Types Of Fertilizers – What Can They Offer To Your Plants?

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Every plant requires essential nutrients to thrive. Fertilizers are essential for providing nutrients to seeds and developing strong plants.  So, what types of fertilizers are the best for your crop?

The answer is contingent on what you are planting and what stage your crop is.  This article will help you classify the fertilizers. Let’s join us and learn how to raise your plants properly! 

Types Of Fertilizers

Based on the constitution, there are two main types of fertilizer: inorganic and organic. Each of them includes primary nutrients that benefit your plant growth. 

More to read: Which Fertilizer Makes Plants Grow Fast?

Inorganic fertilizers

Inorganic fertilizers, also known as chemical fertilizers, have one or more nutrient components for crop development. 

The inorganic fertilizers come with chemical-based means, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as main components. 

Inorganic fertilizers - Types Of Fertilizers

  • Nitrogen fertilizers

Nitrogen fertilizer is essential for plant growth. It adds amino acids and protein for plants to thrive. 

Nitrogen fertilizers play a vital role in balancing the photosynthesis process. They also assist in sub-colonization. 

Nitrogen fertilizers increase agricultural productivity and quality.

These chemical fertilizers come in different forms to serve specific purposes of the farmers, such as ammonium, calcium ammonium nitrate, and many more. 

    • Ammonium 

Soil can absorb the ammonium easily. Oxidation quickly converts ammonium nitrogen to nitrate. In an alkaline setting, it devolatilizes. 

They get inhibited when plants absorb too much ammonium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. 

Ammonia has a distinct irritant odor, is caustic, and very volatile. As a result, you can’t use it to fertilize directly. It’s ready to work once you’ve adjusted it to dilute ammonia.

    • Ammonium nitrate 

Ammonium nitrate can dissolve in water easily and travels quickly through the soil. It increases the production of organic anion and stimulates cation absorption.

Wheat and corn, for example, like this nutrient. Its yield-increasing impact is more noticeable than other nitrogen fertilizers when equal nitrogen amounts.

Ammonium nitrate is strongly desirable for vegetables. In a hydroponic study, plants grow well without ammonium nitrogen as long as it has enough nitrate. 

Tobacco, on the other hand, responds strongly to ammonium nitrate. The use of nitrate boosts tobacco production and enhances its quality.

The most common forms of these products are sodium nitrate and calcium nitrate. 

The calcium nitrate works on acidic soil to neutralize the soil acidity. Meanwhile, sodium nitrate supports combustion. 

    • Urea

Urea fertilizer, also called carbamide, is one of the most basic organic compounds. It has the highest nitrogen content of any granular nitrogen fertilizer, at 46%. 

Urea is a balanced fertilizer that works on various soil types and plants. It’s simple to use and store due to its low soil degrading effect.

Nitrogen adds amino acids and protein for plants to flourish - Types Of Fertilizers 

Nitrogen fertilizer adds amino acids and protein for plants to flourish 

  • Phosphorus fertilizers

The effectiveness of phosphorus fertilizer depends on the amount of active phosphorus pentoxide in the soil, the fertilizing technique, and the crop strains.

In plants, phosphorus is present in the cell protoplasm. It serves a crucial function in cell proliferation and growth.

Photosynthesis, the usage of starch and sugar, and energy transmission are all phosphorus-dependent activities.

Phosphorus fertilizer also encourages the development of the root system, allowing the plant to develop faster.

Massive phosphors move to the grain during the fruit phase, filling the seed.

Phosphate boosts the development of the root system - Types Of Fertilizers

Phosphate boosts the development of the root system

  • Potassium fertilizers

The principal component in potash fertilizer is potassium. Potassium is the second most abundant element in plants, accounting for 0.2 to 4.1% of total solids.

Potassium links with the activation of about 60 different enzymes, photosynthesis, nutrient delivery, glucose metabolism, and protein synthesis in plants.

The product has different forms, such as potassium chloride or sulfate to specialize in one specific purpose.

Potassium activates about 60 different enzymes involved in plant growth - Types Of Fertilizers

Potassium activates about 60 different enzymes involved in plant growth 

Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers tend to get the sources mainly from plants and animals. They can provide carbonic resources for plant development. The product contains a wide range of organic acids as well as several mineral components. 

The fertilizer not only offers a perfect nutritional balance, but it also has a significant manure impact.

Organic fertilizers may enhance organic matter concentrations, enhance microorganism growth, and modify the chemical and physical properties of the soil. As a result, it is the most critical nutrient in green foods.

Some of the most sources for organic fertilizers are:

  • Agricultural waste

Agricultural wastes are excellent materials for natural fertilizers. You can choose bean pulp, straws, cottonseed meal, and so on. 

The wastes support the nutritional increase in soil, strengthening soil structure. 

Farmers often apply organic fertilizers directly to the soil. The technology for this method is simple and time-saving. 

  • Livestock manure

The most common livestock manures are from rabbits, chickens, and pigs. 

