Mineral fertilizers


It is not always possible to buy, make or use organic fertilizer. In such cases, mineral substances are commonly used. In terms of efficiency, they are not inferior to organics, and thanks to the abundance of species, it is possible to choose a preparation for a certain culture at one or another period of its development without any particular problems. So, what are mineral fertilizers and how to use them?

What is mineral fertilizer?

Mineral fertilizers

Mineral fertilizers are preparations consisting of useful elements that are necessary for garden crops for normal development and ripening of the crop. In the people such drugs are called chemical, although not quite. In their production using natural minerals mined by the industrial method. Only a small proportion of artificial additives is allowed.

Mineral fertilizers today are even more popular than organic. And there are many reasons for this.

  • Low cost. The price of minerals is insignificant in comparison with organic.
  • For treatment usually use small doses of the drug. This allows you to buy a small bag of substance, and not order the whole machine, as in the case of humus, to fertilize the earth.
  • Getting mineral fertilizer is not difficult. They are sold in any gardening shop, in the markets and on the Internet, there are more than enough similar offers for sale!
  • Mineral fertilizers are easily selected for a particular type of soil, crop and phase of their growing season.
Important! Use minerals exclusively in the dosage recommended by the manufacturer. If you overfeed the plants, they can die!

The effectiveness of minerals is not inferior to organic matter, if properly used. But it is very important to observe the concentration when diluting the substance, because the abundance of such a drug can harm, or even completely burn, the fertilized plants!

Types of mineral fertilizers

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Mineral fertilizers may contain 1, 2, 3 or more basic substances in the composition. The main elements are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. At least one of these elements is in any of the mineral dressings. Auxiliary components are: sulfur, manganese, magnesium, calcium and other important minerals.

Mineral fertilizers photo

There are only four main types that can be found in any gardening shop.

  • Nitrogen substances, which consist mainly of nitrogen.
  • Phosphate mineral fertilizers are made from phosphorus and may contain some other elements.
  • Potassium preparations include potassium salts and microadditives.
  • Complexes - combine many components in equal or different proportions.

It is mineral fertilizer complexes used by gardeners most often, because they allow you to replenish not only one specific mineral, but several at once.

Nitrogen fertilizers

Photo nitrogen fertilizer

Nitrogen-based fertilizers are commonly used in early spring. After all, it is nitrogen that is necessary for crops to appear a lot of healthy greens. In addition, this substance helps sprouts appear more quickly when sowing seeds.

Important! Nitrogen fertilizers are quite dangerous. Some of them, such as ammonium nitrate, are explosive, but in addition, if they are used in too high concentrations, a lot of nitrates can be deposited in cultures.

The most common types of nitrogen fertilizers are: "urea", "ammonium sulfate", "ammonia water", "sodium nitrate", "ammonium nitrate", "calcium sulfur". The application rate of nitrogen preparations depends on the period of the year, and the type of crop. Detailed instructions are always indicated on the label of the bag with fertilizer.

Strawberries, apples, tomatoes, potatoes and cucumbers react most actively to the lack of nitrogen in the soil. If there is not enough nitrogen in the ground, they can start to lose leaf color, stop growing, the leaves will not grow to normal size. In either case, a certain kind of fertilizer is used. For example, nitrate increases the growth of beets, urea acidifies the earth, ammonium nitrate accelerates the growth of tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage and greens.

Potash fertilizers

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Potassium fertilizers mainly contain potassium salt. Other additives, if any, are in minimal quantities. Potash fertilizers are recommended for sandy areas, although in principle they are applicable to any soil.

Fertilizer potassium chloride photo

  • Potassium sulphate (potassium sulphate) is suitable for use at any time of the year and for any crops. It is quite safe, and yet you need to breed only according to the instructions. Application rates - up to 30 g per square meter, although the amount depends on the soil or culture that needs to be fed.
  • "Potassium chloride" contains chlorine and this is its main drawback. It is usually applied before winter, so that during the cold period chlorine disappears, and only useful fertilizer remains in the soil. It is also worth noting that this type of minerals is not used on acidic soil, because the acidity will only increase after it. Approximately 25 g of fertilizer is applied per square plot. But more detailed rules can be read on the label.

Root crops and cereals respond best to adding potassium as a top dressing. But you need this substance for any fruit and berry crops!

Phosphoric fertilizers

Phosphate fertilizers contain primarily phosphorus (not less than 20%). It is obtained from apatites and phosphorites contained in nature. Phosphate preparations can be used on any type of soil. Some use them for winter, others in spring and summer.

In the photo phosphate fertilizers

Important! Phosphate fertilizers will be well absorbed only if there is enough nitrogen and potassium in the earth!

