Fertilisers make the environment more fertile.
Why use fertilisers? Plants require food and specifically three chemical elements to thrive healthily. These are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (Chemical symbols N,P and K) Much of the fertilising that we do at Kentcare is using organic products including mushroom compost or chicken manure.
Occasionally we are asked to use additional chemical herbicides. These chemicals are approved by Environmental testing so that when used in the correct way they cause no pollution.
The chemical elements N:P:K are represented on the label of all chemical fertilisers and the balancing of these is important, these elements help plants grow in different ways and an understanding of this will help when choosing the correct Fertiliser.
For instance a packaged commercial fertiliser you will see an analysis of the NPK content. An equally balanced fertiliser may be described as 5:5:5 – 5% Nitrogen, 5% Phosphorus and 5% Potassium.
Nitrogen the N in NPK
Nitrogen is used by the plant to produce leafy growth and formation of stems and branches. Plants most in need of nitrogen include grasses and leafy vegetables such as cabbage and spinach. Basically, the more leaf a plant produces, the higher its nitrogen requirement.
Phosphorus the P in NPK
Phosphorus is essential for seed germination and root development. It is needed particularly by young plants forming their root systems and by fruit and seed crops. Many fertilizers nowadays have no phosphorus in them at all, as it is absorbed much more slowly in the plant system!
Potassium the K in NPK
Potassium has the chemical symbol K from its Latin name kalium. It promotes flower and fruit production and is vital for maintaining growth and helping plants resist disease.
Potassium is naturally found in wood ash which is where it its name potash is derived from.
Note: Potash is potassium and vice versa when discussing fertilizers.