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Types and use of mineral fertilizers

Types and use of mineral fertilizers


Read the previous part ← Types and use of organic fertilizers

What fertilizers do a gardener need, when and how to apply them correctly

Mineral fertilizers, or otherwise fat - inorganic compounds containing essential nutrients for plants... Mineral fertilizers contain nutrients in the form of various mineral salts.

The main characteristics, specifications of mineral fertilizers are: concentration of nutrients in a form assimilable by plant organisms, hygroscopicity, caking, dispersibility, as well as suitability for application in one way or another. Mineral fertilizers also differ in their chemical composition, the content of nutrients in them, their solubility and their availability to plants.


From mineral nitrogen fertilizers gardeners definitely need to have two fertilizers - ammonium nitratecontaining 34% nitrogen, and urea, in which nitrogen is 46%. Ammonium nitrate is designed to enrich the soil with nitrogen in the spring; it is used for the main application for digging to a depth of 18 cm for all crops. Ammonium nitrate is also good for early spring feeding of perennial fruit and berry crops, flower plants, perennial herbs on lawns and flower beds immediately after the snow melts, when frosts still persist and a frozen crust-shard forms on the ground, when the soil cannot be cultivated yet.

Therefore, the fertilizer is applied over the crust-shard without embedding by simple spreading. During the day, when the crust thaws, the fertilizer itself is well embedded in the soil, dissolves and supplies plants hungry after wintering with nitrogen. Ammonium nitrate, together with potassium chloride, is also used for inter-row cultivation of row crops in June, before the tops of plants close in the aisles.

The second essential nitrogen fertilizer is urea. It cannot replace ammonium nitrate in soil dressing in spring, since when applied on a surface it quickly decomposes to ammonium carbonate, which is unstable and decomposes into gaseous products, while urea nitrogen is lost without benefit to the soil, plants, and the gardener. Urea is good for foliar feeding of plants: you can feed - with a 0.3-0.5% solution - perennial fruit and berry plants before flowering, during flowering, especially during rapid flowering, when plants spend a lot of nitrogen for this process.

Therefore, they need support in nutrition, as well as after flowering, so that less ovaries and fruits fall off. Urea can also be used as the main fertilizer in the spring for digging the soil to a depth of 18 cm instead of ammonium nitrate. It is forbidden to use urea superficially without embedding, as well as with shallow tillage to a depth of 5-10 cm, otherwise nitrogen from it will fly into the air in the form of ammonia.

Phosphate fertilizers must be presented to the gardener superphosphate simple granular (20% phosphorus) or double (45% phosphorus) granular. Superphosphate is a water-soluble fertilizer readily available to plants and therefore essential in the practice of horticulture and horticulture. Both fertilizers are the same in efficiency and are intended for the main application in the spring for digging soil to a depth of 18 cm and during sowing and planting of various crops in rows and holes as a pre-sowing fertilizer.

At this time, there is almost no phosphorus available to plants in the soil, there is also little of it in the seeds, therefore, when seedlings appear, plants are in dire need of phosphorus, and it can easily be given just when sowing or planting plants. This method of applying superphosphate is considered a must for all crops and on all soils.


Potash fertilizers essential for nutrition for all plants, without exception. Gardeners can choose for their site either potassium chloride (52-56% potassium), or potassium sulfate (48% potassium). In terms of efficiency, both fertilizers are equivalent, however, there is a slight advantage in potassium sulfate when applied under cruciferous crops, which are favorable to sulfur, and in greenhouses, when high doses of fertilizers are applied.

This is done in order not to cause some excess chlorine in the vegetable crop. Potash fertilizers are applied before sowing in the spring for digging the soil into a wet layer, so as not to cause a strong fixation of potassium during surface application, especially when alternately drying and moistening the upper soil layer. Potash fertilizers can also be applied to top dressing during inter-row cultivation of row crops with feeders to a depth of 10-12 cm together with ammonium nitrate. You can also enter manually in a line method. To do this, a groove is made in the row spacing with a hoe to a depth of 10-12 cm, retreating from the row a protective zone of 15 cm, fertilizers are scattered into it and then sealed.

Ash is a local potash fertilizer. It contains 10% potassium. It is used in the spring when digging the soil. In terms of effectiveness, it is equal to potassium sulfate or potassium carbonate. Some gardeners use ash as a lime fertilizer. This is a mistake, it cannot replace lime fertilizers. There is not enough neutralizing ability in it.

