Important fertilizers in horticulture | An overview and their benefits

Growers in horticulture use fertilizers to meet the nutritional needs of their crops. Fertilizers are substances that provide essential nutrients necessary for plant growth and development. It is crucial to seek expert advice on the usage of fertilizers. Which fertilizers offer which benefits? This article covers them comprehensively.
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Tom de Haas
Product specialist Fertilizers | May 1, 2024 | 4 min. lezen
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Potassium nitrate as a fertilizer in horticulture

Potassium nitrate (KNO3) is a widely used fertilizer in horticulture. It offers various advantages for crops, such as stimulating plant growth, improving crop quality, and maintaining osmotic balance. The effectiveness of these benefits depends on several factors.

Key benefits of potassium nitrate:

1.    Balanced nutrient delivery 

Potassium nitrate provides both potassium and nitrogen. While other fertilizers might supply specific nutrients, they can lead to nutrient imbalances in plants. The dual provision of potassium and nitrogen ensures that plants receive the right amounts of each, promoting growth and overall health.

2.    Promotes plant growth

Potassium is integral to several physiological processes in plants, including photosynthesis, enzyme activation, and carbohydrate metabolism. By supplying potassium, potassium nitrate facilitates healthy plant growth and development.

3.    Improves crop quality

Potassium is essential for enhancing crop quality. It helps increase fruit size, enhance color, strengthen flavor, and boost nutritional value. Using potassium nitrate as a fertilizer can lead to higher quality harvests.

4.    Increases stress tolerance

Potassium is closely related to water regulation in plants and osmotic balance. It aids in maintaining water uptake and reducing water loss through transpiration. Adequate potassium provision, such as that provided by potassium nitrate, enhances the plant's ability to withstand drought, salinity, and other environmental stresses.

Calcium nitrate as a fertilizer in horticulture

Calcium nitrate (Ca(NO3)2) is another popular fertilizer in horticulture, prized for its calcium and nitrogen content. Unlike other fertilizers, calcium nitrate directly provides calcium, crucial for plant growth and development.

Key benefits of calcium nitrate:

1.    Calcium delivery

Calcium is vital for plant health, contributing to cell wall formation, structural integrity, and overall development. Calcium nitrate offers a readily available calcium source, ensuring sufficient levels for optimal growth.

2.    Prevents calcium deficiencies

Calcium deficiency can cause various plant disorders, such as tip burn in lettuce. Calcium nitrate helps prevent these issues, promoting healthy plant growth and minimizing the risk of yield losses.

3.    Enhances fruit quality

Calcium is crucial for fruit development and quality, improving cell wall strength, texture, and shelf life. Using calcium nitrate as a fertilizer can lead to fruits with better form, reduced disease susceptibility, and enhanced post-harvest properties.

4.    Improves nutrient uptake

Calcium facilitates the uptake and transport of other essential nutrients within the plant. By providing calcium, calcium nitrate optimizes nutrient absorption, leading to healthier plants and a more balanced nutrient profile.

Monopotassium phosphate as a fertilizer in horticulture

Monopotassium phosphate (MKP) as a fertilizer offers the benefit of a balanced delivery of potassium and phosphate, two key nutrients for plant growth and development. This can result in healthier plants, improved yields, and better crop quality.

Key benefits of monopotassium phosphate:

1.    Delivery of potassium and phosphate

Monopotassium phosphate provides both potassium (K) and phosphate (P), crucial macronutrients for plant growth. Potassium regulates key physiological processes, while phosphate is essential for energy transfer and metabolism. The provision of both nutrients ensures a balanced supply.

2.    Promotes root development and growth

Phosphate is involved in the development of strong and healthy roots. By supplying phosphate, monopotassium phosphate fosters root development, enhancing water and nutrient uptake and contributing to overall plant health and improved yields.

3.    Stimulates flowering and fruit set 

Potassium plays a significant role in regulating flowering and fruit set. It supports the production and transport of carbohydrates, crucial for the development of flowers and fruits. Adequate potassium levels, provided by monopotassium phosphate, encourage better flowering and fruit set, leading to increased yields and crop quality.