Untreated manure may contain dangerous substances, such as eggs and nematodes. Applying the untreated excrement will raise the temperature after the fermentation, leading to the seedling being burnt. 

If you want to improve the performance and decrease harm to your plants as well as the environment, you should apply the animal dung to the field after you’ve done composting. 

Keep in mind some tips if you want to use livestock manure for your crop - Types Of Fertilizers

Keep in mind some tips if you want to use livestock manure for your crop

  • Industrial waste

Distillers’ grains, sugar-free grains, and vinegar residue are examples of industrial waste of potential organic fertilizer. 

The use of wastes in farming, on the other hand, raises resource use and minimizes pollution. Meanwhile, it relieves the pressure on industry and turns trash into valuable items.

  • Municipal sludge

The output of municipal sludge is rising over time as sewage treatment plants develop. Many people are more interested in how they can utilize it properly. 

For urban buildings, using municipal sewage in agriculture is an excellent choice.

Organic fertilizer may originate from river mud and sewage. Due to the sludge’s entire composition, it only satisfies the nutritional needs of plant development. As a result, treated sludge can also work as fertilizer.

The sludge helps improve soil quality while also reducing pollutants. It not only solves the waste treatment issue but also encourages plant development.

Forms Of Fertilizers And How To Apply

Fertilizers come in two primary forms: granular and liquid. With each form, you have to know how to apply it correctly.

Granular

Granular fertilizers look like pellets and are dry. Although certain granular fertilizers are fast-release, most of them are slow-release.

Slow-release nutrients provide minerals to the grass in a controlled manner over a lengthy period. They usually only have to be applied once during a season.

Compound fertilizer contains two or more nutrients, often known as multi-nutrient fertilizers.

Another method for creating compound fertilizers is to combine two or more granular fertilizers of comparable size.

  • Pros

Using granular fertilizer has several advantages, and purchasing in bulk saves money. Almost often, granular fertilizer is less costly than a liquid one.

You can store this garden fertilizer for a long time as long as you can keep it dry. So, if you discover a reasonable price on the granular fertilizer you love, you may stock up and keep it in your garage for many seasons.

Although slow-release fluid fertilizers are available, the solid type of granular fertilizer has a stronger foundation for gently distributing essential nutrients into the soil.

As a result, the fertilizer decreases the feeding times you have to do every year, also avoiding fertilizer burn.

  • Cons

Although there are certain advantages to utilizing granular fertilizer, there are also some drawbacks.

Granular fertilizer needs water to enter the soil. As a result, if you don’t water enough, the primary nutrients may not reach the plant roots.

It takes a lot of effort to distribute granular fertilizer. You have to drop the hefty bags into the spreader. Moreover, you must also walk your entire garden in a correct pattern before watering the fertilizer into the ground.

  • How to apply?

Farmers apply the fertilizer directly into the soil. They may also use the spreader if the garden is large and open. 

It’s necessary to wash the granules off of the foliage. Remember to activate the fertilizers by watering them after applying

You can learn more tips for fertilizing from this video. 

Granular fertilizers are cost-effective and long-lasting - Types Of Fertilizers

Granular fertilizers are cost-effective and long-lasting

Liquid

Liquid fertilizer is a concentrated solution with water to be sprayed on lawns. Some start as a dry powder that has to be dissolved in the fluid. Most liquid fertilizers are fast-acting. They’ll start feeding the grass straight away. 

Farmers have to apply the liquid fertilizer more often than slow-release because plants can absorb liquid nutrients quickly.

  • Pros

Using liquid fertilizer has several advantages. Here are a few of the most important ones.

The simplicity of application of liquid fertilizer is perhaps the most significant advantage. You’ll simply need a water hose and access to flowing water if you use a hose-based sprayer.

Soil can absorb the liquid quickly. As a result, the nutrients reach the roots swiftly.

  • Cons

The liquid fertilizer is an excellent option for most homes, but it does have a few drawbacks.

Granular fertilizer can last a full season or more, but the solvent rarely does. If you use liquid fertilizer, you may need to fertilize more frequently.

Liquid fertilizer is often more pricey. Plus, there’s the possibility of more regular fertilization. If you opt for this option, you may probably end up paying more every year to raise your garden. 

  • How to apply?

Most liquid applications require coupling a sprayer to a water hose.

Apply fertilizer evenly throughout the grass with a sprayer. If you use too much fluid in one spot, the plants will burn. On a windy day, avoid spraying since the wind may distort where the liquid settles.

Liquid fertilizer is easier to use  - Types Of Fertilizers

Liquid fertilizer is easier to use 

Final Words

Fertilizers are your plant’s food. Without sufficient nutrients, plants can’t flourish. Hence, try to invest your time and effort in choosing the right types of fertilizer for your crop. The result will be so rewarding. 

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for being interested in the post! 

Related Articles:
What Are Fertilizers? – Types, Uses
Garden Fertilizer – Types + When & How to Fertilize

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Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence

I’m Kelly Lawrence, two years after graduating with a Journalism major, I had the opportunity to apply my experiences to become the founder and executive content writer of this gardening blog.