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Fertilizers with potassium are considered important agents that are responsible for the normal development of cultivated plants. The content of this element in the soil directly affects the yield parameters. Thanks to the use of a sufficient amount of dressings, it is possible to activate the process of photosynthesis, strengthen the immune system, accelerate the ripening process and the taste of fruits.
Signs of deficiency and excess of potassium in plants
Potassium is of great importance for the development of garden crops. This element is found in many dressings. If plants are deficient in the substance, ammonia accumulates in their cells. This provokes susceptibility to fungal infections and causes the death of the shoots. This is due to the cessation of the synthesis of protein elements and complex carbohydrates in cells.
At the same time, an excess of potassium also negatively affects the growth and development of crops. Therefore, it is important to be careful when using fertilizers based on this substance. Exceeding the dosage is strictly prohibited.
Types of potash fertilizers
All potash dressings are divided into 2 categories:
- Chloride - readily miscible with water. It is permissible to bring them into the ground only in the fall. Thanks to this, chlorine will have time to evaporate from the soil during the winter.
- Sulfuric acids are also easily miscible with water. Moreover, such funds are allowed to be used not only in autumn, but also in spring or summer. However, small dosages are recommended.
Top dressing includes 45-65% potassium. It also contains 40% chlorine, which increases the acidity of the soil. Chlorine delays the development of crops and provokes a deterioration in the quality of the crop. Therefore, potassium chloride is required to be applied exclusively in the autumn. By the time the plants start growing, the dangerous component has time to erode from the soil structure. Potassium chloride is white. At the same time, the fertilizer is characterized by a grayish or pink color.
Potassium sulfate (potassium sulfate)
This fertilizer contains 50% potassium and about 20% sulfur. The second component benefits members of the legume and cruciferous families. At the same time, there is no chlorine in the top dressing.
This potassium preparation can be used to improve the development of cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries. It is also used to feed vineyards and ornamental plants. Ideal for chlorine sensitive crops.
Potassium sulfate is recommended to be used in spring as the main top dressing. It is permissible to use it when growing crops in the open field and in greenhouse conditions.
Kalimagnesia (potassium and magnesium sulfate)
This preparation contains 30% potassium and 9-17% magnesium. This potash formulation is suitable for application to soils with a low magnesium content. The fertilizer is characterized by a pink-gray color and a very small fraction of particles.
Potassium magnesium does not absorb moisture, so it can be easily stored and transported. The composition is easily absorbed by the root system. It is usually used as the main top dressing in the spring.
This remedy is the same in composition with potassium magnesium. However, it additionally contains calcium sulfate and sodium chloride. In this case, the tool includes 15-20% potassium, 10% magnesium and 17% sulfur.
Potassium (potassium) salt
This medication is a mixture of potassium chloride and sylvinite. In this case, the volume of potassium in the substance is 40%. However, the fertilizer contains a lot of chlorine, which can cause great harm to tomatoes, potatoes and berry crops. Potash salt is considered the most effective for beets. The composition is introduced into the soil only in the fall, during the preparation of the site for winter.
This product is considered a waste product from the production of cement. It contains sulfates, carbonates, bicarbonates. The product contains a small amount of potassium silicates.
Cement dust contains 10-35% potassium. Moreover, there is no chlorine in its composition. This top dressing has an alkalizing effect. It is most often used for crops that do not tolerate chlorine well.
The fertilizer has a small structure and can provoke irritation of the human mucous membranes. Therefore, now it is rarely used in agriculture.
How do you get it?
The technology for the manufacture of potash fertilizers depends on the composition and purpose of the preparations:
- Potassium chloride is obtained by the flotation method. For this, mineral formations are used. At the same time, sylvinite is ground, after which it is treated with a mother liquor. During the production process, the liquor is separated from the sludge. As a result, it is possible to obtain potassium chloride in crystalline form.
- Potassium sulfate is obtained by mixing chenite and langbenite.
- To get potassium magnesium, you need to process chenite. The substance comes to the market in the form of granules or powder of a gray-brown hue.
- Potassium salt is a mixture of potassium chloride with sylvinite. Sometimes the second component is changed to cainite.
Terms and rates of application
In order for potash preparations to give the desired result, it is important to strictly follow the dosage. There are several options for introducing drugs:
- The main one - it is required to feed the beds in the fall. This is done before digging up the soil.
- Presowing - the composition must be introduced into the holes before planting. Moreover, it is combined with sulfates or other useful salts.
- Additional - potash agents are applied before the flowering of ornamental plants or the ripening of fruit crops. This is done when a lack of nutrients is identified.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
Potash products with chlorine content are applied exclusively in the fall, since they have an acidifying effect. By the spring, chlorine evaporates and does not harm the plants.
Application rates are selected taking into account the variety of mineral components, soil composition and crop needs. For 1 square meter, it is worth using the following number of drugs:
- 20-40 grams of potassium chloride;
- 20 grams of potassium nitrate;
- 10-15 grams of potassium sulfate.
How to apply?
In order for the use of potash agents to give an effect, you need to take into account the type of crops grown:
- Cucumbers. To obtain 100 kilograms of fruit, 440 grams of potassium is required. In this case, it is recommended to use double salt, which contains a minimum of chlorine.
- Potatoes. This culture perfectly assimilates kalimag. It is worth adding 1 small spoonful of the product to each hole.
- Tomatoes. To obtain 100 kilograms of tomatoes, 500 grams of potash is required. Since this culture needs phosphorus, it is better to use complex substances. The use of potassium magnesium increases the yield by 40%.
- Strawberry. This culture does not tolerate exposure to chlorine. Therefore, fertilizers containing this component must be applied in autumn with lime. Potassium makes fruits sweeter and increases shelf life.
Safety measures during use
When using potash fertilizers, it is worth wearing personal protective equipment - a respirator, glasses, gloves. This helps to avoid contact of hazardous components on the skin and mucous membranes. After fertilizing, wash your hands with soap and water.
Potassium is essential for the normal development of cultivated plants. Today there are many fertilizers with this component, which allows you to choose the best option for your needs.