What dose Phosphorus Fertilizer do in the Garden?

Phosphorus is the second number in fertilizer trio. But what is phosphorus (P), and why do plants need it? Phosphorus can come from many sources, from rock to an organic bone meal.

Phosphorus helps plants develop better root systems, encourages flower and fruit production. It allows the plants to transfer and store energy. Having enough phosphorus is essential for a good crop yield. However, using too much is also not a good idea, as it can work it’s way into water supplies and can cause an imbalance in the water systems. This is why phosphates were recently taken out of cleaners in most of the U.S.
As I mentioned in my last article, by constantly dressing your garden soil with organic matter, and compost, you will eventually limit the need for fertilizer in your garden. But knowing what the phosphorus is good for is one way to know when you might need to use it in your garden. For example, if you have a tomato plant that has grown big and bushy, but has no flowers or fruit growing, then it will help to add a small amount of phosphorus to your tomato plants, as this will help encourage flower and fruit production. This number will typically be slightly higher when buying a fertilizer for vegetable and flower gardens. A good organic source of phosphorus is bone meal, and as with all fertilizers, when using, be sure to follow the instructions on the bag.

Happy Gardening!

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