In choosing a fertilizer, is the overall ratio of N-P-K important or
the individual amounts of N, P, or K the sole qualifying factor?
For example, "Root Stimulators" have a high phosphorous but near-null
of N or K.
Another example: Bloom or leaf stimulators have a high amount of
nitrogen and little P or K. So is it the ratio of N to P to K? Or
amount of a single component N that makes the leaves grow and flowers
Remember though that these numbers are ratios. The actual quantities of
nutrients could be higher or lower. A soil test is the best place to
start. Say, for instance the 5-10-5 could also say 1-2-1, and still be
the the same ratio, but the quantity would be higher for each of
Carl. There are the simple take home tests for ph levels, N P and K. There
are the more sophisticated soil tests run by specialised labs that require
you to submit soil and give you a wide range of tests they can run.
Sorry, you're wrong. 5-10-5 has 5 times as much available N, P, and K as
1-2-1. The values are percents of the total weight.
They can be simply worked out using the chemical formulas for the
ingredients and a table of atomic weights.
Google will pull in a bunch but you are talking about $50 per sample.
I looked into the do-it-yourself aspect and spent less than that for a
dozen tests but the results leave me scratching my head.
No matter where I sample in my gardens or across the road in a corn
field, I find that nothing could possibly grow anywhere. All the
nutrients are below the detectable level and the pH is over 8.
I use chicken, sheep and goat manure every year along with granular fert
ever other year so I have little faith in these tests.
I would be interested in knowing what other have learned using these.
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Typically, the state agricultural university or the extension service
offers tests, though I know that's not true in all states. At least
as of a few years ago, Iowa State's soil lab would accept out of state
samples for testing, but you'd have a very long wait in the rush season
(Feb-May), as in state farm samples have priority. Note sampling guidelines.
Directory of soil testing labs:
I second Andrew on this. The NPK numbers are not ratios, but rather
percentages. Numbers like 10-10-10 mean that the fertilizer has 10% of
each NPK component. 5-10-5 does not contain the same amount of NPK as
1-2-1. If you're talking ratio, yes the ratios are the same, but the
total amount of NPK is much higher in the 5-10-5 fert. Also, FWIW,
higher NPK numbers don't mean the fert is of higher quality. Typically
synthetic ferts have higher NPK numbers than organic ferts, but it can
be argued that organic ferts are better in quality because they have
other nutrients that plants require for good health.
On 14 May 2006 16:12:49 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
What about the other 14 essential elements?
John A. Keslick, Jr.
Beware of so-called TREE EXPERTS who do not understand TREE BIOLOGY!
Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us
that we are not the boss.
Some people will buy products they do not understand and not buy books that
will give them understanding.
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