When sprinkling Patentkali!
If you are growing fruit or root vegetables, it is best to choose a fertilizer where the potassium content is at least double that of the nitrogen content. For lighter soils or soils with a high pH, this may be 2.5 times the nitrogen content. Because this is not always possible, we will have to find another solution.
With many chemically compounded fertilizers, the amount of potassium is actually relatively small. Most organic compound commercial fertilizers also suffer from this problem. A chemical fertilizer with composition 12-10-18 (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) contains relatively little potassium. Likewise for an organic fertilizer 6-7-9 where there is also a clear potassium deficiency.
Do you now have to purchase other fertilizers immediately? No, there is a better and cheaper solution that is suitable for both organic and traditional vegetable growers. Patentkali is a miner from the salt mines that is used as fertilizer in both cultivation methods. Due to its high potassium content (30%) and its low overall salt content, this fertilizer is highly recommended for the vegetable garden. A nice bonus is that Patentkali also contains 10% magnesium. We no longer have to worry about that, because this is usually in the right proportion.
How much patent kali do we have to add? Imagine spreading a fertilizer 12-10-18, which is actually 6% potassium per kg potassium too little. After all, ideal would be 24% potassium instead of 18%. If you sprinkle 1 kg of this fertilizer, you will have to sprinkle an additional 200 g (30% / 5) of patenkali. For lighter soils, we will add an additional 200 g of additional patent lime to compensate for leaching during the winter.
Spreading an organic fertilizer of 3-4-4 will cause a deficiency of 8% potassium per kg of fertilizer. 12% potassium is ideal here. For every kg that we sprinkle from this fertilizer, we will sprinkle an extra amount of 250g of Patentkali.
What does Patentkali actually do!
Potassium, together with nitrogen, phosphorus and magnesium, are among the four elements that our vegetable plants need in large quantities. Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium are usually indicated on the fertilizer bags in the NPK formula. Very often we also find + Mg with this formula, which indicates that this fertilizer was also enriched with magnesium. Although potassium in itself does not make the plant grow faster (that is previously reserved for nitrogen), it is nevertheless a very important element for the overall quality of the plant. Note that whenever there is talk of potassium deficiency, we do mean potassium deficiency in the plant. Because even with a sufficiently high potassium supply in the soil, potassium deficiency can occur. Why this is the case is discussed later in this article.
Een gebrek aan kalium in de plant kan heel wat onvermoede problemen in de groentetuin teweeg brengen. Om dit te begrijpen moet je weten dat kalium onder andere de waterhuishouding in de cel gunstig beïnvloedt. Het element zorgt ervoor dat de cel het water beter kan vasthouden, ook onder moeilijke omstandigheden. Indien er niet voldoende kalium aanwezig is in de cel zal deze bij vochttekort of vochtovermaat in de grond teveel krimpen of te sterk opzwellen. Daardoor kan de cel beschadigd worden. Eén beschadigde cel is niet erg natuurlijk, maar indien er tientallen beschadigd worden ontstaat er een probleem. Dan wordt de schade ook uiterlijk aan de plant merkbaar.
More leaching will occur on lighter types of soil during the winter than on heavier soils. On the heavier soils, potassium is better retained in the clay-humus complex, so that the leaching is almost negligible. In addition, clay and clay soil will naturally produce potassium as a result of the weathering. On sandy soils and sandy loam soils you can therefore add an extra amount of potassium.
(thanks to luc dedeene)