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The administration of fertilizing products is an obligatory step to ensure that your plants always produce abundant flowers and foliage, supplying them with the necessary nutrients for their correct development.
This kind of elements is today classified according to three main categories:
- fertilizers, which enrich the soil with nutrients directly absorbed by the plant;
- soil improvers, less rich in nutrients and improving soil characteristics;
- corrections that change the pH of the soil.
The soil improvers available on the market include peat, manure, humic extracts and soluble fluids or solids, while the remedies differ depending on the type of soil where they can be used in calcium compounds for acid substrates or in soil-rich fertilizers sulfur for basic soils ,.
As far as fertilizers are concerned, the availability is much wider, including more sub-categories and varieties. The main distinction must be made between those of organic origin and chemical or synthetic ones, undoubtedly less preferable to the former because of their possible harmful consequences for health if used improperly. Unlike chemical fertilizers, in fact, organic ones, produced by a biological activity, contain all the nutrients used by the micro-organisms present on the soil and therefore allow the plant to provide the essential mineral salts such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium, without diminishing vital capacity and soil depletion.
There is a wide variety of organic fertilizers available, starting from manure, slurry and various compost to end with compost, which is easy to produce starting from organic household waste (fruit, food, etc.) and garden (flowers, branches, grass).
With the denomination of pesticides we mean all those products, synthetic or natural, that can be used to fight the main adversities such as infectious diseases or parasites that undermine the health of the plant. Depending on the disease to which the species is affected, we can subdivide this category of products into various sub-categories including:
the acaricides, used to fight the mite or red spider, an arachnid that develops on the plant in conditions of hot and dry climate;
the insecticides, whose use is indicated against the common aphids, cochineals, caterpillars of various kinds and other leaf miners and without forgetting the ants, which live in symbiosis with the aphids from which they suck the residual honeydew and which carry these insects from one plant to the other thus enlarging the infestation;
fungicides, which combat powdery mildew, a widespread disease particularly among roses, rust and various root rots.
The range of all these pesticides is very wide, so that further differentiation can be introduced based on their mechanism of action; in fact, there are both insecticides and fungicides which, penetrating inside the tissues of plants, have a fairly long duration over time and others which, respectively, act by contact exterminating the insects or simply covering the leaf lamina.
In the case of insecticides, moreover, the use must be limited only to cases of real necessity when the plants have suffered significant damage and not for preventive purposes, a precaution that on the other hand it is possible to adopt for fungicides, in order to avoid that spores left on the ground or between fallen leaves spread fungal disease with the arrival of summer.
A particular category of plant protection products is made up of herbicides, substances used to eradicate weed growth and whose operation occurs by foliar absorption and consequent transport of the product to the roots of the plant (in systemic herbicides), or by direct action on leaf tissues and on the gems.
The classification of the herbicides takes place according to the active chemical principle that composes them, which can be of total or selective action, or of the genus of species whose infestation is able to contrast and which can be broad-leaved (dicotyledons) or narrow leaf (monocots).
Their chemical composition includes both organic and inorganic substances such as sulfuric acid or iron sulfate which, lacking selective properties, act only as sterilizers.
Gardening products: plant growth regulators
A category of products for gardening not particularly known and widespread is constituted by phyto-regulators, chemical substances also known as "rooting hormones" which, used in very small doses, serve to favor the development of the plant by encouraging the emission of roots in so-called "difficult cuttings "or a more abundant rooting in the so-called normal ones.
The chemical composition of the hormone by rooting consists of particular acids and synthetic auxin, generally mixed with a simple powder of talc and in different concentration depending on whether it is expected to be used in woody or herbaceous cuttings.