Q:

What are the ingredients in fertilizer?

A:

Quick Answer

The three main ingredients or macronutrients in fertilizer are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Nitrogen promotes new growth of the green parts of flowers, such as leaves. It is also essential in the process of photosynthesis.

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The main nitrogen-based fertilizer is ammonia. Other nitrogen fertilizers include ammonium nitrate and calcium ammonium nitrate.

Phosphorous helps plants develop strong root systems and enhances flowering and fruiting. Phosphorous plays an important role in energy metabolism, respiration, photosynthesis, enzyme regulation and nitrogen fixation.

Potassium, commonly referred to as potash, is needed for the reproduction and optimal development of plants. It improves drought resistance and activates enzymes in plants. It also plays an important role in photosynthesis and protein and starch synthesis. Potash fertilizers include potassium nitrate, potassium sulfate and potassium chloride.

Fertilizers also contain three secondary macronutrients: calcium, magnesium and sulfur. These nutrients are needed for optimum plant growth. They help plants produce improved quantities of fruit, flowers or foliage.

Fertilizers also contain micronutrients or trace elements, which are already found in all soil types. These nutrients are needed in small quantities and can be obtained by recycling organic matter, such as tree leaves. They include iron, zinc, boron, manganese, copper, silicon, vanadium and cobalt.

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    What are the benefits of chicken manure fertilizer?

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    How do you use potash fertilizer?

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    You should only apply potash fertilizer to soils that are lacking in potassium. You can determine soil potassium levels using a home soil test kit available from many local gardening stores. Potassium levels between zero and 60 require 3 pounds of potash for every 1,000 square feet.

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    When should potash be used as a fertilizer?

    A:

    The general rule is to apply a well-balanced fertilizer containing potash, also called potassium, in spring-time when preparing the garden beds for planting. The fertilizer is turned thoroughly into the soil to avoid burning seedlings and plant roots. Natural sources of potassium include fireplace ashes and compost containing banana peels.

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