Blue grain is an artificial fertilizer that is very controversial among hobby gardeners. If you want to use it in the garden, pay attention to the composition.
Almost every gardener has already come into contact with blue grain. While some no longer want to do without multi-nutrient fertilizers, others argue about its effectiveness, especially when it comes to exotic species that require special care. The fact is that most plants and plants need to be fertilized so that they can flourish or have a rich harvest. You can only do without additional fertilization if the soil is rich in nutrients. Otherwise, the hobby gardener has to help whether it is the blue grain fertilizer that is often used in commercial horticulture, you decide.
Blue grain fertilizer - what is it anyway?
Blue grain is a chemically produced complete fertilizer (reading tip: History of fertilizers), which is commercially available as granules or in liquid form. The granulate is used most often, the small balls are colored blue, hence the product name.
Blue grain application in the garden
Since blue grain fertilizer (blue grain for short) is a universal fertilizer, it can be used for all garden and container plants. In theory, blue grain can also be used for lawn care, but extreme care is required here. If too much fertilizer is spread, the lawn "burns"! If plants are fertilized with blue grain, make sure that none manure piles form. In the event of an overdose, the plant can be damaged right down to the roots. Blue grain should be used sparingly, less means more here (read manufacturer's instructions carefully).
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Liquid blue grain fertilizer is always "diluted" with water. The mixing ratio can be found on the bottle. Whether with granules or in liquid form, fertilization takes place between March and October. However, the ideal time is spring (March to May), as the temperatures are not yet so high and it rains more often.
Blue grain composition
Blue grain is a multi-nutrient fertilizer because it consists of several main nutritional elements. The exact composition varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. In expert circles, blue grain is also referred to as NPK fertilizer (N for nitrogen, P for phosphorus, K for potassium) due to its ingredients. Depending on the manufacturer, the blue grain still contains trace elements that promote plant growth.
Full fertilizer 12/12/17 + 2 - what does that mean?
The above combination is basically the standard composition of blue grain. That means as follows:
- Nitrogen 12% (nitrate nitrogen and ammonium nitrogen)
- Phosphate 12% (water soluble)
- Potassium 17%
- Magnesium 2%
There are now many different compositions on the market, for example combinations such as 14 + 7 + 17 + 2 or 21 + 5 + 10 (+ 3 + 6) are also possible. The latter contains sulfur as well as magnesium. By the way, No Name blue grain fertilizer is available for around one euro per kilogram, with branded products you have to dig deeper into your pocket.
Blue grain: toxic or not?
The fact is, blue grain is an artificial fertilizer and therefore not comparable to compost. If you want to use your garden exclusively ecologically, blue grain has no place there. Likewise, you should not fertilize with blue grain if children are playing in the garden or if pets have free rein there.
In the case of vegetables, blue grain ensures a high yield due to its composition. So if you want to harvest a rich crop, you are welcome to use this complete fertilizer. Blue grain is therefore conducive to the growth of plants; it uses the soil relatively little. If you fertilize too much and too often with blue grain, it can even happen that the soil is completely oversaturated by the potassium and phosphate.
➤ Attention: Blue grain should not be confused with the similar-looking snail grain. In addition, you should never use the blue grain fertilizer in an organic garden.
How is blue grain spread?
The blue grain granules are applied (ejected) by hand. You should definitely wear gloves.
- When fertilizing plants, you should make sure that the soil is as dry as possible. After fertilizing, however, you have to water the corresponding areas well. The same applies to lawns.
- If you want to fertilize potted plants with blue grain, it is best to use the liquid version or to dissolve the granules in water.
- Blue grain must not get into the hands of children! Make sure that your pets do not drink from the coasters of fertilized plants!
The intensity of the dosage naturally depends on the individual needs of the plant (e.g. on the growth phases in spring, fruit formation in early summer, etc.). However, it is usually sufficient to sprinkle the beads thinly on the plant soil.
If you want to use fresh plants in the bed in spring or autumn, you can fertilize the soil with blue grain at least two, or even better, four weeks in advance. You can then use the plants in the very nutrient-rich soil after the resting phase.
Instead of blue grain, we recommend incorporating horn shavings into the planting hole as a source of nutrients.