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Thread: NPK what formulae ??

  1. #1
    keat63 is offline Sprouter
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    Default NPK what formulae ??

    For the last two years we've used horse manure for fertilizer, however:

    1. Its messy
    2. Difficult to get hold of (we have no trailer)
    3. Any that does turn up on the allotments, is taken up quickly and has to be barrowed from one end to the other. (hard work)

    So next year, (or sometime later this year) we decided to give granular NPK a try.

    Yes, it's expensive compared to free manure, but easy to transport, probably easier and quicker to apply, a lot less messy, Oh and doesn't take the best part of a day barrowing from one end of the allotment to our plot.

    What formulation is best for veggies, I see many ratios available.

  2. #2
    SimpleSimon is online now Seedling
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    Wouldn't it entirely depend on what you intend to grow in the beds? Though to be honest manure isn't just about the nutrients it can improve your soil. I have heavy clay and it and improves the texture dramatically. It also helps hold moisture if you have sandy soil. It does take a bit of work though given the amounts you need to use as you day tho.
    rary, Mark_Riga and mcdood like this.

  3. #3
    keat63 is offline Sprouter
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    Thats why I asked :-)
    I know certin formulas are suited to fruit trees and grass for instance.

    I just wondered what was best for general veggies.

  4. #4
    Snoop Puss's Avatar
    Snoop Puss is offline Mature Fruiter
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    For green things, you want more N. For fruit, more P and K.
    And therein lies the quandary as far as veg is concerned. For tomato plants, you want to be aiming more for N in the early days, but when they start to flower, you want to be aiming more for P and K. So in theory, if you were doing it right, you'd have more than one bag or bottle of fertiliser.
    For cabbage, for example, it's pretty straightforward, more N right through.

    What I do is go for whatever I can find at my local agricultural co-op so long as it has trace elements in as well, not just N, P and K. Then, for plants that like P and K (onions, for example, like a bit extra in my experience, not sure if that's a proven 'fact', mind) or fruiting plants (toms, peppers, courgettes, etc.), I add P and K in the form of hardwood ash as an addition when working in my granular fertiliser and later on at the appropriate time.

    This is not an organic way to do things... But my soil is low on boron it seems (my brassicas do much better when I add some), so I've decided to just go with it.
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  5. #5
    burnie is online now Veggie gardener
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    Have a read of this...……………
    https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...ml#post1600413
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  6. #6
    mcdood is offline Tuber
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    Hi Keat,
    As SS said muck also helps improve the soil rather than just add nutrients. You can make your own Nitrogen fertiliser if you have access to nettles and I combine Comfrey juice nettle juice and weed juice to make a generic fertiliser.
    MyWifesBrassicas likes this.

  7. #7
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    Jungle Jane is offline Early Fruiter
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    I don’t use manure,I use blood,fish & bone a balanced fertiliser. This year & last year I didn’t use it in the veg beds,I’m seeing how fertile my soil is with nothing but leaf fall & pruning mulches,it’s been alright but I have been using seaweed liquid feed & tomato feed so they have had something.
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  8. #8
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    Jay-ell is offline Welcome To The Jungle
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    In the farming world the farmers work out what levels of NPK their crops need in weight and usually by the acre/hectare. So if an acre of a crop needs 10lbs of nitrogen, 5lbs phosphorus and 5lbs potassium then if you used a 10:5:5 fertiliser you would need 100lbs per acre. This isn't taking into account the levels of nutrients already in the soil, which in a lot of farm land might not been much as they have been farmed for a while with only fertilisers and no added organic matter.

    Different vegetables need different levels of the three main nutrients plus other micro nutrients so the levels of NPK needed will vary from crop to crop. Nitrogen is associated with green leaves but is used anywhere that proteins are made (e.g. pulses, chrlorophyl, grains/seeds, nuts), potassium is often associated with fruits and flowers but it plays an important role in a number of different plant functions such as photosynthesis, Phosphates are associated with root growth but is also used in energy transpher and cell reproduction as well as respiration. This shows that it's not so easy to say "Oh, leafy greens then it's nitrogen, roots then its mostly superphosphate".

    You will also have to account for run off. Nitrogen is readily dissolved in water and rain water will wash it away into the water system which can pollute local water courses.

    As I said above, alot of farmland is dependant on chemical fertilisers because of the breakdown of organic material. The carbon component of soil is constantly being digested by bacteria - which happens faster when the soil is disturbed and exposed to air/oxygen. The organic component helps to absorb and hold nutrients so needs to be replenished - this is what adding horse much or compost also helps with.

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