5.3 understand the use of fertiliser to increase crop yield

  • Fertilizers contain minerals such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, commonly known as NPK fertilizers.
  • Fertilizers need to be dissolved in water and later dissolved in the roots

Nitrates – needed for protein, increasing the level of nitrate in the soil allows the plant to grow as much as it can

Phosphates – required to respire and sustain the plant

Potassium – must be present for the enzymes to work. Without it, the plant will not be able to carry out reactions – it’ll either die or not grow tall

 Pros and cons of chemical fetilizer

Pros Cons
Chemical fertilizers are inexpensive Chemical fertilizers are primarily made from non renewable sources, incl. fossil fuels which are not biodegradable
Nutrients are available to the plants immediately, improvement occurs within days Chemical fertilizers grow that plants but do nothing to sustain the soil, in the long term damaging the soil as it leaches the nutrients from the soil and change the soil pH.
They are highly analyzed to produce the exact ratio of nutrients desired You can over fertilize plants, killing the plants and upsetting the entire ecosystem.
Repeated applications may result in a toxic buildup of chemicals, eventually making the way into fruit and veg,

Pros and cons of biological fertilizer


Pros Cons
Organic fertilizers break down (biodegradable) and improve the structure of the soil – increasing it’s’ ability to hold water and nutrients Microorganisms are required to break down and release nutrients into the soil and because they need warmth and moisture, the effectiveness of this fertalizer depends on this.
It’s difficult to over fertilize ( to the point it’s unhealthy) your plants Organic fertilizers break down according to nature’s rules-they may not release nutriets as and when you want them.
No risk of toxic build up of deadly salts and chemicals Nutrient ratios are often unknown and usualy lower than chemical fertilizers.
Although it can be expensive, you can make your own by compost – this process is relatively inexpensive You may see deficiencies in your plants during the first couple months and will take longer to grow.

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