How to choose a fertilizer or protective drug, selection tips and reviews
Contain one main nutrient (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium).
Advantages of mineral one-component fertilizers:
- ease of use;
- the ability to add the required amount of a nutrient;
- quick effect of application.
Cons of mineral one-component fertilizers:
- low efficiency in comparison with complex mineral agrotuks;
- lack of trace elements;
- short-term action;
- risk of overdose and plant poisoning.
From one-component fertilizers, complex compositions are prepared with optimal proportions between phosphorus (P), nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) for each case.
Important: The main nutrients are called phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium. Secondary nutrients — magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), sulfur (S). The composition of fertilizers may also include trace elements, which include chlorine (Cl), copper (Cu), boron (B), iron (Fe).
Secondary and trace elements are important for the normal growth of crops and cannot be replaced by other substances. Fertilizers with trace elements are used when there is a deficiency of the corresponding substances in the soil.
- Granular fertilizers
- Liquid fertilizers
- Fertilizers in sticks
Complex mineral (multicomponent)
Consists of several essential nutrients. Most often, such fertilizers include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. There are compositions in which, in addition to these substances, magnesium is contained.
Advantages of complex mineral fertilizers:
- increased concentration of nutrients (acts faster than single-component analogues);
- relatively low costs for storage, transportation and application;
- high efficiency even with insufficient soil moisture.
The main disadvantage of complex mineral fertilizers is the narrow range of the ratio between the elements, which leads to a lack or excess of nutrients in each specific case. This increases the likelihood of plant poisoning due to an overdose. Also, the action of multicomponent fertilizers is short-lived.
There are two groups of complex mineral fertilizers:
- double — nitrogen-phosphorus (NP), phosphorus-potassium (PK), nitrogen-potassium (NK);
- triple – nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (NPK).
Important: mineral fertilizers are often mixed together or combined with other components. This allows you to increase the effect of the use of these substances.
Some fertilizers are compatible with many preparations (nitroammophoska, ammonium sulfate). Others are allowed to be combined only with certain types of agrotuk. So, potassium chloride is mixed with ammonium sulfate (crystalline) and superphosphate (powdered). Be guided by the mixing rules, as otherwise the nutritional conditions of the plants will deteriorate.
Organic — multicomponent fertilizers. Advantages: environmental friendliness, enrichment of the soil with humus and improvement of its structure, harmlessness to plants and soil (minimal risk of overdose), long-term effect. Disadvantages: difficult application, high cost, low concentration of useful substances, slow effect of application.
Organic fertilizers include bone meal, which contains 30-35% phosphoric acid. Ideal for slightly acidic and acidic soils. Application time is autumn and spring. Method of application — top dressing.
Organo-mineral — contain organic and mineral components and combine their advantages. Such fertilizers provide a quick effect and are safe for plants and soil. Minus — high price.
Chemicals that protect crops from pests. Represented by several varieties:
- fungicides — destroy bacteria and fungi that cause various diseases in plants;
- herbicide — destroy harmful plants (weeds);
- insecticide — destroy harmful insects.
The disadvantage of protective drugs is toxicity. Therefore, when using chemicals, manufacturers’ recommendations regarding dosage and safety precautions should be followed.
Important: Buy fertilizers and protective preparations from trusted brands that value their reputation. Check out the reviews for the products you are interested in.
Pay attention to the composition of the fat and make sure that all the necessary nutrients for the normal development of a particular crop are present. Keep in mind that the solution chosen may not necessarily be suitable for other plants.
You should not save on the cost of fertilizers and protective preparations, because low-quality products will be useless at best, and at worst they will be harmful.
To choose the right fertilizer, consider the chemical and physical properties of the soil.
Granulated — solid fertilizer. It is characterized by a long period of action, a high concentration of nutrients. Granular fertilizers provide uniform feeding of the soil, resistant to water and wind. Cons: high cost, it is impossible to determine the moment of exhaustion of nutrients.
In addition to granular, there are other solid fertilizers — powdered and crystalline. They differ in particle size:
- granular – particle size greater than 1 mm (1-6 mm);
- powdered – particle size less than 1 mm;
- crystalline – the particle size is greater than 0.5 mm.
liquid — cheaper than the previous version. Disadvantages: Difficult dosage, requires frequent fertilization due to high absorption rate.
In sticks — acts for a long time, often contains bactericidal additives. Fertilizer sticks are easy to dose. Minus — uneven distribution of batteries. It is recommended to feed houseplants in pots with such fertilizers.
Method of application to the soil
Basic (before-sowing) — is carried out during the processing of the soil before sowing or before the main tillage. autumn. Conducted in autumn. Provides crops with the necessary nutrients for the entire period of their growth (vegetation). All organic and most mineral fertilizers are designed specifically for this method of application.
Sowing — is produced in the process of planting seeds of plants. Fertilizers are applied to holes, nests or rows. Apply in spring. This method supplies plants with nutrients in the initial period of their growth.
top dressing (post-sowing) — carried out during the growing season of plants, when they are especially in need of nutrients.