4.    Improves stress resistance

Potassium helps regulate water balance and osmotic pressure in plants, aiding efficient water use and reducing sensitivity to drought, heat, and other abiotic stress factors. By supplying potassium, monopotassium phosphate enhances plant stress resistance, helping maintain healthy crops even under adverse conditions.

Magnesium sulfate as a fertilizer in horticulture

Magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salt, is commonly used as a fertilizer in horticulture. It offers the advantage of providing magnesium, an essential nutrient for plants, directly available to help address magnesium deficiencies and promote healthy plant growth.

Key benefits of magnesium sulfate:

1.    Magnesium delivery

Magnesium is a crucial macronutrient for plants, playing a key role in photosynthesis, chlorophyll production, and energy transfer. Magnesium sulfate provides a directly available source of magnesium, ensuring adequate levels for healthy growth and development.

2.    Enhances nutrient absorption

Magnesium is involved in the absorption and assimilation of other nutrients in plants. It improves the mobility of phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium within the plant and contributes to efficient nutrient uptake. By supplying magnesium, magnesium sulfate optimizes the absorption of other key nutrients.

3.    Increases stress resistance 

Magnesium plays a role in reducing plant sensitivity to stress factors such as heat, cold, diseases, and pests. It supports healthy metabolism and regulates enzymatic reactions in plants. By providing magnesium, magnesium sulfate increases plant stress resistance, enabling them to better withstand adverse environmental conditions.

4.    Enhances flowering and fruit set 

Magnesium is involved in the formation of flowers and fruits. It activates enzymes involved in sugar production and flower and fruit development. By supplying magnesium, magnesium sulfate promotes healthy flowering and fruit set, leading to increased yields and crop quality.

Always consult a specialist

The use of fertilizers offers numerous benefits. But the choice of a specific fertilizer depends on various factors, including soil type, plant species, and the specific nutrient needs of the plant. We always recommend consulting a specialist if you are considering using fertilizers. Our experts have the right knowledge and are happy to provide tailored advice.
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Important fertilizers in horticulture | An overview and their benefits

Growers in horticulture use fertilizers to meet the nutritional needs of their crops. Fertilizers are substances that provide essential nutrients necessary for plant growth and development. It is crucial to seek expert advice on the usage of fertilizers. Which fertilizers offer which benefits? This article covers them comprehensively.
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Tom de Haas
Tom de Haas
Product specialist Fertilizers | May 1, 2024 | 4 min. lezen
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Small plants
Topics in this article

Potassium nitrate as a fertilizer in horticulture

Potassium nitrate (KNO3) is a widely used fertilizer in horticulture. It offers various advantages for crops, such as stimulating plant growth, improving crop quality, and maintaining osmotic balance. The effectiveness of these benefits depends on several factors.

Key benefits of potassium nitrate:

1.    Balanced nutrient delivery 

Potassium nitrate provides both potassium and nitrogen. While other fertilizers might supply specific nutrients, they can lead to nutrient imbalances in plants. The dual provision of potassium and nitrogen ensures that plants receive the right amounts of each, promoting growth and overall health.

2.    Promotes plant growth

Potassium is integral to several physiological processes in plants, including photosynthesis, enzyme activation, and carbohydrate metabolism. By supplying potassium, potassium nitrate facilitates healthy plant growth and development.

3.    Improves crop quality

Potassium is essential for enhancing crop quality. It helps increase fruit size, enhance color, strengthen flavor, and boost nutritional value. Using potassium nitrate as a fertilizer can lead to higher quality harvests.

4.    Increases stress tolerance

Potassium is closely related to water regulation in plants and osmotic balance. It aids in maintaining water uptake and reducing water loss through transpiration. Adequate potassium provision, such as that provided by potassium nitrate, enhances the plant's ability to withstand drought, salinity, and other environmental stresses.

Calcium nitrate as a fertilizer in horticulture

Calcium nitrate (Ca(NO3)2) is another popular fertilizer in horticulture, prized for its calcium and nitrogen content. Unlike other fertilizers, calcium nitrate directly provides calcium, crucial for plant growth and development.

