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Bloom Booster Plant Food

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Bloom Booster Plant Food

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Overview

Bloom booster plant foods are used not only to make annual flowerbeds perform like champs, but also up the number of vegetables and fruits a single plant can produce. Bloom boosters have a higher concentration of phosphorus (the middle number on a plant food package) than the other two major plant nutrients. Gauging the amount of phosphorus you actually need during a season can be tricky without a soil sample.

History

Although bones have been used to fertilize soil for centuries, it wasn't until 1840 that Professor Justus van Liebig suggested that it was one of the essential elements for plant growth and survival. Now phosphorus is not just used for basic crops, but is specially formulated in bloom booster plant foods to tip the balance of plant growth away from vegetative growth and towards bloom production.

Phosphorus in Soil

Many bloom booster plant foods offer phosphorus in the form of rock phosphate. Research from the University of Colorado indicates rock phosphate shows no discernible improvement on plant production in alkaline soils, while composted manure provide much better concentrations of phosphorus in plants. As much as 95 percent of phosphorus added to soil will either react with calcium and become unavailable for plant use, or may run off the garden entirely in a heavy rain.

Soil Tests and Results

Many bloom booster plant foods offer phosphorus in the form of rock phosphate. Research from the University of Colorado indicates rock phosphate shows no discernible improvement on plant production in alkaline soils, while composted manure provide much better concentrations of phosphorus in plants. As much as 95 percent of phosphorus added to soil will either react with calcium and become unavailable for plant use, or may run off the garden entirely in a heavy rain.

Misconceptions

Because of the hype of bloom booster ad campaigns, many gardeners believe that bloom boosters have to be used many times per season, year after year to produce lovely gardens or decent crops. But the level of phosphorus builds up in the soil, and does not leech down past the reach of plant roots the way that nitrogen does. It's usually less a matter of adding more phosphorus to the soil, and more a matter of finding a way to make that phosphorus available for plants to use.

Considerations

There are biological ways to extract phosphorus that's already locked up in the soil. More than 95 percent of plant life on Earth has a mutually beneficial relationship with a microscopic fungus called Mycorrhiza. This fungus extends the surface area of roots, and breaks down phosphorus in the soil into a form that plants can readily absorb. You can inoculate your garden with this fungus only once and, at the very least, reduce the amount of bloom booster plant food you use.

Keywords: bloom booster, bloom plant food, phosphorus plant food, high phosphorus fertilizer, bloom booster fertilizer

About this Author

Samantha Belyeu has been writing professionally since 2003. She began as a writer and publisher for the Natural Toxins Research Center, and has spent her time since as a landscape designer and part-time writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas A&M University in Kingsville.