NPK fertilizers: what it is.  Chemical composition and benefits for plants, methods of application

NPK fertilizers: what it is. Chemical composition and benefits for plants, methods of application

If the land is used annually for growing agricultural products, then its reserves are depleted several times faster. To compensate for the deficiency of nutrients, it is necessary to regularly apply additional fertilizing in the form of organic or mineral fertilizers.

The fact is that it takes time to assimilate organic matter, since at first it undergoes decomposition with the help of soil microorganisms, so a quick effect is not observed. As a matter of urgency, crops can be fed with complex NPK fertilizers.

Complex fertilizers and the needs of garden crops

What is NPK fertilizer and how to use it – the abbreviation NPK stands for the names of the components:

They are in a complex because that is how they are able to benefit garden crops. When any one component is introduced, there will be a lack of all the others, which will lead to poor growth of green mass, lack of flowering and, accordingly, fruits.

Video: What is NPK and its importance for plants

There are several types of complex mixtures in which the components are distributed in a certain proportion. They are intended for various types of plants – green, flowering, berry, root crops, fruit trees.

You can also find complex fertilizers for the season on sale. The fact is that in spring plants need more nitrogen, during flowering and fruiting potassium. The connecting element is phosphorus, as it stimulates the roots to absorb both of these elements and directs them at the right time to the right place.

Why plant nutritional deficiencies occur

The main reason for the deficiency is untimely feeding, despite the fact that the soil is constantly exploited, and it gives off nutrients. It is generally accepted that organic matter is applied every 2 to 3 years, because it has a long decomposition period.

Mineral fertilizers are consumed faster, therefore they must be applied more often, but in smaller quantities, so that nitrates do not accumulate in the tissues.

The second reason is the quality of the soil. Sandstones and sandy loam soils poorly retain nutrients. With melt or rainwater, they sink into the depths and become inaccessible to plants. Sandstone deficiency occurs much more often than other soil types.

npk fertilizers what is it

The third reason is the acid-base imbalance of the soil. For example, for phosphorus to become available, the soil must have a slightly acidic reaction. Phosphates are alkaline and require acid to decompose.

If the soil is excessively limy, then the plants will be deficient in phosphorus, even though it was brought under the plants at the right time. Also, an overabundance of some elements causes a lack of others.

What are the components of complex fertilizer responsible for?

In order for the plant to be healthy, have strong immunity, in the spring it is necessary to take care of nitrogen fertilization. There is more of it in complex spring mixtures by about 30%. Further, the need for it disappears.

There can be mistakes of gardeners who use the same fertilizer for all occasions. An excess of nitrogen during the flowering period leads to the fact that the plant continues to grow green mass and “forgets” to bloom and set fruits.

Potassium predominates during the flowering period. It promotes the setting of a large number of fruits and keeps them on the branches, making it possible to ripen all tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, berries and fruits. If there is enough potassium in the soil, it allows the vegetables to ripen evenly and to enhance their nutritional and flavor profile.

Phosphates contribute to the formation of protein in the tissues, strengthen and strengthen the roots. If the root system has not developed, the remaining components will poorly enter the plant and fruits, as a result of which they crumble and quickly deteriorate.

A special type of complex fertilizers are chelated. They differ from ordinary ones in chemical composition – in them the ions of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus are in a shell of humic acids.

This substance directly affects the health of the culture, the taste of fruits, the amount of vitamins. The consumption of chelated fertilizers is much lower than that of conventional fertilizers, but the digestibility reaches 97%. The cost is higher, but the substances justify themselves due to high yields and high nutritional value.

When and how to apply

Complex mixtures are used at any time of the year as basic fertilizers or as top dressing. They begin to use it in the spring, shortly before planting plants in open ground or in a greenhouse. NPK fertilizers are applied in the form of a solution, which is better, since in liquid form they are absorbed faster by the roots. If you use granules, then they are pre-mixed with the soil to avoid scalding the roots.

For seedlings in the spring, use a weak concentration, since the roots are still weak and may suffer.

For mature adult crops, there are standards that are given on the back of the package. They must be strictly observed, since the signs of an overdose overlap with symptoms of a lack of substances.

For hydroponics, concentrations are used that are three times reduced compared to soil cultivation of plants. This is a safety measure to avoid scalding the root system.

Mineral calculations

For common mineral substances, dosages are calculated according to the instructions. You should clearly know for what age of the crop the feeding is being prepared.

Chelated fertilizers do not cause overdose symptoms, therefore, a small increase in the amount does not negatively affect the growth and development of fruit and vegetable plants.

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