The Content Of The Article:
- Different recipes
- The ideal blue seed for the garden
- Use blue-grain sparingly
- First analyze the soil
- Blue grain as liquid fertilizer
Nitrophoska is the trade name of the colloquially referred to as blue seed mineral fertilizer. It was launched in 1927 by BASF as the first mineral complex fertilizer, colloquially known as complete fertilizer. The brand name originated from the first parts of the three main nutrients - nitrate, phosphate and potassium. Blue fertilizers are mainly used in agriculture and horticulture, but are still very popular among hobby gardeners.
However, very few gardeners know that blue-grain is not the same as blue-grain, because there are different recipes. The so-called Nitrophoska perfect contains the most important plant nutrients in the ratio 15 + 5 + 20 + 2 + 8. This corresponds to 15 percent nitrate (nitrogen), 5 percent phosphate, 20 percent potassium, 2 percent magnesium and 8 percent sulfate (sulfur). By contrast, "Nitrophoska special" with the composition 12 + 12 + 17 + 2 + 8 has a significantly higher phosphate content.
In addition, there is a blue fertilizer called Entec for professional users, which is also available for hobby gardeners in the garden trade under the name Blaukorn Novatec. The special feature of this product is the lower leaching of the nitrogen content, since it is not only in nitrate form, but also as ammonium. The latter is hardly displaced in the soil and nutrient surpluses therefore do not reach the groundwater so quickly. However, ammonia is rapidly converted into nitrate by bacteria in the soil. To slow down this process, the blue-grain Entec or Novatec contains a so-called nitrification inhibitor - it extends the conversion process to four to ten weeks, depending on weather and temperature. Depending on the nutrient requirements of the plant species, the nitrogen-stabilized variant of blue-grain is available in different compositions for agriculture.
A great advantage of the so-called blue seed is also its high plant compatibility: It can be salt-sensitive species easily provide with blue fertilizers, because they all contain the nutrient potassium not in chloride form, but as "digestible" sulfate.
The ideal blue seed for the garden
Home gardeners should only use the blue-grain Novatec, as it is simply more environmentally friendly than the variants with pure nitrate nitrogen. It has the composition 14 + 7 + 17 + 2 - the phosphate content is thus greatly reduced, since this nutrient in the garden soils is usually available in abundance anyway.
Use blue-grain sparingly
Blue Grain Despite its positive qualities, Novatec remains a mineral fertilizer - meaning that it contains nitrogen compounds that have been chemically produced from atmospheric nitrogen and therefore pollute the global nutrient cycle - with known consequences such as groundwater pollution, algal blooms in the oceans and "overturned" inland waters. In addition, wild plants such as various orchid species, which are only competitive in nutrient-poor locations, threatened by creeping nutrient inputs (eutrophication) in their stocks.
Perennials such as the steppe sage reap far faster if they are supplied with some blue seed after pruning in the summer
Due to the mentioned problem, it is important that one deals responsibly with mineral fertilizers in the garden. If possible, use such fertilizers only if a plant suffers from acute nutrient deficiencies, which must be remedied quickly. In fact, rapid efficacy is one of the great advantages that mineral fertilizers have over organic fertilizers. Blaukorn does a good job of supplying nutrient-requiring onion flowers such as daffodils. The plants have only a very short growing season available to produce enough reserve material for the new sprouting next year. Remounting shrubs such as the Delphinium and the steppe sage (photo above) also form new flowers faster if you fertilize the plants with a bit of blue-grain in the summer immediately after cutting off the withered inflorescences.
First analyze the soil
If you use mineral fertilizers such as blue-grain in the garden more often, you should always have your soil checked regularly in the laboratory for its nutritional content, because it can be over-fertilized very easily with the highly concentrated nutrient salts. With organic fertilizers such as horn shavings, however, the risk of over-fertilization is low, because the nutrients are not very highly concentrated and moreover bound organically - that is, the complex molecules must first be decomposed by microorganisms, until the plants can absorb the nutrients contained, A soil analysis is best done every two to three years in the spring.If nutrient levels have barely changed over the same period of time, you can spend a few more years with the next soil survey.
Blue grain as liquid fertilizer
Since blue-grain is water-soluble, it is often used by many hobby gardeners as a cheap liquid fertilizer - for example, as food for nutrient-requiring potted plants such as angel trumpets. But here it is important that you slowly approach the optimal concentration, because an over-fertilization can cause the plants to die. If the salt concentration in the soil is too high, there is a so-called reverse osmosis - the water diffuses from the root hairs back into the soil and the plant dries up because it can no longer absorb water. Here only the thorough washing of the root ball helps to wash out the excess nutrients as quickly as possible. In case of doubt, use a pre-mixed mineral liquid fertilizer and dose according to the packing instructions.