Complex fertilizerscontaining nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in their composition, it is nitrophoska, ammophoska, nitroammophoska and azophoska... They are used instead of simple fertilizers - ammonium nitrate, superphosphate and potassium chloride with the main application of fertilizers in the spring for digging the soil for all crops. These fertilizers are prepared for large farms that have difficulty mixing simple fertilizers and who find it more profitable to apply complex fertilizers so as not to spread simple fertilizers over the field three times in a row. They have no other applications or advantages over simple fertilizers.

Lime fertilizers: dolomite flour, building lime, ground chalk, slaked and quicklime and others are applied to fight with high soil acidity, as well as to improve plant nutrition with calcium and magnesium. In terms of efficiency, all lime fertilizers are equivalent, with the exception of dolomite flour, which, in addition to calcium, also contains magnesium in its composition. Therefore, dolomite flour is more necessary for magnesium-loving vegetable crops, for greenhouse crops.

Lime fertilizers are used on ripe soils in the spring when digging the soil, when it is possible to mix the fertilizer with moist soil most successfully and achieve the best result in the fight against soil acidity. Lime fertilizers to neutralize acidity are used in doses from 400 to 1200 g / m2, only in such doses this technique is called - liming of acidic soils... All other doses and methods of application do not apply to liming of soils.

Of magnesium fertilizers gardeners need to have and apply magnesium sulfate - 13% magnesium. It is applied in the spring for digging the soil together with other mineral fertilizers for all agricultural crops. Our sod-podzolic soils are especially poor in magnesium, therefore, the effectiveness of magnesium fertilizers in summer cottage farming is quite high.

Microfertilizers the range of mineral fertilizers includes boric acid (17% boron), copper sulfate (23% copper), cobalt sulfate (20% cobalt), ammonium molybdate (50% molybdenum), zinc sulfate (25% zinc) and potassium iodate (35% iodine). All microfertilizers are applied in the spring at a dose of 1 g / m² together with other mineral fertilizers, once every five years. All vegetable and fruit and berry plants are in dire need of the use of microfertilizers, and when applied, they give good efficiency, increase the quality of vegetable and fruit and berry products.

To improve the physical properties of soils during claying and sanding, together with organic and mineral fertilizers, clay and sand are used in doses of 100-150 kg / m² once every 20-30 years when digging the soil.

Therefore, the main fertilizers for the garden and vegetable garden are the following: manure, dolomite flour, ammonium nitrate, urea, superphosphate, potassium chloride, nitrophoska, magnesium sulfate, boric acid, copper sulfate, zinc sulfate, cobalt sulfate, ammonium molybdate and potassium iodate. If in the spring some kind of fertilizer is not available from the gardener, then you urgently need to buy it, the absence of some kind of fertilizer is not allowed, since this whole complex of fertilizers is needed to increase soil fertility every spring. Gardeners simply don’t need other fertilizers.

The main mistakes that are found among gardeners and vegetable growers when choosing and using mineral fertilizers are as follows:

  • this is the so-called saving of fertilizers, when a “favorite” fertilizer is selected and only this fertilizer is introduced into the soil with great expectation of great success;
  • often there is no full range of mineral fertilizers at hand to effectively increase soil fertility;
  • one or more fertilizers are used, while the principle of their joint application in the form of a complex of fertilizers is violated;
  • superphosphate is rarely introduced or not at all when sowing plants;
  • no nitrogen-potash fertilization of row crops is carried out in June;
  • the whole complex of fertilizers is not used when applied together in spring;
  • fertilizer doses are not maintained;
  • especially often the rules for the use of lime fertilizers are violated, when underestimated doses are used or they are poorly mixed with the soil, otherwise surface application is also allowed;
  • mineral fertilizers are often applied superficially, without embedding, which is unacceptable both due to low efficiency and for environmental reasons, while there are cases of poisoning of birds and children;
  • microfertilizers are rarely used, plants often starve due to their lack.

There are many other mistakes as well.

Read the next part. Combined application of organic and mineral fertilizers →

Gennady Vasyaev, Associate Professor,
Chief Specialist of the North-West Regional Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
[email protected]
Olga Vasyaeva, amateur gardener
Photo by E. Valentinov

Read all parts of the article "Golden rules for the use of fertilizers"
- Part 1. General information on fertilizers
- Part 2. Specificity of various fertilizers
- Part 3. Types and uses of organic fertilizers
- Part 4. Types and uses of mineral fertilizers
- Part 5. Combined application of organic and mineral fertilizers
- Part 6. Control of soil pollution, lime fertilizers

Microfertilizers

The need for micronutrient fertilizers is small, and with regular application of Novoz to the soil, the needs of plants for micronutrients will be fully satisfied. With the introduction of macrofertilizers (nitrogen, potash, phosphorus), the need for plant nutrition with individual elements increases. Usually micronutrient fertilizers are implemented in the form of tablets, where, when feeding, one tablet is enough for 20 liters of water, which can be fertilized from 3 to 4 square meters. Below is a table of microfertilizers, with the necessary information.

