The main mistakes when applying fertilizers
Withering of leaf blades, change in their color and color of shoots, reduced growth activity, or, conversely, increased growth of vegetative mass to the detriment of the crop ... Weak flowering, strong shedding of the ovary, and even periodicity of fruiting - all this can be not only due to the presence of diseases or pests, not only the fault of an increasingly moody climate, but because of our actions with you, in particular, related to the incorrect application of fertilizers in the soil. Let's talk about the main mistakes associated with fertilizing. About what will happen if these mistakes are made, and how to make them correct these mistakes, or how to act to prevent them at all.
- Deficiency of necessary elements and its causes
- Incorrect fertilizer doses
- Error with due dates - too sooner or later
- Shelf life - is it important ?!
- Uneven distribution of fertilizers
- Incorrect fertilizer selection
Deficiency of necessary elements and its causes
I want to start with the problems that many gardeners and gardeners face; these problems may arise not through our fault, but because of the complex of “successfully” established factors, in general, a few words about the deficit of elements, and then immediately to the errors.
Plants throughout their lives may experience a deficiency of both macroelements, all of us well-known whales - Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, and trace elements - Bora, Manganese, Calcium and others.
Why are they deficient? There are many reasons for this, for example, the poor climatic conditions of the season, say, frequent showers, colds, in which case many elements can be washed into deeper layers of the soil and then plants with a weak root system (consider all vegetable crops) will experience a deficit.
Further, the pH level: you need to follow this, few cultures like acidic soil, of the known vegetables it is sorrel, and of berry crops it is tall blueberries. Otherwise, cultures are either acid tolerant or prefer neutral soil.
The increased acidity of the soil, in the first place, can cause the inaccessibility of a number of trace elements, for example, calcium and magnesium, so you need to carefully monitor the pH in your area.
Further, a deficiency can be observed with damage to the root system of plants, in other words, they will have nothing to eat. Roots can damage both various pests, and you and I: ineptly loosening the soil, deepening the working tools excessively deep.
Incorrect fertilizer doses
This is perhaps the most common mistake and one that, in principle, can be forgiven. Indeed, not everyone can calculate the exact dose of fertilizer, because you can make a mistake both in the smaller direction, and then the plant will not get the necessary element, and in the big one.
In the case of fertilizers, the principle “you can’t spoil the porridge with butter” does not work, because if, say, there is a lot of one element, it can completely suppress other elements and they will not be able to be absorbed by the plant. In addition, it is necessary to observe the norms of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium and throughout the growing season in accordance with one or another phase of plant growth and development.
How to calculate, say, the recommended dosages of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium, which look like this: 50-90-120. What does this mean? This means that this plant at this stage of development needs 50 mg of nitrogen, 90 mg of phosphorus and 120 mg of potassium per liter of nutrient solution. Another value may also appear on the package with complex fertilizer, say 3-5-2. It’s difficult to understand, but in reality it’s just the percentage of elements per liter of the same nutrient solution, unless of course the unit of measure is presented on the package.
So, how to calculate the optimal dose, how much simple should be added to complex fertilizer in order to get the optimal ratio of substances for a particular crop?
Let's say for ten square meters you need to make 50 g of the active substance of phosphorus and nitrogen. At your disposal is ammofoska (the most common fertilizer, which is why it was taken as an example). Ammophos usually contains 45% phosphorus and 12% nitrogen, which is standard. How do we calculate?
It is appropriate to conduct it along the element which contains the maximum amount, in this case phosphorus. Now we need to find out how much Ammofsky is needed to add to the soil in order to enrich it with phosphorus by 50 g. For this, we will have to use the standard calculation formula. We take the desired dose, that is, 50 g, multiply by 100 and divide by the percentage of phosphorus in the ammophos (45%), in the end we get about 112 g. Therefore, to enrich our 50 square meters of phosphorus, we need to add 112 g of ammophos.
We go further, find out how much nitrogen will be in a given dose, that is, 112 g. To do this, we compose the simplest proportion, namely: if in 100 g of ammophoska we have 12 g of nitrogen, then in 112 grams we have X, that is, an unknown number. Therefore, we multiply 112 by 12 and divide by 100, it turns out that in 112 g of ammofoski we have about 14 g of nitrogen. So, only 14 g, and we need to add 50, therefore, we still need 50 minus 14, we get 36 g of nitrogen. Then it is advisable to use ammonium nitrate, in it about 34% of nitrogen.
So, we need to find out how much ammonium nitrate is needed so that it contains 36 g of nitrogen. To do this, we multiply 36 by 100 and divide by 34 (this is the percentage of nitrogen in ammonium nitrate). We get about 106 g. Here's the result: to enrich ten square meters of soil, 50 g of phosphorus and 50 g of nitrogen need 112 g of ammophos and 106 g of ammonium nitrate.
And remember firmly: excess fertilizer is harmful, it can cause increased plant growth and they will freeze in winter, because they will not have time to ripen or yield crops due to the fact that all efforts will be directed to building a vegetative mass, excess can lead to delays in entering the season fruiting, worsen the quality of the fruit and sharply reduce their keeping quality.
Error with due dates - too sooner or later
Many gardeners and gardeners think that there is no difference when to apply this or that fertilizer, they believe that the introduced elements simply lie in the soil for the time being, and plants, as from a pantry, consume them, depending on what do they need.
In fact, this is not so. For example, you need to clearly understand that nitrogen fertilizers can be applied only at the initial stage of plant development, that is, usually in the first half of the growing season. In the case of a later application, nitrogen activates the growth processes, the shoots will grow longer than the set time and simply, before they mature, freeze out.
