Ornamental herbs in the garden. How to properly plant and care for them?
Ornamental grasses are unique species of plants that are becoming increasingly popular in Poland. Their diversity allows you to create unlimited compositions. They are perfect for garden decoration on their own or as a showy background for flowers. We recommend how to plant ornamental grasses and take care of them.
When can I plant ornamental grasses?
When you visit an ornamental plant nursery, you’ll find many seedlings of herbaceous plants grown in pots. You can plant most of the year without any problems. On the other hand, spring is the cheapest time to sow ornamental grass seeds. Subsequently, young plants adapt to existing conditions at a reasonable pace and develop a root system, so that they gradually become more resistant to undesirable weather conditions.
How to plant and care for herbaceous plants?
Thanks to their huge biodiversity, herbaceous plants can be grown in almost any environment, whether in shade or full sun. Preparing substrate for ornamental grass seedlings can just as easily be approached. The work that needs to be done for this does not go beyond basic garden care. First of all, the places that have been developed for seeding ornamental grasses should be carefully weighed and cleaned of impurities, such as old roots, small stones, etc., improve the soil disease and add the right fertilizers. Don’t forget to read the label that the manufacturer attached to the package before planting any particular type of grass. The information contained on it conveys knowledge about the specific growing conditions of the chosen plant, including the preferred form and dosage of fertilizer needed for their growth and development.
As a general rule, ornamental grasses, like most ornamental plants, respond very well to natural compost. The valuable micro and macro elements it contains, getting into the deeper layers of the soil, improve its water resistance, so that it retains water better and maintains optimal moisture levels longer. This is especially important because ornamental grasses cannot tolerate an excessively wet environment. In order to protect the roots from flooding, it is worth planting them in the ground.
How to make compost with your own hands? See the practical tips in the article: “Are you looking for the best fertilizer? You’ll find it in the garden!
How do I take care of ornamental grass seedlings?
Young plants that do not have a well-developed root system require special care, including:
- Regularly replenish the lack of water,
- Propagation (division): After digging up and carefully pruning the leaves, divide the plant into several rooted fragments and then plant in a new location,
- Limiting growth: Ornamental grasses are extremely expansive and can therefore easily dominate a small garden or disrupt an otherwise large garden. To limit herb growth, grow them in pots that are filled with fertile (preferably humus) soil, and only plant them out in the garden when they are older,
- Pruning: Herbaceous plants are best trimmed in spring (second half of March). Dried leaves, while not adding charm, protect the plant from frost.
In particular, a distinction can be made between the most popular species of herbaceous plants: Miscanthus chinensis, Aspen scaly, Japanese roses or Mugar bowl.
The most popular species of ornamental grasses
Types of herbaceous plants: worth recommending:
- Ash buntings (bluestem) with distinctive blue leaves. Although the plant is not tall, it looks very impressive. It does not spread much,
- Evergreen: An evergreen with hard bluish leaves which also looks very attractive due to its regular, spherical shaped clumps about 40 cm in diameter. Due to its low hardiness during the winter season it requires intensive care,
- Miscanthus chinensis ‘Zebrinus’: extremely tall plants, growing up to 2 metres. They differ in the appearance of the leaves (in yellow transverse stripes). This type of grass is beautiful as a stand-alone decoration.
- Japanese Dipladeniya: An ornamental herb up to 80 cm tall. During flowering, the plant produces reddish-brown spikes with narrow gray-green leaves. This ornamental grass is frost hardy,
- Variegatum: grows to a height of 50 cm and has leaves with distinctive white stripes. It is not an expansive plant, so it is an effective background for other ornamental plants (mainly flowers).
- Gautier’s fescue: a type of ornamental grass with tassel-shaped leaves. This is a low-growing plant, only 10 cm in height. It should be propagated every 2-3 years (old plants die from within, so they should be rejuvenated regularly).
- Brainweed: An extensive herb with variegated (white-green) leaves. Grows up to 1 meter tall,
- Sugarcane miscanthus: A broad herb reaching a height of about 150 cm. It is a very showy plant, forming large silvery and fluffy inflorescences that persist into winter.