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In the next post I will introduce you to the rules of working with fertilizers. I wish you decent harvests. See you soon on the blog pages.


Types and use of mineral fertilizers - garden and vegetable garden

Types of organic fertilizers.

The main organic fertilizers are manure, mullein infusion, bird droppings, feces, peat, compost compost, green fertilizers, etc.

Content (approximate) of nutrients in organic fertilizers,% '

There are also some peculiarities. Horse, sheep, goat, rabbit manure is popularly called hot. It surpasses in its nutritional qualities cattle and pig manure, warms the soil, which contributes to the accelerated growth of plants, and this is important in the initial spring growing season.

Poultry droppings are the most valuable in terms of their nutrients. In addition, it is easily absorbed by plants. It has a high concentration of organic components, due to which in the next couple of years it continues to have a positive effect on yields.

But it must be used with caution, since when the plant is applied excessively, easily assimilating it, nitrates accumulate, which is undesirable. Applying fresh droppings can lead to burns and plant disease. Therefore, it is advisable to lay it in compost, prepare an infusion from it and then use it.

It is the most important and widespread fertilizer containing almost all nutrients and trace elements necessary for plants: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, copper, molybdenum, boron, cobalt. It improves the structure of the soil, its biological activity. Its action is long-lasting. Well-decomposed manure, even during the period of chemicalization of agricultural processes, serves as an indispensable tool for maintaining soil fertility.

The quality of the manure depends on the type of animal, feed and bedding. The best manure is horse manure. It is richer in nutrients and decomposes faster. It is biofuel for greenhouses and insulated beds. The best bedding material for manure is straw, followed by poorly decomposed peat from raised bogs.

Manure can be fresh, semi-rotted, rotted and in the form of humus. The most valuable is the last. But if a vegetable grower prepares it in the country from fresh manure, the total percentage of nutrients will be less. The decrease will occur in the process of biological transformation. The value of humus is that during slow decomposition, releasing nitrogen gradually, it does not have a negative effect on young plants.

Fresh manure contributes to the rapid reproduction of microorganisms in the soil, which absorb not only their own nitrogen, but also contained in the soil. And only after the decomposition of the straw, microorganisms die off, while releasing the nitrogen absorbed by them. In the presence of sawdust in the manure, decomposition occurs even more slowly. Such manure is applied in the fall or after using it in compost. Close it up in holes or grooves, mixing with the ground. It should not come into direct contact with the roots of seedlings, fruit trees, seeds, including tubers.

The summer resident is sometimes in a difficult situation. It was possible to acquire manure, but the time for introduction did not come. How to be? It must be stored layer by layer by shifting the layers with earth, peat, mown grass, etc. And be sure to tamp it to prevent its "combustion". The earth, absorbing ammonia from manure, will not allow large losses of nitrogen and organic matter. From above, the stack is covered from freezing with peat chips, dry leaves, grass.

Mullein infusion

It is used to feed plants, preparing as follows. The required amount of mullein is placed in a container (tank, barrel), poured with water (in a ratio of 1: 2) and mixed. The container is closed and left to ferment for four to five days.

The resulting infusion is diluted with water five times and applied under the plants after rain or watering on cloudy days (in sunny weather, large losses of nitrogen). The approximate consumption rate of the solution is 5 liters per square meter, but it depends on the structure of the soil, its fertilization, etc.

Bird droppings

All nutrients in the droppings are in an easily digestible form and are quickly absorbed by plants.Chicken droppings are more valuable. It is mainly used for feeding. It must be stored in a dry place, covered with dry peat or dry soil to preserve easily volatile nitrogen. A solution is prepared from it in the same way as from a mullein, only the infusion is diluted ten times with water. Watering is carried out near the plants, trying not to spray them.

Flumb-chicken is a complex organic fertilizer, a product of biochemical processing of chicken manure. Promotes the formation of a powerful root system of fruit trees, shrubs, berries, vegetable crops, increasing their productivity, resistance to bacterial and fungal diseases of plants. Acts as an ideal tool in the restoration of humus - a natural reducer of the nutrient layer of the soil.