In vegetable crops, the application of nitrogen fertilizers in the second half of the season, longer than expected, will stimulate the growth of the vegetative mass, and the crop simply does not have time to ripen during the season.
When applying nitrogen fertilizers, it is also important to consider in what form they get to plants. So, for example, liquid fertilizers can be applied in mid-May, during this period there is an active flow of substances, and they will quickly get into plants. If the fertilizers are dry, then you need to apply them early, say, in April, that is, until they dissolve in the soil (by May), the flow of substances in the plants is activated. If you add organic matter, then it takes time to decompose in the soil, here the best option is autumn, in time for spring fertilizers will be in a form accessible to plants.
Autumn and spring are an ideal time for applying complex fertilizers, say nitroammophoski, in which case plants are enriched with all three main macrocells. Next, you need to monitor the development of plants, and if they do not develop well enough, then, in addition to introducing root dressings, you can also take extra roots, that is, treat the plants by spraying.
In the second half of summer and with active fruiting, it is appropriate to feed plants with phosphorus and potassium fertilizers. The same fertilizers are also needed in the autumn period, immediately after the harvest, in order to restore strength and in some cases stimulate the laying of flower buds, that is, to contribute to the next year's crop.
Buttocks during the formation of the ovary, usually June, can be additionally fed with nitrogen fertilizers. After harvesting, strawberries can be fed with a complex fertilizer, for example, nitroammophos. Typically, this feeding occurs in late June - early July.
Shelf life - is it important ?!
Everything has an expiration date, but does fertilizer have it? Owners of private plots stubbornly argue that fertilizers can be stored almost forever. Is it so? After all, if not, then after the expiration date fertilizers simply will not work. Let's get it right.
So, if we pick up any packaging with fertilizer, we will see the following inscription: “Shelf life is two (three, four) years. The term of agricultural use is unlimited. ” Indeed, you can get confused. So what does this inscription mean? In fact, it confirms the opinion of vegetable growers and gardeners: indeed, fertilizers do not have a shelf life. After all, what is fertilizer? These are ordinary salts that cannot decompose, deteriorate or suddenly lose their properties. They can be stored for a very long time, but only if stored correctly.
The vast majority of fertilizers need to be stored in a warm and, most importantly, dry room, because they are quite hygroscopic, that is, they actively absorb moisture, from which they caking, turning into compressed pieces. If it is difficult to imagine this in relation to fertilizers, then remember the cement, because even a closed bag in a humid room eventually turns into a stone weighing 50 kilograms!
But if in the case of cement, as a rule, it remains only to throw it away, then in the case of fertilizer it can be broken, say, with a hammer and the resulting powder can be introduced into the soil. Of course, it is still better to use fresh, friable fertilizers and keep within the expiration date, since such fertilizers dissolve faster in the soil and are better absorbed by various crops.
Uneven distribution of fertilizers
Both irrigation with fertilizers dissolved in water and the application of dry top dressings must be uniform, otherwise, in one part of the garden, the soil may even be excessively enriched with fertilizers, and in another the plants will be deficient. Many gardeners and gardeners conceived almost in the center of the garden pour a dose calculated for the entire plot, believing that fertilizers will dissolve in the soil, evenly distributed over it, but this, alas, is not so.
In addition, how exactly you fertilize plays a role. For example, for crops that have a powerful and deep-seated root system, fertilizers, especially phosphorus and potash, must be applied in dissolved form. Otherwise, there will also be an uneven distribution of fertilizers, only in this case, not horizontally, but vertically, that is, in different layers of soil the amount of fertilizer will be different.
The uneven distribution of fertilizers along the vertical will also be if you apply fertilizers in dry soil: it will be difficult for them to penetrate deep into the substrate and the plants will lack one or another element, and you will be perplexed and pour them more and more. Before applying fertilizer, the soil must be loosened and well watered.
Incorrect fertilizer selection
Each plot owner had to apply several fertilizers to the soil, usually two, but it happens that there are three. And few of them think, but is it possible, in general, to mix and bring them in at one go? It turns out that it is far from always possible, and often dangerous. Why?
The reasons, in fact, are many. Well, for example, take ammonium nitrate and any alkaline fertilizer, say, lime or ash. If you mix them, then gaseous ammonia will begin to be actively released and most of the nitrogen will be lost. If superphosphate is mixed with ash or lime, then an alkaline fertilizer simply blocks the availability of phosphorus for the plant, and with an abundance of this fertilizer in the soil, the cultivated plant will starve.
Some gardeners go even further: out of ignorance, they mix immiscible, and even store such mixtures. As they say - not to do twice. In fact, this is even worse. Suppose we mixed lime or ash and potassium chloride, as a result, we get a very hygroscopic mixture that will absorb most of the moisture in the room and in a short time will turn into one solid lump.
By the way, if this fertilizer is immediately applied to the soil, then nothing bad will happen. But if you mix superphosphate and ammonium nitrate, then in addition to the fact that this mixture will also become like stone over time, the sulfuric acid that contains superphosphate will also displace all nitric acid from ammonia.
In addition, remember: you can not mix ammonium nitrate with urea, superphosphate, lime, dolomite flour, manure and chalk. Ammonium sulfate and lime, dolomite flour or manure must not be combined. Urea and superphosphate, dolomite flour and chalk are poorly combined. The combination of superphosphate and lime, potassium chloride and chalk, potassium sulfate and lime, lime and urea, manure and ammonium sulfate is not suitable.
Here they are, simple truths, and if you want the good deed — feeding the plants does not turn into one big mistake, then remember these simple rules and never break them, and then the plants will be grateful to you and endowed with an unprecedented harvest.