Ornamental grasses are an example of very striking and relatively easy to look after plants. Thanks to them you can effortlessly enjoy an originally designed garden, which will attract the eye both in summer and winter.
The 10 Best Fertilisers for your garden
A review of the best mineral and organic fertilizers for the garden – by vegetable grower reviews.
- Best Compound Mineral Fertilizers for the Garden
- Best compound mineral fertilizers
- Best organic fertilizers for the garden
Gardeners can be divided into two camps: supporters of intensive agricultural technology and supporters of organic farming. Intensive agricultural technology involves the active use of mineral and organic fertilizers as an obligatory method of replenishment of nutrients taken with the harvest. The best fertilizers for the garden are presented in our rating.
To ensure that the plants receive adequate nutrition, the soil is fertilized holistically, alternating organic and mineral fertilizers or at the same time. The type of fertilizer depends on the culture, the period and method of application, the pH value of the soil solution, for example, the soil and its particle size distribution. The best fertilizer will be the one that is best suited to the particular conditions.
In organic farming soil fertility is maintained by natural means: compost with mulch and green fertilizer, growing surprises. Application of fertilizers in a reasonable time and in appropriate doses leads to a quick effect without much effort. Mineral fertilizers can be individual components (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) and complex (nitrogen and potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus, potassium and phosphorus, NPK), and also have in their composition microelements. Organized mineral complexes from different manufacturers are characterized by the composition and ratio of elements. They are used for foliar feeding by soil, taking into account the culture, the phase of development and the needs of the plant. It is also rational to use them in protected ground, where the removal of nutrients from a unit area along with high yields. We will not answer the question about organic fertilizers in this evaluation.
Fertilizers for private gardening come in the following forms:
- concentrated solution;
- Water-soluble powder;
Ideally, the doses and composition of adhering fertilizer are calculated according to the results of laboratory analysis of the soil. If such data are not available, stick to the average recommended dose and universal composition. High doses of component fertilizer are used only when there is a pronounced lack of the element. Special fertilizers are designed for a particular type of system, but do not always have the optimal composition, so you should not rely on them completely. Below we will look at 10 types of fertilizers, which are the most universal and most often used by gardeners of central Russia.
Evaluation of the best fertilizers for the garden
|Best Compound Mineral Fertilizers for the Garden||1||Urea||9.9 / 10|
|2||Potassium sulfate (potassium sulfate)||9.8 / 10|
|3||Ammonium nitrate (ammonium nitrate)||9.8 / 10|
|Best compound mineral fertilizers||1||Double superphosphate||9.9 / 10|
|2||Potassium monophosphate||9.7 / 10|
|3||Nitrophoska||9.7 / 10|
|4||Ammophos (phosphate ammonium)||9.7 / 10|
|Best organic fertilizers for the garden||1||Sapropel||9.9 / 10|
|2||chicken manure (chicken manure)||9.8 / 10|
|3||horse man||9.8 / 10|
Best Compound Mineral Fertilizers for the Garden
Opens our evaluation of the best fertilizers for the garden with urea, the cheapest and most effective source of nitrogen. It stimulates the growth of the eco-friendly stand-alone part and promotes higher yields. The amide form of nitrogen is very mobile in the soil, quickly soluble. When urea is applied in the fall, it is easily destroyed, and the nitrogen is subsequently washed out by meltwater into horizons inaccessible to plant roots and seedlings. Do not leave pellets on the surface without incorporating them into the soil. When applying organically in the fall, take 2/3 of the recommended dose of urea on the plot. In acute nitrogen deficiency (weak growth, pale leaves), the leaves are treated with a weak solution of urea, sometimes with the addition of magnesium sulfate. Among other nitrogen fertilizers, urea is the least likely to cause burns. It is recommended on water-saturated soils. It is inadvisable to apply in early spring when temperatures are low and positive.
- Nitrogen concentration 46 %.
