I'm a pharmacist and have some potassium nitrate in the pharmacy. Can
I use this next spring in my vegetable garden? If so, how much? Just
a small dusting and work it into the ground? Can or should I work it
in the ground now and let it sit all winter?
Sure. Just look at it as fertilizer with 13.9% nitrogen and 38.7%
potassium. Don't put it in garden now as rainwater or snow will just
leach it into the ground where plants may not get it. In spring make
sure you balance with other elements like phosphorous or calcium that
vegetables may need.
Kind of a waste to use pharmacy-grade for fertilizer. Dissolve 1 T in
1 gallon of water for plants in the ground. You can use it to help
rot stumps, that's what I did. Better yet, have fun with
pyrotechnics. Lots of other uses.
My post may attract a "crazy", but my investigation into chemferts
(a.k.a chemical fertilizers) boils down to them being bad for the soil,
if used as directed, or in greater amounts, and bad for the plants which
seem to love them. They are bad for the plants because the nitrogen is
stored in the plant leaves, and the nitrogen encourages fast growth,
which leads to young, tender, leaves that become targets for insects.
If you insist on using your nitrates, grow "organically", and use the
nitrates, at 1/4 strength or less, as a performance enhancer.
³When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the
poor have no food, they call you a communist.²
Does this mean the original saltpeter from decayed organic material is
superior to chemically prepared material? I think not.
But, fast dissolving fertilizer is best applied sparingly to keep from
burning the plant.
I believe the point Billy makes is that salting the soil (which is what
chemical fertilizers are) is not a fine idea as it kills soil organisms.
This makes sense to me. Is not Potassium Nitrate a salt?
indeed Frank. However to my simplistic manner of thinking, the issue is in
what form the salts, minerals etc occur and how they are used within the
soil to benefit the plants. That is, how the items occurring in the soil and
the inputs we add provide a benefit to our soils which them provide benefits
to our plants. The other way is seemingly to treat the soil simply as a
place to site the plant and simply bypass it and provide the inpits directly
to the plant. Sort of like maybe eating a nice meal versus injecting a
nutritional fluid in to our body.
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