Contains nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, many trace elements, growth stimulants, including humic acids and other organic compounds.

Fertilizer “Gardener's Dream” is similar to chicken flumbus, but it is a product of biochemical processing of horse manure.

Fecal matter is a valuable fertilizer. But using them in their pure form is unsafe and unacceptable for health reasons.

In feces, up to 80% of nitrogen is in the form of ammonia. To prevent nitrogen losses and exclude infectious diseases in humans, feces should be composted so that pathogenic microbes die under the influence of high temperatures. The best method for storing faeces is to sprinkle them with dry peat layer by layer.

The specific unpleasant odor of feces disappears, nitrogen losses are reduced if occasionally sprinkled with a small amount of superphosphate.

Peat contains a lot of nitrogen, but in a form inaccessible to plants. Being in the soil, it makes it looser, more breathable - improves the structure. It keeps the substances in it well, and you can add it to the soil at any time of the year. Lowland peat is the best. It can be easily turned into fertilizer (cover the pile with plastic wrap for three months, occasionally pouring water over it).

Peat is the best material for soil mulching, the use of which retains moisture in the soil, does not form a crust, and evens out fluctuations in daily temperature.

Using it in composts speeds up the loosening process; if properly prepared, such compost matures in one year.

Prefabricated compost

Compost allows you to fully use all the waste generated in the country: leaves, tops, branches, weeds, sawdust, forest floor, garbage, ash, peat, feces, kitchen waste, water after washing dishes.

Disease-affected plant residues should not be placed in the compost. It is advisable to burn them and use ash in compost. Unless you are looking for extra work for yourself and expect to use the compost within two years, do not plant weeds with seeds in it. Otherwise, weeds will disperse in your area.

It is necessary to place compost heaps in the depths of the summer cottage, in one of its corners, in a flood-free place. It is better if the place where the compost is stored will be divided into three parts, since the readiness of the compost for application to the soil is achieved after two to three years. The bottom layer is peat, straw, dry leaves, then - all kinds of plant waste, interbedded every 30 cm by peat, earth. Feces, slurry are added to them. From time to time, the compost needs to be shovel, which raises its temperature and accelerates maturation, turning it into a fertilizer available to plants. It must be constantly moist. The compost heap is covered with a thin layer of earth from above and covered with old plastic wrap, which will help to keep warm and accelerate the decomposition of organic matter.

Compost pits are often arranged in summer cottages. Shoveling waste in them is laborious, and sometimes impossible. Therefore, when laying waste, you need to insert several stakes into the pit and periodically remove them for a while. Air exchange will help to obtain a complete compost.

In the process of maturation, phosphate rock is added to the compost to increase its efficiency.


When to apply mineral fertilizers in the fall?


Next, we will analyze which fertilizers to apply in the fall for digging, and which to leave until spring.

It is hardest to penetrate into the soil phosphorus, and therefore all mixtures containing this component must be applied in the fall.

The microelement will have a whole six months to dissolve in the soil and saturate. It is even better if potassium also enters the soil with phosphorus, which will help to better absorb into the soil, but nitrogen will be lost over the winter and will have to be reintroduced in the spring.

Manure also helps phosphorus to better saturate the soil, and therefore their introduction into the ground can be combined.

Calcium - Another component, which is preferable to apply in the fall, it will help shrubs and trees to overwinter.

Calcium chloride can also be added in the fall, even in those soils where chlorine-intolerant plants are supposed to be planted. During the winter cold, he will disappear and be washed out with the last snow, and his friend calcium will remain and perfectly fertilize the soil.

Urea an excellent fertilizer for autumn digging, because nitrogen will disappear from the soil, and thanks to the amide form, it will linger, and in the spring you will get a good soil suitable for planting.

All mineral compositions get along well with organic ones and help each other in soil nutrition.

Combined fertilizers behave well both for the garden and for the vegetable garden, when applied to the ground in autumn. During the winter, they completely saturate the soil with their composition. As a result, spring feeding is not so plentiful and you can throw your strength into other important work.

Autumn fertilizers are applied to the soil when digging a garden gradually, it depends what they look like.

It is advisable to add potash immediately after the crop is harvested. Phosphorus is suitable for the site on which it is planned to plant root crops in the spring. Shrubs and trees are fertilized every year, regardless of the fertility of that year.

Flowers are fertilized in the middle of autumn, laying dry mixtures to a depth of 8 cm, followed by abundant watering. Ready-made mineral mixtures are better suited for flowers.

