Soil contains different types of nutrients that support plant growth. Plants utilize these nutrients to make their own food. However, over a period, plants use the nutrients in the soil completely and the soil becomes deficient in nutrients. So, in order to make the soil fertile again we need to add good sources of nutrients, which are nothing but fertilizers. Simply, the soil should be improved by adding sources of nutrients called fertilizers. When soil is enriched with required nutrients, plants can grow quickly, bloom more flowers and stay away from diseases. In this article, we will discuss what fertilizers are and kinds of fertilizers available in the market.
Types of fertilizers
Fertilizers contain nutrients like nitrogen, phosphate, potassium, sulfur, calcium, etc. Based on the source of nutrients, fertilizers are categorized into two types – organic and inorganic fertilizers.
Organic fertilizers are the oldest method of improving soil nutrients. Organic fertilizers are made using naturally available sources like dried or crushed plant parts, dead and decayed sources of plants and animals. Neem cake, compost and manure are commonly used organic fertilizers. Use of these fertilizers is safe to plants and environment, as they are natural.
The cost of organic compost is Rs. 20 per kilograms. Use two cups of organic compost for a plant once a month. In order to apply, remove small portion of top soil from the pot, fill it with organic compost and cover it with the removed soil.
Inorganic fertilizers are made using chemical sources like ammonia, nitrates, rock phosphate, etc. Inorganic fertilizers are advantageous over organic fertilizers as they are readily available. As soon as you add these fertilizers along with water, the fertilizer can be easily transported and stored. The only disadvantage with inorganic fertilizers is excess application and inappropriate usage may cause irritability to plant growth. DAP is the best example for inorganic fertilizer.
Cost of DAP per kilogram is Rs. 25 and is available at fertilizer shops in Hyderabad. Add 50 grams or 1 cup DAP on the top soil of pots and stir gently with a stick for uniform distribution. Apply DAP once in a month for better results. Avoid applying DAP when you plan to sow seeds in pot because it leads to seed damage. DAP can be stored for a long period of time in cool and dry conditions.
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