solution containing organic fertilizer to the foliage of a plant.
  • Fast-acting. Some types of organic fertilizer are formulated to maximize the effectiveness of foliar application or the speed at which nutrients can be drawn through the roots. Organic fertilizers intended to be applied to soil but absorbed quickly will not last as long as others whose ingredients need to be broken down first. Plants are also entirely capable of absorbing nutrients through their leaves, and doing so eliminates the delay that would be imposed by moving them upward from their roots. Fast-acting organic fertilizers are most often used to give newly emerged seedlings a head start, to boost the growth rate of more mature plants, and as a spot treatment for plants suffering from malnutrition.

Carefully formulated organic fertilizers are entirely capable of providing all the nutrition that any plant might need. Being ready to apply an appropriate type of organic fertilizer whenever required will always make for a healthier, more vibrant garden.


Many More Organic Gardening Products to Consider

With soil builders and fertilizers being only a couple of the products that are readily available to organic gardeners today, there are plenty of others which are worth learning about. Simply being familiar and confident with these two types of products, though, will go a long way toward ensuring successful, rewarding organic gardening experiences.