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About ‘Artificials’

Posted by Wartime Gardener

Now a word about “artificials” – or, what is a better term, “mineral fertilizers”. The use of the word “artificials” makes some people thank that “artificials” are not as good as “organics”. Both supply exactly the same kind of plant foods in different quantities. The “organics” generally rot down slowly and so supply steady though small amounts of plant foods during the whole of the plant’s growing period.

The well-known Sulphate of Ammonia, which comes from gas works and coke ovens, is a good source of nitrogen. Superphosphate, made from rock, is rich in phosphate; basic slag, which we get from iron works, also contains phosphate. Potash is dug out of mines in France and Germany.


To meet the needs of gardeners, the Government arranged for the supply of a good standard fertilizer at a reasonable price. It is called “National Growmore Fertilizer” and contains the three important plant foods – the analysis being 7 per cent. N. (nitrogen), 7 per cent. P2O5 (phosphate) and 7 per cent. K2O (potash).

On most soils, 42 lb. of National Growmore Fertilizer should be enough for a 10-rod plot (300 square yards). A few days before sowing or planting, scatter 1 lb. evenly over every 10 sq. yards and rake in. To give this general dressing to a 10-rod allotment will take 30 lb. This will leave 12 lb. for giving an extra dressing to potatoes, winter green crops and spring cabbages.

4-1/2 lb. should be reserved for potatoes and should be applied at planting time. 5-1/2 lb. should be kept for applying during August to the autumn and winter green crops when they are making active growth. The remaining 2 lb. should be used during March as a top dressing for spring cabbage.

You will be able to get National Growmore Fertilizer from most sundries merchants. Allotment societies and similar bodies, which have hitherto bought their fertilizers in bulk, are able to buy National Growmore Fertilizer in bulk at reduced prices.

On some allotments or in some gardens it may be necessary to give an additional top dressing of a nitrogenous fertilizer (such as Sulphate of Ammonia) to any growing crops, applying it at the rate of about 1 lb. per 10 square yards.

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