Types of Fertilizers for Plants
Types of Fertilizers and the NPK Ratio
Fertilizers are concentrated plant nutrients used to increase yields and boost plant growth. There are several types of fertilizers used in organic gardening, horticulture and agriculture. Typically, fertilizers come in the form of liquids, powders, pellets, or granules. While all plants can benefit from the application of fertilizers, the faster growing the plant the more it will benefit from the use of fertilizer. Almost all fertilizers contains a mix of the three main macronutrients plants require for growth: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). The amount of each contained in a fertilizer is referred to as the NPK ratio. Different types of fertilizers have different NPK ratios, which are displayed on the product’s packaging. An NPK ratio of 20-10-10, for example, indicates that the fertilizer contains a high amount of nitrogen and equal parts phosphorus and potassium. Each of the macronutrients contributes to plant growth in its own way. Therefore, it is important to choose a ratio suitable for the desired outcome. High-levels of nitrogen will encourage green growth, while phosphorus assists with the growth of roots and new shoots; the third macronutrient, potassium, is important for growing flowers and fruits. Most fertilizers also include trace elements of micronutrients that are also essential for growing healthy, high-yielding plants.
Types of Fertilizers, Organic Fertilizer and Mineral fertilizer
There are two main types of fertilizers: organic fertilizer and mineral fertilizer. Organic fertilizers are made from natural materials and contain carbon. Organic fertilizers are made from manure, compost and a variety of other materials derived from plants and animals, while mineral fertilizer (also know as inorganic fertilizer or artificial fertilizer) consists of mined minerals and/or synthetic nutrients and does not contain carbon. Both types of fertilizers have advantages and disadvantages. Mineral fertilizer has the advantage of being fast acting, but unlike organic fertilizer it does not contribute to long-term soil fertility. Organic fertilizer contains organic matter that must be broken down by soil organisms before the nutrients can be absorbed by plants. This means organic fertilizer is slow acting but has the added advantage of providing lasting fertility to the soil through the addition of organic matter. Read more about the properties of organic and other types of fertilizers here.
Types of Fertilizers from BAC
BAC offers a range of different types of fertilizers, both organic fertilizer and mineral fertilizer. BAC’s organic fertilizer range is made from 100% plant products, meaning each product bears the certified “Vegan” stamp. Both types of fertilizers from BAC are made using the highest grade ingredients and have been carefully formulated to achieve the perfect balance of plant nutrients. For example, BAC’s 1 Component Soil Bloom Nutrient mineral fertilizer contains everything a plants needs to thrive during the blooming period. As noted, mineral fertilizer is excellent for providing fast-acting nutrients, but organic fertilizers from BAC also offer a range of advantages, including:
- Increased long-term soil fertility
- The provision of nutrients for a longer period of time
- Environmentally friendly
- Improving overall soil structure
- Almost no nutrient leaching