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Fertilizers

Fertilizers

Plants need nourishment to grow properly. Like any living being, plants also need to nourish themselves in order to develop in a healthy and luxuriant way and to resist adversity and disease. Without nourishment, plants could not root, bloom, bear fruit or even perform the fundamental functions that distinguish them, such as chlorophyll photosynthesis. In nature, spontaneous plants receive nourishment from water and minerals dissolved in the soil. But these conditions are not always present for all types of plants, also because not all grow in the same soils and in the same climatic conditions. Unsuitable soils, erosion and washout often make it impossible or difficult for plants to assimilate nutrients, making it necessary to resort to the artificial administration of substances suitable for nutrition and plant growth. These substances are fertilizers, or fertilizers, composed of elements essential for plant growth and secondary elements that play an essential role in improving the vegetative functions and the structure of the soil. Almost all plants grown for productive or ornamental purposes are fertilized. It happens for those in pots or grown on land in the garden or for those grown on a large scale for marketing purposes, both in greenhouses and in open fields. composed of the essential elements for plant growth and secondary elements that play an essential role in improving the vegetative functions and the structure of the soil. Almost all plants grown for productive or ornamental purposes are fertilized. It happens for those in pots or grown on land in the garden or for those grown on a large scale for marketing purposes, both in greenhouses and in open fields. composed of the essential elements for plant growth and secondary elements that play an essential role in improving the vegetative functions and the structure of the soil. Almost all plants grown for productive or ornamental purposes are fertilized. It happens for those in pots or grown on land in the garden or for those grown on a large scale for marketing purposes, both in greenhouses and in open fields.

Features


Fertilizers, that is the nutrients that are administered to plants, can be composed, in whole or in part, of the elements necessary for plant growth. We have said in whole or in part, because fertilizers can contain only one nutrient element or several elements. In the first case we will talk about essential fertilizers, in the second, about complex fertilizers. Fertilizers, both essential and complex, contain the essential substances for plant growth, substances without which plants would not be able not only to develop regularly, but not even to root. These fundamental elements, called macroelements, are: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen is used to develop the stem and roots, and to increase the availability of chlorophyll in the leaves, phosphorus promotes flowering, while potassium improves the taste of fruits and makes plants more resistant to attacks by parasites and diseases. Substances not essential for plant growth, but directly involved in many processes of plant metabolism, are called microelements, namely: iron, calcium, magnesium, sulfur and chlorine. There are other microelements equally important for plant growth, including zinc, copper, boron, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, molybdenum and manganese. Some fertilizers not only have a nutritional function for plants, but also a corrective one. For example, iron is an indispensable element in the metabolic processes that regulate chlorophyll photosynthesis. This substance is often lacking in too compact or calcareous soils. Calcium and sulfur, on the other hand, they may be important for some plant species. In fact, there are calcium-loving plants, that is, with high calcium absorption capacity and acidophilic plants that thrive in acid soils. Fertilizers based on calcium and sulfur can therefore also have a corrective and amending effect on soils with characteristics that are not suitable for plant development. Calcium is added to too acidic soils that host calcium-loving plants, while acidophilic plants that have the misfortune to grow on calcareous soils can receive sulfur-based fertilizers. Fertilizers based on calcium and sulfur can therefore also have a corrective and amending effect on soils with characteristics that are not very suitable for plant development. Calcium is added to too acidic soils that host calcium-loving plants, while acidophilic plants that have the misfortune to grow on calcareous soils can receive sulfur-based fertilizers. Fertilizers based on calcium and sulfur can therefore also have a corrective and amending effect on soils with characteristics that are not very suitable for plant development. Calcium is added to too acidic soils that host calcium-loving plants, while acidophilic plants that have the misfortune to grow on calcareous soils can receive sulfur-based fertilizers.

Types


Fertilizers with a nutritional or corrective effect, to be administered to plants and the soil, are obtained from different processing methods. Fertilizers can in fact be chemical or mineral, organic and organomineral. The former are obtained through industrial manufacturing processes and by adding compounds obtained exclusively through chemical reactions. The organic ones are obtained exclusively from substances present in nature and derived from agricultural processing waste or from the decomposition of the elements of the soil and plants. These fertilizers are also called organic. Organomineral fertilizers are also called integrated because they are obtained by mixing a part of chemical fertilizers and a part of biological fertilizers.

Chemical or mineral fertilizers


Chemical fertilizers are, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, fertilizers obtained from industrial processing processes. They have been used for years on a large scale in agriculture, but sometimes also in gardening, even if the recent public awareness on the environmental issue is leading private consumers to choose more and more organic or organic fertilizers. Chemical fertilizers are obtained by the chemical reaction of mineral substances such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and microelements. These substances, to be immediately available to plants, must be contained in particular molecules corresponding to precise chemical formulas, such as nitrates and urea. Nitrates are readily available to plants, but have the disadvantage of being highly polluting for groundwater. Preparations based on urea or ammonia, on the other hand, are released more gradually to the plants. Chemical fertilizers have some advantages that have allowed their use on a large scale, such as the ease of being found, purchased and transported and the indication of the dilution ratio between the various mixed elements. The percentage of chemicals contained in chemical fertilizers is called the title. Complex chemical fertilizers, i.e. those formed by a mixture of several elements, generally have the basic formula or title N, P, K, from the initials of the chemical formulas of the macroelements contained, i.e. nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Next to the letters are also indicated sequential numbers that represent the percentage or title of the quantity of the respective elements. We can, therefore, have, fertilizers NPK 15 -10 -30, or 14- 25- 5 ​​or 20- 20-20, which indicate to what extent the macroelements are present in the fertilizer. These numbers allow you to choose the most suitable chemical fertilizers for the growth of your plants. Some species, in fact, may need the same amount of macroelements, others, on the other hand, lesser amounts of phosphorus and potassium than nitrogen or vice versa.

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