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As promised, I’m starting this thread to compliment Mike’s excellent ‘The mystery of pH’ thread. I’ll keep it as simple as possible, otherwise it with develop into a chemistry class.
Basically NPK is: N=nitrogen P=phosphorous and K=potash, the three main food elements necessary for plant life. Nitrogen is required for foliage growth, phosphorous for root growth and potash for growth of flowers and fruit.
These elements can be applied in chemical or organic form…..the latter being preferred by most gardeners and the former mainly used by commercial growers.
Although there are several types in there chemical form, the most common available to us gardeners being, Sulphate of Ammonia = N (nitrogen) Superphosphates = P (phosphorus) and Sulphate of Potash = K (potash)
For an example, blood, fish & bonemeal (a favorite amongst gardeners) offers these properties.
Dried blood is a slaughter house by-product and is an excellent source of quickly available organic nitrogen, when used as a top dressing or watered in. Dried blood completely soluble and can be mixed with water and used as a liquid fertilizer.
Fish meal is a great natural fertilizer, high in phosphorous and high in organic nitrogen. Fish meal is quick acting, offering a sustained supply of nutrients.
Bone meal is used as a long-lasting source of phosphorous as well as low levels of nitrogen, potassium and calcium. The extremely slow availability of nutrients from bone meal makes it a very safe fertilizer, especially when planting of potting very young or new plants.
The way I think of this is -
P - For the roots
N - For the leaves
K - For the flowers/fruit
Of course the abbreviations, NPK are used on commercial packaging. OOOps! sorry. Mike's pinching your material.
Thanks bye the bye for the compliment. PS. I haven't written it yet. Cheers!
Tracey Mike has had a really bad day today..healthwise. Have mercy on this oldie. I'm getting on for twice your tender years
I'll let you off then Mike (I was only joking anyway ). Hope you feel better tomorrow
Hey Mike. Hope your health will be better soon.
Although I'm "up" on the technical stuff gardening, etc., I think this thread and Mike's PH thread make for a more complete forum for beginners and the rest of us.
"Although there are several types in there chemical form"......I wouldn't believe I penned that...so sorry!
Thanks for this thread - always up for learning the science in bite size chunks !
A question - what does seaweed extract do on the NPK front? And things like tomato feed are high in K - but do they have any of the N or P too?
chicky wrote (see)
Thanks for this thread - always up for learning the science in bite size chunks ! A question - what does seaweed extract do on the NPK front? And things like tomato feed are high in K - but do they have any of the N or P too?
Chicky - Yes there are the other two elements in tomato feed. The analysis of say Tomorite (you need to read the labels) is 4-3-8.... the figure 8 indicating the potash content.
As far as I know, seaweed contains nitrogen (N) & trace elements, but negligible amounts of the other two.....I would need to research it to be absolutely sure.
It seems liquid seaweed has an NPK rating of 0-0-1, so I was right. That doesn't mean that it's anything other than an excellent organic feed.
HI Dave i found info on seaweed some time ago, i use it for soil improvement and foliar spray and blended as a light feed now and again i also mix it with FBB figs do well on it ,i also dig it in well in raw. R H S (( Seaweed is rich in trace elements (nutrients that plants only need small amounts of), which are often lacking in common fertilisers such as Growmore and fish, blood & bone, but which are nevertheless important for plant health. However most soils have adequate levels of micronutrients. Nowadays there are a number of dried and processed seaweed available on the market. Some liquid seaweed fertilisers may be applied as foliar feeds, where the nutrients are sprayed onto the foliage and taken up through the leaves.))) also i use it as i get it for free off the beech, in Wales the allotmenteers leave it on the soil to dry and i think its called calcify and let nature do the work.
Thanks, Alan....yes, calcified seaweed is an excellent fertilizer (especially in the veg garden) and is widely available in GCs & other outlets.
Great believer in seaweed. Think it is the very best soil and plant conditioner.
Used to get loads of fresh seaweed every year....tons of it. ,put on the soil in autumn it deters slugs, improves soil and by spring has rotted down enough to mix into the soil for veg preparation. Used seaweed spray as a tonic on tomatoes, Beetroot, container plants, etc. etc.
Slightly alkaline so not to be used on ericaceous plants
Verdun wrote (see)
Great believer in seaweed. Think it is the very best soil and plant conditioner. Used to get loads of fresh seaweed every year....tons of it. ,put on the soil in autumn it deters slugs, improves soil and by spring has rotted down enough to mix into the soil for veg preparation. Used seaweed spray as a tonic on tomatoes, Beetroot, container plants, etc. etc. Slightly alkaline so not to be used on ericaceous plants
Excellent you have access to fresh seaweed, Verdun. I can well see that the presence of sea-salt would be a deterrent to slugs & snails.
Interesting to note that the unique taste of Jersey potatoes is attributed to the liberal use of fresh seaweed.
Bamboogie wrote (see)
The way I think of this is - P - For the roots N - For the leaves K - For the flowers/fruit simples.
Ah ha, easy to remember - PiNK from the bottom up (pink bottom!).
Calcified seaweed is not dried seaweed. it is different to seaweed meal. Calcified seaweed is a particular type of algae that extracts calcium from seawater and makes a calcareous type structure. When the algae dies, the calcified bits form deposits on the seabed which is then dredged up. The french call it Maerl and dredge off Brittany. British calcified seaweed used to be dredged off cornwall, in the mouth of the river Fal. It was stopped because of ecological issues.
I use calcified seaweed instead of lime, when preparing soil for onions or brassicas.
Seaweed meal is usually growing algae that is cut and then washed and dried to make seaweed meal.
I used to collect seaweed down on the beach at Seaton Carew when I was a kid sixty years ago. Excellent stuff.
Calcified sea weed is a superb product but It's not right to scrape up the ocean floor causing untold damage just for the garden!