- High efficiency and fast action
- Top dressing is allowed
- High hygroscopicity during storage
- Active release of a-öses ammoniak gas
Cheaper and safer fertilizer, but it is better to work with it in late spring and early summer, when it is warm enough. When applied to the ground, I see the effect in a week, and when applied to the leaf – in a few days.
Potassium sulfate (potassium sulfate)
A highly effective potassium fertilizer. It accelerates metabolic processes in plant cells, increases immunity and resistance to low temperatures, improves the quality and taste of fruits. Potassium deficiency reduces winter hardening of fruit and berry plants. Cabbage and root crops are particularly sensitive to potassium deficiency; paprika, eggplants and cucumbers respond to fertilizer. The white crystals of the powder dissolve well in water. In addition to potassium, it contains sulfur, magnesium, and calcium. Potassium is inactive in the ground and is fixed in the fertile layer. In autumn, potassium sulfate is made dry together with phosphorus fertilizer, which is added to the planting hole when planting seedlings. In the second half of the growing season, it is used for fertilizing, which is often combined with phosphorus. In the dry season, it is better to prepare an aqueous solution, so that potassium is immediately transferred into an available form.
- Potassium content 50%.
- No chlorine
- Does not deteriorate during prolonged storage
- Well assimilated by plants
- Not suitable for acidic soils
For plants, small doses during the season are more effective than a one-time dressing from the fall. I apply a half dose of potassium sulfate in the spring when preparing a vegetable bed. I give the rest with a liquid root dressing.
Ammonium nitrate (ammonium nitrate)
Nitrogen is a component – a fertilizer that is produced in large quantities. Promotes active growth of green mass. It dissolves quickly in water. As the nitrogen is in nitrate and ammonium forms, the fertilizer has a double effect: it affects the balance of nutrition through high nitrogen assimilation and ensures a long-lasting effect due to the slow delivery of ammonium nitrogen. It is used in early spring and in the first half of the growing season when the soil is compacted and watered heavily. Ammonium nitrogen seals the soil, so on acidic floors it is used after lime treatment. Under water sports, the effectiveness of the fertilizer drops because of the rapid leaching of the nitrate form. It is not recommended for summerers to use this fertilizer for foliar fertilization, because it is easy to make a mistake with the dosage and save the leaves.
- Nitrogen concentration is 26 to 34%.
- Works effectively in cold country
- Watering during camp.
- Causes soil test
- Burns leaves during foliar treatment
I recommend ammonium nitrate for emergencies if there is no time to wait for urea to have an effect. I also add it when I manage to shake out the preceding plants for seeding in the spring.
Best compound mineral fertilizers
Phosphorus fertilizer with high phosphorus content (up to 50%). It promotes the development of the root system, stimulates abundant flowering and ripening of fruits, helps the plant to tolerate drought. Increased need for phosphorus in crops with sweet fruits: fruits, berries, cucumbers, tomatoes, pumpkins, carrots, cabbage. In addition to phosphorus, fertilizer contains 15-17% nitrogen compounds and 6% sulfur. Simple superphosphate consists of 30% of insoluble salts and 20% of hard-soluble salts, which makes it precipitate in water. Unlike simple superphosphate, this fertilizer does not contain gypsum and dissolves well in water. Since phosphorus is well retained and does not leach out, it is preferable to apply the main dose in the fall, but spring periods are also acceptable. During the growing season (phases of budding and mass flowering), root and foliar feeding is carried out.
- The concentration of phosphorus is 40-50%.
- Low content of ballast substances
- Do not sow into the soil
- Do not incorporate into the soil
- Low mobility in the lower horizons
- Pre-lime treatment is required on acidic floors
- High price
For obvious phosphorus starvation, I create an extract of double superphosphate and the resulting “liquid” sprayed on the leaves. If the granulate is just close to the ground, you do not get a quick effect.