Key benefits of calcium nitrate:

1.    Calcium delivery

Calcium is vital for plant health, contributing to cell wall formation, structural integrity, and overall development. Calcium nitrate offers a readily available calcium source, ensuring sufficient levels for optimal growth.

2.    Prevents calcium deficiencies

Calcium deficiency can cause various plant disorders, such as tip burn in lettuce. Calcium nitrate helps prevent these issues, promoting healthy plant growth and minimizing the risk of yield losses.

3.    Enhances fruit quality

Calcium is crucial for fruit development and quality, improving cell wall strength, texture, and shelf life. Using calcium nitrate as a fertilizer can lead to fruits with better form, reduced disease susceptibility, and enhanced post-harvest properties.

4.    Improves nutrient uptake

Calcium facilitates the uptake and transport of other essential nutrients within the plant. By providing calcium, calcium nitrate optimizes nutrient absorption, leading to healthier plants and a more balanced nutrient profile.

Monopotassium phosphate as a fertilizer in horticulture

Monopotassium phosphate (MKP) as a fertilizer offers the benefit of a balanced delivery of potassium and phosphate, two key nutrients for plant growth and development. This can result in healthier plants, improved yields, and better crop quality.

Key benefits of monopotassium phosphate:

1.    Delivery of potassium and phosphate

Monopotassium phosphate provides both potassium (K) and phosphate (P), crucial macronutrients for plant growth. Potassium regulates key physiological processes, while phosphate is essential for energy transfer and metabolism. The provision of both nutrients ensures a balanced supply.

2.    Promotes root development and growth

Phosphate is involved in the development of strong and healthy roots. By supplying phosphate, monopotassium phosphate fosters root development, enhancing water and nutrient uptake and contributing to overall plant health and improved yields.

3.    Stimulates flowering and fruit set 

Potassium plays a significant role in regulating flowering and fruit set. It supports the production and transport of carbohydrates, crucial for the development of flowers and fruits. Adequate potassium levels, provided by monopotassium phosphate, encourage better flowering and fruit set, leading to increased yields and crop quality.

4.    Improves stress resistance

Potassium helps regulate water balance and osmotic pressure in plants, aiding efficient water use and reducing sensitivity to drought, heat, and other abiotic stress factors. By supplying potassium, monopotassium phosphate enhances plant stress resistance, helping maintain healthy crops even under adverse conditions.

Magnesium sulfate as a fertilizer in horticulture

Magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salt, is commonly used as a fertilizer in horticulture. It offers the advantage of providing magnesium, an essential nutrient for plants, directly available to help address magnesium deficiencies and promote healthy plant growth.

Key benefits of magnesium sulfate:

1.    Magnesium delivery

Magnesium is a crucial macronutrient for plants, playing a key role in photosynthesis, chlorophyll production, and energy transfer. Magnesium sulfate provides a directly available source of magnesium, ensuring adequate levels for healthy growth and development.

2.    Enhances nutrient absorption

Magnesium is involved in the absorption and assimilation of other nutrients in plants. It improves the mobility of phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium within the plant and contributes to efficient nutrient uptake. By supplying magnesium, magnesium sulfate optimizes the absorption of other key nutrients.

3.    Increases stress resistance 

Magnesium plays a role in reducing plant sensitivity to stress factors such as heat, cold, diseases, and pests. It supports healthy metabolism and regulates enzymatic reactions in plants. By providing magnesium, magnesium sulfate increases plant stress resistance, enabling them to better withstand adverse environmental conditions.

4.    Enhances flowering and fruit set 

Magnesium is involved in the formation of flowers and fruits. It activates enzymes involved in sugar production and flower and fruit development. By supplying magnesium, magnesium sulfate promotes healthy flowering and fruit set, leading to increased yields and crop quality.

Always consult a specialist

The use of fertilizers offers numerous benefits. But the choice of a specific fertilizer depends on various factors, including soil type, plant species, and the specific nutrient needs of the plant. We always recommend consulting a specialist if you are considering using fertilizers. Our experts have the right knowledge and are happy to provide tailored advice.
Contact form
Can’t find your answer? Fill out the contact form and Tom de Haas will reach out to you. On week days, you will receive a response within 24 hours. 
Tom de Haas
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