The idea of “the best NPK fertilizer for your crops” sounds great but it’s crucial to know that you don’t apply fertilizer to your crops. The soil is where plants/crops get their nutrition. Fertilizer is applied to the soil rather than the plants.
NPK Fertilizer is a mixture of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium that boosts plant productivity. There are natural fertilisers, such as manure, and Man-made. NPK fertilisers are those that have nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in them.
What is the significance of these elements? Each element has been discovered to increase the growth and development of plants.
For instance, Nitrogen aids in the growth of leaves. Fruit and/or blossom production, as well as root growth, are all enhanced by phosphorus. Potassium is beneficial to plant health in general. These three minerals are often deficient in the soil in which plants grow, supplying them as a fertiliser helps plants thrive.
We have different types of NPK Fertilizers. NPK 20:10:10, NPK 15:15:15, NPK 20:20:20, NPK 11:46:14, NPK 6:13:46, NPK 30:10:10 etc. Let’s say you buy a 50kg bag of fertiliser with NPK 20-10-10 wriiten on it, the first number indicates Nitrogen (N), the second Phosphorus (P), and the third Potassium (K). And, if NPK 20-10-10 bag weighs 50kg, It means 20% is Nitrogen, 10% is Phosphorus and 10% is Potassium.
What NPK Fertilizer Ratio Should You Use for Your Crops?
Start with soil testing to identify the appropriate NPK fertiliser ratio for your plants. This will assist you in determining which macronutrients are present in your soil and which nutrients should be added. When adding fertiliser to your soil, make sure to include nutrients that are deficient. Remember that plants get their nutrition from the soil.
Note that all fertilisers, both chemical and organic, rely on soil nutrient capacity to make nutrients available to plants, and that high levels of organic matter in your soil are essential for all plants’ healthy growth. As a result, every fertilising strategy should make sure organic matter content is high. Haifa explained how to calculate NPK content in a fertilizer here.
The Best NPK Fertilizer For Vegetables
The best vegetable fertiliser is one that gives your plants the nutrients that your soil lacks. Let’s assume your soil has a high phosphorus content by nature. Because your soil already contains more phosphorous than your plants can require, the fertiliser you use to promote more flowers in vegetable does not need to be heavy in phosphorous.
In most circumstances, a ration 1-1-1 fertiliser (NPK 15:15:15, NPK 20:20:20, etc) will offer all the nutrients that all plants require for optimal growth. You can choose a unique formulation if a soil test indicates certain nutrient deficits or if you wish to adjust your fertiliser to the needs of specific plants like tomatoes. What you pick will be determined by your soil and the plants you’re growing.
For tomatoes, too much nitrogen results in huge, bushy, thick-leaved plants that are difficult to maintain and produce poorly. Phosphorus and potassium are less harmful, but if too much of either is injected, it can have a negative impact. NPK are macronutrients, tomatoes also require a number of micronutrients. Check out 13 Ultimate Tomato Farming Tips In Nigeria.
Cucumbers prefer nitrogen-based fertilisers over phosphorus-based or potassium-based fertilisers (often called potash). Cucumbers can be grown with NPK 6:13:46 because the nitrogen level does not surpass the other two nutrients. You can also use NPK 15:15:15, NPK 20:20:20. Higher nitrogen fertilisers should be avoided since they will promote the growth of foliage and vines but may hinder the plant from producing blooms or cucumbers.
For watermelon, they also need more nitrogen, and when they are actively producing melon, they need more potassium and phosphorus. After the melons have set, using high nitrogen fertilisers can result in excessive foliage growth rather than melon development. Throughout the lifecycle of watermelon, an N-P-K ratio of around 1-1-1 (such as NPK 15-15-15 or 20-20-20) can be used. Just make sure that when your melon sets, you switch to a more balanced fertiliser if you’re using one with higher nitrogen components. Fertilize it three times during the course of its life.
The Best NPK Fertilizer For Maize
Maize is a high nutrient feeder, it absorbs a large amount of nutrients from the soil to support plant growth. Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc are all required.
Applying NPK Fertilizer to maize depends on;
1. type of farming practice (rainfed, irrigated maize)
2. type of soil
3. Capacity and fertility of the soil.
The most popular fertiliser is NPK 15-15-15, whose appropriateness for maize is mostly discussed. In Maize crop growth, productivity, and quality, nitrogen is the most significant nutrient and role player. Good leaf growth necessitates the use of nitrogen fertiliser. Photosynthesis, which is essential to store starch in grains, is hampered by smaller leaves. As a result, a nitrogen deficit causes poor grain quality and lower total productivity.
Nitrogen is essential for increasing maize yields. It is required for crop growth and must be readily available. If you’ve been asking, is npk 20:10:10 good for maize? Yes, it’s used for crops like Maize, Guinea Corn etc.
Please, share the best NPK fertilizer that gave your crop the highest yield and how you applied it.