The end of November is perfect for introducing mineral mixtures into the soil, the crystals must be embedded in the ground, since the microelements will erode under the influence of natural phenomena.

In the northern and eastern regions of the country, it is better to do this a little earlier.


Use of mineral mixtures

Mineral fertilizers are more accessible than organic fertilizers and give a quick effect. Before you start feeding, you need to calculate the correct dose for the plants, most often it is indicated directly on the package.

There are many types of mineral fertilizers, but these 4 must always be in the garden:

  1. Pre-landing... They are introduced in the spring and prepare the soil. This is especially true for land that has been cultivated for several years. Better to use Azophoska, Nitrophoska, Ammophoska. They contain all the necessary nutrients.
  2. Seasonal... Used for additional feeding. If there are no signs of a shortage of any of the main elements, it is worth using mixtures containing humic acids, sulfur, iodine.
  3. Microfertilizers... Used when weather conditions change. Too rainy or sultry summers can lead to iron and magnesium deficiencies, and copper is needed in cold weather. You need to have a small amount of each of the substances, then you will be able to quickly make up for the lack of trace elements.
  4. Autumn... Their task is to bring the fruit closer to maturity. For this, potassium and phosphorus are used. Among the complex mineral mixtures for processing a vegetable garden, potassium nitrate and potassium monophosphate are suitable.

Inorganic mixtures are an excellent alternative to sawdust and peat. With the right choice, you can save money, time, energy and get an excellent harvest at the same time.

But the main thing is the competent approach of the gardener: the selection of the right substance, the calculation of the amount of the mixture. It is also important to monitor the condition of the plants and their appearance, and, if required, urgently provide them with the necessary trace elements.


General criteria for use

Mineral feed can be used as the main type of fertilizer, as well as additional organic matter. Each species has its own rules for introducing them into the soil, but there are general requirements for use:

  1. It is strictly not recommended to breed organic matter in dishes, in which food will then lie.
  2. For storage of top dressing, only vacuum containers are used.
  3. If mineral fertilizers are strained, they must be crushed before use, for this you can use a sieve.
  4. Before adding mineral compounds to the culture, it is necessary to accurately calculate the dose, in extreme cases, the amount recommended by the manufacturer should not be exceeded.
  5. If the fertilization process is carried out through the ground, it is necessary to ensure that the solution does not get on the plant, if this happens, then after the procedure, the culture must be rinsed well with water, especially for the vegetative part.
  6. Dry organic matter, as well as compounds that contain nitrogen and potassium, should be placed in the topsoil, but not deeply, so that they can penetrate into the root system.
  7. To give softness to concentrated mineral fertilizers, you should water the land beds with water before using them.
  8. To replenish nitrogen starvation, fertilizers with phosphorus and potassium must be applied only with this element, otherwise, there will be no result.
  9. For clay soil, the dose of mineral dressing should be increased, for sandy soil, on the contrary, it should be reduced, but the number of procedures should be increased. For example, if the earth is mixed with clay and phosphorus fertilizers are used, then it is better to lay superphosphate. If the soil is sand, then any phosphoric agent can be used.
  10. If the planting site is in an area where it rains frequently, then a third of the compounds can be applied at the time the seeds or seedlings are being planted. The whole composition should be well mixed with the ground, then the roots will not get burned.
  11. The best effect in terms of fertility can be obtained by alternating mineral and organic fertilizing.
  12. Some plants grow strongly, so a closed row is obtained, thus, you can resort to foliar feeding, namely, to process the leaves.
  13. Root processing with the addition of potassium is carried out in the autumn, to a depth of no more than 10 cm. For fruit and berry plants, processing is carried out in the spring, when young leaves are just forming.
  14. The main mineral compounds are used in the spring, they are scattered on the surface and then mixed with the ground.
  15. The most effective feeding method is the simultaneous use of organic and mineral fertilizers, but the dose of the latter should be reduced by three times.
  16. The most practical and effective fertilizer is in granules, but it is used in the fall, before the earth is dug up.

More details about mineral fertilizers can be found in the video


Mineral fertilizers for the garden and vegetable garden: what are they and how to use them correctly?

The formation of fertile soils is a long and gradual process. It will take several years to achieve the desired result. But plants need nutrition. Therefore, it will not be possible to do without mineral fertilizers at all.

Mineral fertilizers are divided into simple and complex - according to their chemical composition, and acidic, alkaline or neutral - according to their physiological reaction. They can also be solid or liquid.