Mode of action
Straight — directly affects the development of plants, supplying them with nutrients.
Indirect — affects the nutritional conditions of crops by changing the biological and physico-chemical characteristics of the soil.
One-component mineral fertilizers
Nitrogen — promote plant growth, give the leaves a deep dark green color, increase productivity. Most nitrogen fertilizers are highly soluble in water. Application time is spring.
- Urea (urea) — contains up to 46% nitrogen. It is well absorbed, but increases the acidity of the soil. It is brought in in the spring (use in the fall is justified in order to prepare areas for planting in the spring). Grade B urea is used as a fertilizer. Way of introduction: the main, sowing, top dressing.
- Ammonium sulfate (ammonium sulphate) — contains up to 21% nitrogen, 24% sulfur. Suitable for cabbage, potatoes and other vegetable crops. Application method: basic, top dressing.
- Ammonium nitrate — contains 34-35% nitrogen. Strengthens the immunity of agricultural crops. Ammonium nitrate is useful for various vegetables, especially beets and potatoes. Application method: basic, top dressing.
- Sodium nitrate — contains 16% nitrogen and 26% sodium. A good option for fertilizing root crops, especially sugar beets. Way of introduction: the main, sowing, top dressing.
- calcium nitrate — contains 13-15% nitrogen and 19% calcium. Calcium promotes the absorption of nitrogen by plants and improves the growth of the root system. The best choice for use on acidic soils. Method of application: pre-sowing, top dressing.
Phosphoric — provide the development of the root system, supply plants with energy. Some phosphate fertilizers dissolve well in water (superphosphates). Most fertilizers are poorly soluble in water, but soluble in strong or weak acids. Most often applied in autumn.
- Superphosphate — contains 14-20% phosphoric acid, also contains sulfur and gypsum. Perfect for feeding vegetables (cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage). It is also used for berries, fruit trees, on any type of soil. Superphosphate is applied in autumn and spring. Slightly increases the acidity of the soil. Way of introduction: the main, sowing.
- Double superphosphate — contains 45-50% phosphoric acid, as well as sulfur (no gypsum). Ideal for berry bushes and fruit trees.
- Precipitate — contains 22-37% phosphoric acid. It is brought under any plant cultures. The precipitate slightly reduces the acidity of the soil. Designed for basic application.
- Phosphorite flour — contains 19-25% phosphoric acid. In terms of efficiency, it is inferior to bone meal. Suitable for strongly acidic soils. It is used only for the main application.
Potash — increase the immunity and resistance of plants to adverse weather conditions, normalize the water balance, improve the taste properties of fruits. Potash fertilizers are highly soluble in water. Often applied in the spring.
- Potassium chloride — contains 54-62% potassium oxide, also contains chlorine. Oxidizes the soil. Application time — autumn or spring (for crops resistant to chlorine). Used as a top dressing.
- Sulphate of potassium (potassium sulfate) — contains 46-48% potassium oxide. Potassium sulfate is ideal for all types of berries and vegetables. Apply in spring and autumn. Application method: basic, top dressing.
- Calimagnesia (potassium-magnesium sulfate) — contains 28-30% potassium oxide and 9% magnesium oxide, as well as a small amount of sulfur and chlorine. Recommended for sandy and sandy soils with a lack of magnesium. Suitable for fruit trees, berry bushes, vegetables, especially legumes, cabbage. Application method: basic, top dressing.
- Callimagus — contains 18-20% potassium oxide and 8-9% magnesium oxide. It has the same properties as potassium magnesia.
Multicomponent mineral fertilizers
Double nitrogen-phosphorus (NP)
Ammophos — contains 11-12% nitrogen, 44-50% phosphoric acid. Used on any type of soil. A good option for any berries and vegetables. Ammophos is applied at any time. Suitable for all application methods (especially often used as the main fertilizer).
Nitrogen phosphate — contains 33% nitrogen, 3-5% phosphorus. It is applied on all types of soil. Ideal for all garden crops. Application time is spring. Method of application — top dressing.
Ammophosphate — contains 6% nitrogen, 45-46% phosphorus. Gives excellent results on acidic soils with very strong moisture. Designed for all crops. Bring in in the spring. Effective with all application methods.
Nitroammophosphate — contains 21-23% nitrogen, 11% water-soluble and 21% digestible phosphates. Suitable for any vegetables and berries. Way of introduction: the main, sowing, top dressing.
Nitroammophos (nitrophosphate) — contains 32-33% nitrogen, 1.3-2.6% phosphorus. It is applied in spring (on light soils) and in autumn (on heavy soils). Used for all application methods.
Diammonium phosphate (diammophos) — contains 18% nitrogen, 46% phosphates. This fertilizer does not contain chlorine and nitrates. Characterized by neutral acidity. It is used at any time on all types of soil for a variety of fruits and vegetables. Way of introduction: the main, sowing, top dressing.
