Fertilizer Storage and Labeling Tips

Fertilizing plants is an essential task around the garden, whether it's the organic or the chemical kind of fertilizing. The organic fertilizers like horse manure and cow manure, I keep in the sacks or bags where I collected them. While homemade fish emulsion, I keep in plastic bottles. The store bought chemical fertilziers, however, I put them in disposable plastic jars.

These disposable plastic jars are those plastic jars that used to contain jellies, jams, mayonnaise, peanut butter and other supermarket items. Rather than toss them away, I wash them with soap and water, peel and discard the old labels, and then store the clean jars in a cupboard. I keep them for variety of reasons, and storing chemical fertilizers is one of them.


Advantages of Reusable Jars for Fertilizers

Of course there's no hard and fast rule on storing fertilizers. Many apply garden fertilziers right out of the box or packaging they were bought. But here's what I think that's convenient and practical for me.

  1. Small Amount of Fertilizer Needed

    Many fertilizers are meant to be diluted. So in practice, you only need a little at a time. Even for controlled release fertilizers, you only put a little, maybe a teaspoonful, in a garden pot. If you have a big box, it's easier to work with smaller batches. Put a sufficiently convenient amount of fertilizer in a jar and keep it in a rack, then store away the rest.




  2. Handy around the Garden

    There's no need to lug around a big box or container of chemical fertilizers in the garden. I just pick the fertilizer I need for the day from the ferts rack, and with a disposable plastic spoon, I'm off. It's simply like picking your favorite condiment from the condiments rack.

  3. Lesser chance of Fertilizer Loss

    Have you ever bumped a tall OPENED package of fertilizer and then spill out its contents? It's quite a hassle, whether the fertilizer spills on the counter, floor or even on grass. Some of these fertilizers are even sold in flimsy thin plastic containers that can literally burst. By keeping the fertilizer in smaller, easily closed containers with screw-on caps, there's little chance for huge losses. Imagine if you have a big opened box of fertilizer and accidentally left it out in the garden, and then a heavy rain drenches its contents.



How to Store and Label Fertilizers at Home

Materials
  • Disposable Plastic Jar with Screw-On Cap
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Masking Tape
Procedure
  1. Carefully transfer the contents of the fertilizer package into the jar. If the fertilizer is in a plastic bag inside a box, keep the fertilizer in the bag and transfer. Otherwise, pour the contents into the jar. Shown below is a bag of fertilizer placed inside the jar.


  2. Examine the original fertilizer package. You will notice some pertinent information on the fertilzier package that you'd like to keep. At the minimum, there would be info on Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorous (N-P-K) composition.




    Many would have a chemical analysis of minerals and trace elements. Other useful information would include expiry dates, recommended application and storage instructions.


  3. With a heavy duty pair of scissors, cut the fertilizer information you want kept and labeled on the fertilizer jar. If you keep a gardening journal or blog, you may opt to just write other less critical information in your journal like expiry dates and prices.


  4. Glue the cut fertilizer labels on the jar sides and on the cap. You may need a masking tape to temporarily fasten the label on the jar until the glue dries.




    I'd like to keep the NPK composition information on the top of the screw cap. That way, I'd immediately know the type of fertilizer I'm using when I open the cap.


    I put the recommended application instructions on the side of the fertilizer jar. Keeping the instructions label on recommended application helps prevent under or overfertilizing your garden plants.


  5. It isn't always feasible to cut the fertilizer packaging. Sometimes the label would be too big or too small, or it's just not possible to cut through the packaging.




    In this case, just write the information down on a piece of paper and glue or tape that on the fertilizer jar as shown below.


  6. Ensure the fertilizer jars are clearly labeled, and arrange them neatly on your fertilizer shelf or rack as shown below.


    At the bottom of the fertilizer jars, I keep a plastic cup that contain a few disposable plastic spoons I use when applying fertilizers in the garden.



Go ahead, post your comment below!

Kalantikan said...

Wow, you are very organized. I have some tools also like power drill but I am not so good in organizing things, but i make shelves on the wall using the brackets in your other post. I also used those plastic spoons for labels when a US blogger friend sent me many seeds. I wish i had more time like you.

Blackdove said...

At this age, I'm becoming forgetful. So it helps when labels remind me of something.

Gardening (and garden projects) is so much more enjoyable when you've got time!