A concentrated water-soluble phosphate-potassium fertilizer for root and foliar fertilizing in open and protected ground. It helps plants quickly recover after transplanting and adapt to new conditions, tolerate light frosts and eliminate potassium deficiency. Contains about 50% phosphorus and about 33% potassium. Powder or granules should not have a yellowish color, indicating iron or chlorine contamination. Potassium monophosphate does not store well, is sensitive to sunlight and high humidity. It is better to buy it in small batches intended for individual treatment. It is used in the form of an aqueous solution twice a season.
- Quick effect
- Does not affect the acidity of the floors
- Does not cause leaf scorch
- Rapidly penetrates into the soil
- High hygroscopicity
I water my tomato with monophosphate and see the effect: the growth of lateral shoots and pulp noticeably activated.
A concentrated fertilizer with three components that cover the system’s needs for essential macronutrients during the whole growing season. Promotes healthy greens, active flowering and higher yields. The fertilizer contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Manufacturers produce nitrophosk y-3 types: sulfate, phosphorus and sulfate. Each type is preferred for a particular group of crops: the first – for cabbage, beans and cucumbers, the second – for tomatoes, the third – for roses, tulips and asters. The ratio of NPK can be different. For spring start pellets, choose a composition with the same proportions and a high concentration of 16:16:16. For liquid root dressing, the concentration of quickly dissolved in water is 10 – 11 % nitrophoska. Its components are absorbed at different times by plants depending on the phase of development. To maintain nitrogen fertilizer is used in the corral under the ditch. Autumn application is desirable only on heavy clay and peat.
- Different actions
- Quick effect
- High risk of overfeeding systems
- Not suitable for foliar application
Good for regeneration of poor soils. But I use the medium recommended doses. Better to be true than fire.
Two-component nitrogen-phosphorus fertilizer that increases plant productivity and immunity. It was found active development of root system, improvement of taste qualities of fruits and increase of preservation after harvesting. Response to the application of Ammophos rods and potatoes. It contains 52% of phosphorus (2 complex phosphates) and 12% of nitrogen (ammonia). Small concentrations of simultaneous elements: magnesium, sulfur, potassium and calcium are possible. Nitrogen compounds contribute to better phosphorus assimilation. Ammophos is applied in advance before sowing or planting: in autumn under digging (especially in arid regions) or in early spring. Fertilizing is carried out with a solution which is infected within 2 – 3 days.
- Lack of ballast components.
- “Emergency” support for phosphorus fertilizer deficiencies
- Good water solubility
- Low hygroscopicity during storage
- Ineffective on soils with low nitrogen content
I use superphosphate for most crops, but I always feed grapes with ammophos. Fertilizer is good if you use it right.
Best organic fertilizers for the garden
A good organic fertilizer for the garden is sapropel. This is the bottom sediments of freshwater reservoirs with valuable reserves of humus and colloidal compounds. When soil biota is activated, restoring soil health and fertility is a strong stimulant for plant growth. In addition to humus, the soil contains trace elements, vitamins and enzymes. Frozen substrate is used as a fertilizer. For a balanced nutrition of vegetable crops it is recommended to combine sapropel with mineral fertilizers, which make up for the low content of NPK in sapropel.
- It improves the soil structure and ventilation
- restores depleted soils
- University and safety
- All uses
- High processing costs.
It is not as common a fertilizer as mineral fertilizer, but it is much more effective. It is difficult to harm it. Has a long-lasting effect that can be felt as early as the first season.
chicken manure (chicken manure)
One of the best organic fertilizers for the garden is rightly considered chicken manure. Complex natural complex fertilizer is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and trace elements. Serves as an effective means of saturating the soil with nutrients in an accessible form for plants. The exact composition and concentration of substances can only be determined in the laboratory, as it depends on feeding and housing birds. Dry manure has the most valuable composition of nutrients as opposed to fresh fertilizer. Fresh manure is prepared for feeding and excrement in water for several days. The resulting concentrate is necessarily diluted 10 times with clean water before watering. Stores sell granulated manure, which is spread under the ditch or in the beds before irrigation. Because of the high probability of leaf scorch, chickens are not used for foliar feeding. Not suitable for fertilizing onions, garlic, radishes or greens. Excrement in the fall is taken to a potato planting site.