Agromaster’s Fertilizer Crash Course
It’s common for the general public to think that fertilizers are the main course for their plants. While not all statements are wrong, we feel the need to clarify that fertilizer serves to provide additional nutrients in crops to aid in their growth and the number of yield that the crops can produce.
INTRODUCTION TO FERTILIZER
Fertilizer, in its general term, is a type of synthetic chemical which is applied on soil or the area of plant so it could absorb the nutrients from the fertilizer to enhance the growth of the crops. In short, it is known to be extra vitamin for plants; not necessarily a need. Knowing that plants get nutrients like carbon, hydrogen and oxygen from the air and water around it, however the required additional supplements in fertilizer should contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium which are often seen in other packaged fertilizers. These nutrients have it own purposes that could help enhance the growth of a plant. Here are some of the simplified examples:
|Nitrogen (N)||Stimulates the production of chlorophyll|
|Phosphorus (P)||Support development of stems, roots, blossoms and fruits|
|Potassium (K)||Helps in digestion and manufacturing foods for plants|
Besides that, a small amount of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and sulfur can be added into the mixture of fertilizer. These nutrients are able to assist crops in:
|Calcium (Ca)||– Neutralize toxic materials in plants cell membranes – Improve soil structure and binds organic and inorganic particles together|
|Magnesium (Mg)||– Metallic component in chlorophyll, enable sunlight process|
|Sulphur (S)||– Helps forms important enzymes and assists in the formation of proteins for plants.|
CHOOSING THE RIGHT FERTILIZER
On a general ‘All Purpose Fertilizer’, the number 5-5-5 is commonly spotted where it represents the proportions of each macronutrient the fertilizer contains. The numbers are indicated for the following macronutrient: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). The “N-P-K” ratio reflects the available nutrient contained in the fertilizer measured by weight. For example, if a 45kg of fertilizer has a N-P-K of 2-3-5, it contains 2kg Nitrogen, 3kg Phosphorus, and 5kg Potassium and the remaining container 35kg fillers.
Moreover, the N-P-K ratio for organic fertilizer is normally lower than the synthetic fertilizer. By law, the ratio can only express nutrients that are immediately available and organic fertilizer contains slow-release nutrients that is available over time. Other than that, organic fertilizer can contain trace of elements that might not be available by synthetic fertilizer.
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