Explanation of NPK Fertilizers
Understanding NPK Fertilizers (Nitrogen, Phosphorous… ratings on lawn and plant fertilizers is an important part of deciding whether or not fertilizers are appropriate or even necessary for your garden and landscaping.
Nowadays, using NPK fertilizers is important almost in every aspect of the Agriculture.
However NPK fertilizers are an expensive product, and you can reduce the amount you need combining it with any of our products .
This article is a basic guide to understanding what NPK numbers mean with fertilizers, and what levels of Nitrogen, Phosphorous are really appropriate for your lawn, garden plants or agriculture business.
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The page you are reading now takes about 5 minutes to read and digest. It explains a lot about whether you would need or not need NPK Fertilizers.
In most cases, important gardening practices such as composting and aerating might a much better for your garden than using chemical fertilizers. Also note that higher NPK levels don’t necessarily mean healthier plants. Our products might be a better for you, so don’t hesitate to contact us, we will give you an advice free of charge.
What You Should Know about NPK and Fertilizers
Chemical fertilizers and organic fertilizers show their nutrient content with three bold numbers on the package. These numbers represent three different compounds: Nitrogen, Phosphorous, which we can also describe with the letters N-P-K.
The three numbers listed on NPK fertilizers labels correspond to the percentage of these materials found in the fertilizer. What does each nutrient do? In addition to other properties, Nitrogen helps plant foliage to grow strong. Phosphorous accelerates the grow and development of roots and flowers.
Be aware that high NPK fertilizers will make for quick growth but weaker plants. Which in result will make plants more susceptible to attacks by diseases and pests. Fast, showy growth is not necessarily the best thing for your plants.
Nitrogen, Phosphorus are the basis for determining healthy plant growth, according to german scientist Justus Von Liebig. It does not, however, account for the dozens of other nutrients and elements essential to plant growth, such as sulfur, hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, magnesium, etc. Furthermore, the theory does not mention the importance of beneficial soil organisms that enable plants to flourish and resist pests and diseases.
While Von Liebig’s work was unquestionably important to the science of plant growth and agriculture, other ways of looking at how plants utilize nutrients have largely been ignored, especially by those companies who produce the chemical fertilizers commonly on the market today.
By properly aerating the soil, earthworms, beneficial microbes, and other critters in your garden and soil, you will have a better chance of thriving agroculture. As they live and digest organic matter, they help to create soil that is healthy and fertile. Healthy soil is the basis for healthy plants.
Additionally, if we look at nature, compost in the form of organic humus is ever present in natural plant communities, providing lots of the nutrients that plants need to grow and thrive. Compost contains Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and a great abundance of other trace elements that will benefit your plants. Elements that we have included in our products to help your plants thrive in a healthy environment.
Many of these chemical and NPK fertilizers are overused by homeowners, not farmers. Typically, farmers carefully measure and apply the least amount of fertilizer necessary to get the job done in order to grow crops as economically as possible. Many homeowners who aren’t growing to make a profit end up inadvertently overusing chemical and NPK fertilizers (and pesticides too!). They think that if a little bit is good, then more must be better. It isn’t!
Despite farmers using pesticides more widely, homeowners use 10 times more fertilizer per acre, according to the National Academy of Sciences. One thing you should take away from this article is that you should only use the proper amount of any fertilizer. Our products will reduce the need for NPK fertilizers, which in turn will save you money while keeping your yard and garden healthier.This is extremely important with chemicals, but it also applies to organics! Organic gardeners can look to the work of Sir Albert Howard for solid research and ideas on how to grow plants more naturally. His ideas consider chemical processes that occur in nature. He then applies them to agriculture and home gardening.
Organic Versus Chemical and NPK Fertilizers
When looking at both organic, chemical and NPK fertilizer labels, you’ll notice that the NPK numbers don’t add up to 100 percent. So, what is the rest of your fertilizer made up of? That depends on the fertilizer.
Chemical fertilizers can contain a wide range of other components, such as dirt, sand, and even substances that could be harmful to the environment and your health. Chemical fertilizers need these fillers so that the nutrients aren’t concentrated to the point that they could hurt or “burn” your plants, your skin, and anything else they come in contact with.
As they are made up of a variety of natural ingredients that in one way or another can benefit your plants, organic fertilizers don’t always contain fillers. The type of nutrients they contain and how these nutrients are collected are additional considerations with chemical fertilizers. The type of nitrogen, for instance, that is normally present in chemical fertilizers dissolves relatively quickly in water. This indicates that extra nitrogen may contaminate groundwater and freshwater sources by making its way there.
Phosphoric acid is also used by many chemical fertilizers today to swiftly and efficiently produce fertilizers with a high phosphorus content. There are claims that this form of phosphorous effectively neutralizes other crucial trace minerals from the soil that are required by your plants.
Although natural and organic fertilizers often have lower NPK numbers, they are soil amendments that gradually work to enhance your soil and support the growth of your plants. They stay away from chemical fertilizers’ rapid growth and flowering, which can actually harm plants. Large NPK values may not always indicate a better fertilizer.
Alternatives to Using Fertilizers
Your garden or yard might not even require much fertilizer. This is why. Many seasoned gardeners contend that because these nutrients are already present in our soils, little to no additional phosphorus is required. However, these components must be freed through effective soil aeration, drainage, beneficial soil organisms, etc. This means that, as long as you’re taking good care of your soil, organic fertilizers with NPK labels that show low values or even zero for phosphorus will be more than sufficient for your garden.
The thing about fertilizers is that without proper soil aeration, mineral nutrients, and other factors, your plants may not be able to absorb phosphorous anyway, so loading up your soil with high levels of phosphorous may not make much difference with the health of your plants.
Normally, soil can access nitrogen without the need for extra fertilizers. The secret is to have healthy soil rich in advantageous microorganisms that can utilize the nitrogen that is present in the air.
Additionally, companion planting with plants that fix nitrogen, such as beans, will result in happy, healthy soil. Including NPK, organic composts and composted manure are good suppliers of all the nutrients that plants require to flourish. Composting is one of the best things you can do to feed your plants and give them the nutrients they require, according to both professional chemical and organic gardeners.
Combining our products with NPK fertilizer will reduced the need of NPK volume you would need for your soil thus reducing the cost. Get in contact with us today, we would be more than happy to assist you!