Whether you’re preparing to spruce up your crop or green up your lawn, farmers across the world rely on fertilizer to ensure the plants are feeding with the appropriate amount of nutrients they need to flourish.
While all the nutrients a plant needs to survive naturally comes from the soil, such a nitrogen phosphorous, calcium, and potassium, relying on soil alone will not provide the optimal amount of nutrients necessary for the plant’s different life stages.
As for other mediums, it goes without saying that adding fertilizer to coco peat or hydroponic growing is necessary to ensure your crop is not suffering from nutrient deficiency. Of course, applying fertilizers are not as straightforward as it seems.
Understanding the Mystery Behind Fertilizing
As mentioned above, fertilizers typically consist of nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and more. A complete fertilizer needs all three to properly nurture the plant and leave a positive impact on its growth pattern, but dumping it all in one go won’t guarantee its effectiveness. You need to understand the mystery behind a fertilizer’s numbers and letter, both of which will serve as your gold standard.
What do the Numbers and Letters in Fertilizers Mean?
If you order up a bag of fertilizer and see N-P-K listed in order, it simply refers (N) Nitrogen, (P) Phosphorus, and (K) potassium. The numbers, on the other hand, refer to the percentage of each nutrient.
So a fertilizer that contains 5-10-10 indicates that it ha five per cent nitrogen, ten per cent phosphorus, and ten per cent potassium. Meanwhile, the remaining 75 per cent of the bag’s weight refers to the carrier product.
Organic Fertilizer Numbers vs. Synthetic Fertilizer Numbers
The percentage of the N-P-K ration in natural-based organic fertilizers often range between 2-3-2 or 1-1-6. This is because the ratios largely rely on the availability of the nutrients, but most are not readily usable upon application for organic fertilizers.
Many might be hesitant to use organic fertilizers because of this, but allowing the soil microbes to take its time to process the nutrients can actually be beneficial as it allows your crop to feed on slow-releasing fertilizer over a span of many weeks.
Conclusion: What is the Importance of N-P-K?
Plants need to feed on nutrients to help them grow, so the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium serve as the primary nutrients that facilitate the growth of new cells. This creates different growth and food production patterns, while secondary nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and sulfur enhance the plant roots to keep it strong and straight as the crop grows.
A good combination of the primary and secondary nutrients also stimulates the plant’s chlorophyll production, which is responsible for breaking down food through photosynthesis.
Fertilizers are particularly beneficial in hydroponic growing as beyond the fact that the medium requires you to manually input and control the nutrient uptake, nutrients and water also go hand in hand as the latter makes it easy for the plants to directly absorb the nutrients. Meanwhile, soil in water helps the nutrients to seamlessly move through the ground in suspension for feeding.
If you’re looking for a powerful plant biostimulant in the UK, get in touch with us today! We’re happy to help.