8 Steps to Solving Your Plant Fertiliser Problem

8 Steps to Solving Your Plant Fertiliser Problem

As any well-informed grower will know that, the key to keeping healthy and vibrant plants is knowing and understanding fertiliser. This is an essential element to ensure you achieve a healthy crop.

Fertiliser based nitrates and phosphates can pose potential environmental risks if they move to groundwater or surface water from runoff or greenhouse leaching. Fertiliser is also an expensive waste input by overuse. Therefore, farmers/growers are often asked how they can make a more efficient and cost-effective use of this critical input.

During the vegetive stage of the plant's development, it is essential that you ensure that the roots search for the necessary nutrients in your chosen medium. Thus giving a strong foundation and allowing them to flourish during the crucial flowering stage of development.

A new study of the role microbial communities play on the leaves of plants suggests that fertilising crops may make them more susceptible to disease.

In this article, we highlight eight recommend best practices for the efficient application of fertiliser while reducing costs.

1. Know the quality of your water. Build your water quality soil mixture and fertiliser program.

Just throw 200 ppm of fertiliser at the plants, as you have always done, can be a waste of money and can cause nutritional problems that require further corrective measures, excessive fertiliser runoff and quality problems that need additional treatments for chemicals, labour or plant growth.

2. Consider this question: really do you need all this phosphorus in your fertiliser?

3. Soil pH and EC tests run periodically. This is one of the cheapest insurance policies in which you can invest.

4. Test and calibrate your fertiliser injectors regularly as needed. Because the water from the hose is "blue", you do not apply the correct fertiliser ppm to your plants. This step is the easiest and most cost-effective measurement to be taken by producers.

5. Review the measurement and mixing practices with each grower when handling fertilisers. Do not assume that everyone is correctly measuring and mixing fertiliser. Math isn't the strong point of everybody.

6. Know the cultural needs of all crops grown. By providing the yields with optimal environmental and nutritional conditions, plants are better, more comfortable and less stressful. Breeder and supply companies spend a lot of time building cultural guides and money. Why not use all available tools?

7. Work in close cooperation with your watering personnel to develop proper watering practices. When necessary, water the crops with the appropriate amount of water. Watering earlier than required and too heavily can not only waste water and fertiliser but also leads to unwanted runoff of fertiliser, reduced root growth, disease problems and reduced plant quality.

8. Explore alternative options for fertilising.

A lot of new blends of controlled release fertilisers with more controlled release time and more prolonged release times are available. Research and articles published several years ago showed success with applications for lower fertiliser rates. It can save money and maintain the best quality. Using this method, watering personnel must again be trained in proper application practices, and soil pH and EC tests must be carried out regularly.

In conclusion, always research new developments in the ever-changing world of fertilisers. Once you apply, you're chosen plant food, it's hard to reverse the process, and you stand a good chance of losing your end results, on top any profits.