Gloved hand scattering granular fertilizer on plants
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Be Cautious When Using The Following Things To Fertilize Your Garden
Eggshells add calcium, sulfur, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and organic content to soil. However, your soil may not even be deficient, so test it before adding eggshells.
You also need to powder or boil and soak them before adding them to soil, as eggshells take over a year to break down, per Auburn University soil agronomist Charles C. Mitchell.
These are processed sewage containing organic matter and nutrients that are used as fertilizer. However, they harbor pathogens and heavy metals that plants can absorb.
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation banned their use in home vegetable gardens. With ornamental planting, add mulch or topsoil to prevent children from ingesting them.
The phosphorus in bone meal is used to stimulate root growth, but since most home soils aren't deficient unless very acidic or sandy, always test your soil before adding it.
Excess phosphorus in soil hampers the nutrient-sharing function of beneficial microbes in the roots of most plants, causing the roots to steal nutrients from the rest of the plant.
Bone meal attracts pests like raccoons and skunks, and it’s toxic to pets. Excess phosphorus from bone meal can also spark algal blooms that destroy aquatic life.
Epsom Salts
Plants need the magnesium in Epsom salts for photosynthesis, but since most home soil isn’t deficient, magnesium can build up and pollute the soil or groundwater table.
Excess magnesium also interferes with plants’ ability to absorb calcium, boron, potassium, manganese, and iron, according to the NDSU Extension and Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott.
Wood Ashes
Wood ashes contain nutrients that plants need; however, they neutralize soil acidity, which stunts the growth of acid-loving plants, so do a soil test before using them.
Plants feeding on wood ash can become susceptible to chlorosis or potato scabs. The ash can also turn soil saline and burn foliage, and it may be contaminated with lead or cadmium.