Among the well-known phosphate mineral fertilizers we should mention:

  • "Superphosphate" is a popular drug widely used for shrubs, trees, vegetable and berry crops.
  • "Double superphosphate" is considered even better than superphosphate. It does not contain CaSO4, which is practically useless for crops, has almost double the rate of phosphorus and therefore is spent much more economically.
  • "Phosphoric flour" - a simple, affordable form of phosphate fertilizer. Always used on acidic soil, because it can reduce acidity. It can be applied to any cultures and at any period of their development.

Fertilizer application rates are always indicated on the package. It is not recommended to retreat from the proposed concentrations, especially if it is not the land that is fertilized for the winter, but the plants, during the development period. The abundance of phosphate fertilizer can cause burns on the roots or stalk.

Complex fertilizers

Feed, composed of several basic elements, called complex. Manufacturers make double (nitrogen-potassium, potash-phosphorus and nitrogen-phosphorus) and ternary (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) complex feedings. But which of them have high efficiency and efficiency?

Application of complex mineral fertilizers

  • Azofoska is a granular, non-toxic drug. Contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Most often it is used to increase the fertility of the land or the growth power of a particular culture. Stored very long.
  • "Nitrophoska" - a simple substance that contains nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.
  • "Ammophos" - phosphorus-nitrogenous substance in the ratio of 52:12, respectively. This species is quickly absorbed by different plants.
  • NPK (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium top dressing) is produced in the form of small granules. This is a complex complex substance suitable for different plants in any period of development. It is quickly absorbed, is efficient and economical.
  • "Nitroammofoska" universal fertilizer. It is rich in nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and sulfur.
  • "Diammophos" - phosphate-nitrogen fertilizer in the proportion of 20:51. Quickly splits in water, suitable in any period of plant development. Virtually no impurities.


Microfertilizers usually contain the whole complex of useful elements. They are available in liquid form, crystals or powder, which can be dissolved during use. Their advantage is that they are very quickly absorbed, almost 100%, and are also able to protect plants from pests or diseases (some species). The main disadvantage of the price.

Microfertilizers complex photo

  • Sizam is recommended for cruciferous. It increases the amount of crop and protects crops from pests.
  • "Master" is suitable for flower. It contains a lot of Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn.
  • "Oracle" is suitable for berry bushes and plants, as well as for lawns and flowers. It contains a lot of nutrients, including etidronic acid, which regulates the distribution of fluid in plant cells.

Here, microfertilizers include "copper sulfate", "boric acid", "pyrite", "ammonium molybdenum-sour" and "borax".

Microfertilizers are never used massively, for the whole garden, but only specifically for a particular culture. They also usually do not cultivate the soil, but only feed already growing plants.

Fertilizer application

All sorts of mineral dressings are used to fertilize the land (before winter or before planting) and as a spring-summer dressing of various garden plants. In each case, the application has its own nuances, but there are general principles that should be followed.

The use of mineral fertilizers - the key to further increase yields

  • Only fresh fertilizer can benefit plants. If the expiration date is already out, the bag with the drug should be discarded. Its use can damage the soil or crops.
  • Use mineral fertilizers strictly according to the instructions. Depending on the crops for which they are used, during the growing season, dosages can vary significantly.
  • It is recommended to store fertilizers in a sealed package, especially those that contain nitrogen, because this element is volatile.
  • Bred fertilizer in the tank, especially for this abstracted. It is impossible to take food from cups or plates, where there were chemicals and then, even after washing, it is very dangerous!
Important! All work on the cultivation and use of mineral fertilizers is recommended to be carried out with gloves and carefully so that the preparation does not get into the eyes or on other mucous membranes.
  • If fertilizers are used to improve the quality of the soil, it is worth first to find out what the composition of the earth is, acidity. Thus, you can avoid mistakes and really improve, rather than worsen the composition of the soil, because many fertilizers sour the earth, while others can increase the amount of a certain element - this is also not good.
  • Sometimes, if fertilizers have not been used for a long time, they can be compressed, taken in one lump. Such a drug can be used if the shelf life has not come out, but before that it is necessary to stretch it so that it is free-flowing.
  • Granular fertilizers are considered the most practical and easy to use. They are brought under digging, in dry form, perfectly nourish the soil and plants, which are then planted in it.
  • Sometimes minerals interfere with organic. There is nothing bad in this, but in this case it is necessary to reduce the dose of minerals at least 2 times.
  • Mineral dressings are usually made under the root. Only in some cases spraying over green mass is allowed. This should be taken into account and use this or that fertilizer correctly. If you water the plants with minerals from the top of the watering can, the whole green part can burn in a few hours!
  • Experts recommend alternating mineral fertilizers used to improve the fertility of the land.

The use of mineral fertilizers usually does not cause difficulties. It’s easy to work with them, the efficiency is high, the main thing is to follow the safety rules, the dosage and the method of depositing funds in one or another case.