Fertilizers and Soil Amendments
Fertilizer is used when the goal is to feed the tree while the purpose of soil amendments is to enrich the soil.
Fertilizers differ from soil amendments in that their main function is to maximize the tree’s supply of nutritional elements by improving the quality of the soil.
Depending on the characteristics of the fertilizer, this process takes places in a fairly quick way:
- Mineral fertilizer is, in general, very soluble and readily available;
- Organic fertilizer must be degraded into soluble compounds before it is ready to be processed by plants;
As supplements, organic fertilizers and minerals give better results than soil amendments.
Soil Amendments also serve to improve the supply of nutritional elements. However, instead of directly increasing the stock of nutritional elements as fertilizers do, soil amendments aim to improve the growth environment by modifying the physicochemical property of the soil.
Soil amendments can be either organic or mineral, just like fertilizers:
- The mineral soil amendment that is used most is lime. This chalky soil amendment:
Allows the delivery or maintenance of a desired pH level in the soil
Offers better soil enrichment
- Organic soil amendments such as fertilizing residual materials (FRM):
Brings a structuring effect to the soil
Provides a significant supply of slow release fertilizing elements