To grow properly, a plant needs nutrients such as mineral salts which they draw from the ground. However, when the soil cannot provide the plant with these nutrients, it must be amended to prevent the plant’s certain death. Be that as it may, the type of fertilizer to use will be determined by the plant’s species, but also in regard to soil quality.

An enriched soil is a soil capable of providing everything the plants need for their development. If this is not the case, the use of fertilizers is necessary to improve the soil’s nutritional content or just to make it fertile. According to experts, there are many diverse and varied types of land of which the classification seems hitherto difficult to establish. Notwithstanding, soils are characterized by their chemical and organic properties. In terms of chemistry, soil fertility is determined according to its absorption capacity i.e. the ability of mineral ions to bind to the colloids. Thus, we can make a distinction between acidic, neutral and basic soil. Therefore we must improve ground quality with elements that increase or reduce its chemical content in order to give a given culture the opportunity to develop. As for a soil’s organic character, it depends on the humus content, which is nothing else than a mixture of decomposed organic matter. Thus, a soil is rich when its humus content is significant. At this point, the farmer may choose to further amend the soil in order for the crops to achieve the best possible results. Thus the study of the soil’s chemical and biological composition will help make up for its nutritional deficiencies in order to resolve them to obtain better crop yields.

The types of fertilizers

Fertilizers are substances that plants need for growth. These substances are naturally contained in the ground where they are drawn out by plants. There are two types of fertilizers, organic fertilizers and mineral fertilizers.

Organic fertilizers come from the decomposition of living organisms or their waste. They are numerous and include, among others, cow dung, pig urine, peat and poultry faeces. Not only can these products be found in the trade but you can also make them on your own. This is the case of compost, which is obtained after waste has been left to ferment in a bin. Organic fertilizers, unlike their chemical counterparts, slowly and steadily release nutrients.

Chemical fertilizers have a rapid impact and are the result of chemical reactions. Depending on their composition, we can find nitrate fertilizers, phosphate fertilizers, potash fertilizers and fertilizers that come from a mixture of the three above-mentioned elements. Although these fertilizers are essential, their misuse can lead to an opposite result.

How to use fertilizers?

To use a fertilizer efficiently, certain precautions need to be taken. First, one must have an instrument to measure soil acidity or pH. Thus, we can choose the appropriate fertilizer based on the ground’s deficiencies. Then we must not exceed the prescribed doses and especially respect the time period during which the fertilizer should be applied. Like all chemical products, it is necessary to have appropriate protective equipment such as gloves, boots, glasses, pots, etc. One must be careful not to apply the fertilizer directly on the plant’s roots or leaves, as this could lead to burning. The fertilizer can be applied in several ways, either by spreading or by using shovels and other equipment.

Some risks related to fertilizer use

One should keep in mind that there are some risks related to the use of fertilizers. If there is an overdose of fertilizer supply, the ground may suffer adverse effects and become completely depleted. Moreover, fertilizers have an adverse effect on soil wildlife and micro fauna. In addition, the frequent application of amendments can pollute water tables and the soil.

Thus, to avoid excessive use of fertilizers and the soil’s destruction, it is better to use natural techniques to preserve the ecosystem. Thus, we can leave the land uncultivated for some time to allow it to regenerate. Another option consists of not planting the same plant species on a given plot of land every season. In addition, avoid using chemical fertilizers whenever possible to preserve the environment.

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  1. Choosing the right type of amendment for your garden

Published in Products by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011