Double phosphorus-potassium (PK)
Monopotassium phosphate (potassium monophosphate) — contains 28-33% potassium, 23% phosphorus. Does not oxidize and does not disturb the structure of the soil. Used outdoors or in a greenhouse. Suitable for all garden crops. Method of application — top dressing.
Double nitrogenous—potassium (NK)
Potassium nitrate (potassium nitrate) — contains 44% potassium, 13% nitrogen. Suitable for plants for which chlorine is dangerous. Potassium nitrate is used in the cultivation of beets, carrots, berries. Not suitable for potatoes, cabbage, greens, radishes. Bring in in the spring. Method of application — top dressing.
Triple Fertilizers (NPK)
Ammofoska — contains 12% nitrogen, 15% phosphorus, 15% potassium, as well as other elements (sulfur, magnesium, calcium). Refers to non-chlorine fertilizers. It is used on any types of soils (including saline ones). Ammophoska is suitable for cucumbers, onions, tomatoes. Apply in autumn and spring. Suitable for all application methods.
Nitrophoska / nitroammophoska — contains approximately the same (12-17%) amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium. This fertilizer is optimal for any type of soil. Nitrofoska is used in the cultivation of beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes and other vegetables. Application time — autumn (on heavy soils) or spring (on light soils). Way of introduction: the main, sowing.
Diammofosca — contains 10% nitrogen, 26% phosphorus, 26% potassium. It is a non-chlorine fertilizer. Diammofoska is used on all types of soil and is suitable for fruits, berries, vegetables. Especially useful for soils flavored with organic matter. Entered at any time. Diammofoska is suitable for all methods of application.
Important: the composition of complex fertilizers is indicated as a formula, for example, NPK 12:15:15; NPK 17:17:17.
The greater the sum of these components, the better. For depleted agricultural fertilizers, this parameter does not exceed 30%, for medium-enriched ones it fluctuates in the range of 31-39%, but enriched fertilizers are characterized by the highest content of nutrients — 40%.
In addition to useful elements, any fertilizer includes salt ballast. With a decrease in the amount of NPK, the content of substances that salt the soil and thereby adversely affect the nutritional conditions of plants increases.
This parameter indicates the tendency of solid, including granular fertilizers to turn into a dense and monolithic mass, which worsens consumer qualities. Caking directly depends on the hygroscopicity of the fertilizer — its ability to absorb moisture. This characteristic is influenced by the duration and storage conditions of agrotuk, as well as other factors.
Ammonium sulfate, superphosphates, potassium magnesia, potassium sulfate, nitrogen phosphate, nitroammophosphate do not cake. Sodium nitrate, ammophos, and urea are less susceptible to caking. But potassium chloride and calcium nitrate are fertilizers that are very caking.
Important: Store caking-prone agrotooks in closed containers. For this purpose, it is recommended to use plastic bottles.
Mode of action
Contact — work only in the zone of contact with the plant (fungicides, herbicides) or the body of an insect (insecticides). To achieve the effect, careful processing of crops is required. Contact preparations are washed off with water.
Systemic — act inside the plant, moving through the internal vessels. Such compositions are much more effective than contact analogues and are not afraid of water. Some systemic fungicides are used to prevent and treat plant diseases.
continuous action — destroy various weeds (herbicides) and insects (insecticides). A one-stop solution to save money.
electoral action – kill specific species of plants and insects. They act more effectively, but pointwise. These drugs are more expensive.
Selective herbicides are divided into the following groups:
- graminicides — against cereal weeds;
- anti-dicotyledonous — to combat dicotyledonous (broad-leaved) weeds.
Selective insecticides are divided into the following groups:
- nematicides — kill nematodes (roundworms);
- anthelmintics — against worms parasitizing in the body of plants and humans;
- acaricides — Destroy ticks.
Important: when choosing a protective drug, pay attention to the expiration date and consumption rates. When buying a selective drug, carefully study the list of pests against which it acts (indicated in the instructions).
Be sure to use PPE (personal protective equipment) when working with protective drugs. These include goggles, gloves, a respirator, overalls (overalls).
Weight / volume
The amount of granular/liquid fertilizer required depends on the specific nutrient requirements of the crop and the area to be fertilized.
To calculate the amount of fertilizer, you need to know the plant’s need for a particular nutrient (in grams) and the percentage of this nutrient in the fertilizer.
For example, the nitrogen requirement of beets is 9 g per 1 m2. Ammonium nitrate contains 34% nitrogen. From here it is easy to find out the dose of fertilizer: 9 * 100 / 34 \u003d 26.47 g per 1 m2. For an area of 10 m2 264.7 g of agrotuk will be required.
Important: 100 is a constant value.
Fertilizers are packaged in various types of packages, based on the weight and form of release of the contents. The weight of granular fertilizers in bags most often does not exceed 5-500 g. A more capacious package is a bag that can hold 5-50 kg. Liquid fertilizers are bottled (30-1000 ml), less often in bags (10-40 ml), agrotooks in sticks are supplied in blisters (20-60 pcs.).