If we have no desire or time ... a ready to use fertilizer is what we need!!
They are on sale at reasonable prices fertilizers ready (many different brands) that are designed to make the main nutrients that plants need.
These are the classic NPK fertilizers (N = nitrogen, P = phosphorus, K = potassium).
They bring different amounts of these elements according to their formulation which is so indicated:
NPK X-Y-Z (where X, Y and Z are respectively the percentages of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium)
It is therefore appropriate -if you choose to use ready fertilizers - carefully decide which fertilizer to use to nourish our potatoes properly.
That said let's see-and understand- what they need and how much.
The Nitrogen (N):
This element is the second most absorbed by the potato plant.
it is necessary for proper development of the stem and leaves, nitrogen deficiency will negatively impact on the development of the plant and can cause premature death.
The nitrogen content in NPK fertilizers is usually of two types:
-Nitric, ie in the form of nitrates. This type of fertilizer is immediately available to the plant, but being soluble in water, risk of being washed away with the watering.
-Ammonia nitrogen, is not immediately available for the plant, since it must first be converted into nitric nitrogen by soil bacteria. Great because it is time-released, and are not likely to kill the plant if you overdo it (up to a certain point of course) something rather easier with only nitric fertilizers.
It is good, choose fertilizers with a total nitrogen content of about 15%.
Another important element for the plant, but less than nitrogen.
It serves approximately 1/5 compared to the nitrogen, and is usually contained in fertilizers such as potassium phosphate.
The percentage of which must be directed is about 10% because not all will be absorbed by the plant.
It is the element of which the plant needs in greater amounts, ie twice as much nitrogen.
It is critical, because it makes the plants more resistant to water stress, increases the yield, increases the efficiency in using the nitrogen of the plant, increases the amount of vitamin C present in the tubers.
As you can easily understand, a deficiency would lead to a poor harvest (as happened to me in The First Crop).
Potassium is usually present in NPK fertilizers in the form of:
I recommend reading on the packaging of fertilizers, which of these two is present, and to prefer those with the sulphate, as the chlorine disturbs the potato plant going to decrease the yield slightly.
The potassium percentage in which you have to aspire is about 20-25%
So in summary to make sure you properly nourish your potatoes and make sure to maximize the crop, the fertilizer you should use is a NPK 15/10/20
How to Properly Use the Fertilizers NPK
Once you have chosen the fertilizer you want to use, it is good to know how to use it.
The best thing would be to give the fertilizer three times during the plant life cycle, BUT the plant is unreceptive after the middle of its life cycle and especially not serve tons of fertilizer if we not "looked after" properly before.
The most important step is when the plant sprouts, until it ends its growth.
This corresponds to a period of about 1 month and a half.
is so well during this period fertilize properly three times as we said before, that's how.
While preparing the ground for sowing should already fertilize it, so that at their birth, the small seedlings are already on proper nourishment.
The amount of fertilizer to be added is variable, ranging from 30 grams per square meter of the rich and fertile land to 80 grams per square meter on poor soils.
If you do not know exactly how much fertilizer needs your soil and how much is fertile, a good choice is to put about 50 grams per square meter.
After this first fertilization and after having planted the potatoes, it will be repeated for two more times at three weeks apart.