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Everyone who is fond of growing tomatoes on their land would like to get a good harvest of tomatoes, regardless of the soil and climatic conditions that characterize their plots. And tomatoes are a rather capricious culture and without good nutrition you cannot count on the fact that you will be able to grow a decent harvest. There are fertilizers that are not in vain very popular both among large farmers and among ordinary summer residents. When used correctly, they can make tomatoes yield good yields even on the poorest and most impoverished soils. One of the most famous such complex fertilizers is azofoska.
Composition and main characteristics
Azofoska is a typical representative of multicomponent mineral fertilizers. It contains all three main macronutrients that plants need for normal life - potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. Moreover, all the elements are in a form that is most easily assimilated by plants.
Attention! The composition of the fertilizer, depending on the brand produced, sometimes includes sulfur.
Plants need this trace element in small quantities, but it is very important for the normal course of photosynthesis and for the formation of useful organic compounds in tomato fruits.
Fertilizer is produced in the form of non-hygroscopic granules of white or light pink color. Their size usually does not exceed 5 mm.
Azofosk is a truly universal fertilizer - it can be used on all types of soils, in any climatic conditions and for all representatives of the plant world.
Azofoska has a low density and, as a result, has good diffusion, that is, when it is introduced into the soil, it does not accumulate in one place, but quickly spreads throughout the entire soil thickness.
Despite the fact that there are always three main elements in the composition of azofoska, their quantitative ratio may differ and depends on the brand of fertilizer.
Varieties of azophoska and their properties
The following ratios of the main nutrients in Azofosk are most common.
This equal ratio of nutrients is classic for tomato use, especially in the early stages of plant development.
Advice! In the future, when fruit is formed, it is not recommended to use this fertilizer, since it contains too high a nitrogen content for normal growth and development of a tomato.
This type of azophoska is often introduced into the ground when preparing beds for planting tomatoes. The application rate is on average 1-2 tablespoons per square meter. meter of earth. The same brand of azofoski is most often introduced into the holes when planting tomato seedlings in the soil of greenhouses or beds. For each bush, about 0.5 teaspoon of fertilizer is consumed.
During the period of flowering and the formation of ovaries, an aqueous solution of azophoska of this brand is used for feeding tomatoes. Depending on the specific conditions of use, primarily the composition and richness of the soil, different dosages are applied. On average, to obtain a ready-made solution for watering tomatoes, it is necessary to dilute from 30 to 50 grams of the substance in 10 liters of water. But more accurate numbers are always indicated on a specific package, and they must be guided first of all when using this type of fertilizer.
In the composition of this fertilizer, phosphorus is in much smaller quantities compared to other elements. Accordingly, it is used specifically for soils that are rich in mobile phosphorus. Usually, phosphorus is actively washed out of the soil by rain or melt water, therefore, its deficiency is observed in the climatic conditions of the middle zone. In the southern, more arid regions, the loss of phosphorus in soils is negligible. Therefore, it is in these regions that the use of this brand of azofoska is most justified.
This type of azophoska contains a large amount of nitrogen in comparison with other elements. The fertilizer is specially designed for especially neglected and poor soils that have lost the ability to heal themselves and on which even herbs grow hard, not to mention such a demanding vegetable crop as tomatoes.
Important! Such an extreme composition of azofoska is most often used in conditions of annual intensive farming, when all the green mass is removed from the plot area every season.
Thus, the composition is more suitable for industrial use.
Azofoska and others
This fertilizer has another official name - nitroammophoska. As a rule, these are different names for the same fertilizer. Only nitroammophoska never has an additive of sulfur in its composition. There are no other differences.
There are other fertilizers that are so close to azofoska both in sound and in composition that one cannot but pay attention to them.
Ammofoska - this mineral fertilizer contains, in addition to the main three macroelements, magnesium and sulfur. It can also be used indoors.
Nitrophoska is very similar in composition to azophoska, but instead of sulfur, it is supplemented with magnesium. In addition, unlike Azophoska, nitrogen in this fertilizer is contained exclusively in the nitrate form, while Azofoska contains two forms of nitrogen - nitrate and ammonia. The nitrate form differs in that it is quickly washed out of the soil, so the effect of fertilizer on plants soon enough fades away. On the other hand, the ammonium form of the nitrogen content increases the duration of the mineral feeding.
Nitroammophos - in another way it is also called nitrophosphate, is fundamentally different from azophoska in that it does not contain potassium. This fact somewhat limits the scope of its application.
Azophos - but this fertilizer is so similar to Azophos in sounding that it is very easy to confuse them. However, this should not be done, as these are two completely different drugs.
Attention! Azophos is not a fertilizer - it is a fungicide to protect plants from harmful microorganisms, but it contains all the main macro and micronutrients.
Nitrogen in it is in the ammonium form, absorbed quickly and completely. But it should be borne in mind that the drug is toxic to living organisms, therefore, when working with it, you must follow the basic safety rules: use a protective mask, glasses and gloves.
How to use Azophoska
Most often, when using mineral fertilizers, questions arise, and is it not harmful for the use of grown fruits for food. Nitrates, of course, will not do anything good for humans or animals. But the fact is that these are ordinary natural compounds that are found in large quantities in organic fertilizers, in the same manure or poultry droppings. And they are not fully absorbed by the roots, but pass into fruits only when the recommended doses of use are exceeded. Therefore, in the case of mineral fertilizers, it is especially important to very closely follow all the manufacturer's instructions for the use of chemicals.
In addition, there are certain rules, the observance of which guarantees one hundred percent absorption of nutrients, without the accumulation of harmful elements.
- It is impossible to bring Azophoska into unheated soil, because in cold soil the diffusion of substances will occur very slowly and all nutrients, instead of diverging, will accumulate in one place. This will lead to excessive concentration and accumulation of nitrates. In the conditions of the middle lane, it is not recommended to bring Azophoska into the ground before the beginning or mid-May. And in the fall, it is accordingly undesirable to do this later than September. Thus, the first half of summer is the ideal time to use Azophoska as fertilizer for tomatoes.
- To prevent the accumulation of nitrates in the soil, it is recommended to alternate the use of mineral and organic fertilizers. Azofoska cannot be used for more than two years in a row in one place. In the third year, it is better to use organic matter for feeding tomatoes. Moreover, it is advisable to use not manure, but "green fertilizer", that is, an infusion of herbs with the use of vermicompost or vermicompost.
- It is not recommended to use Azofoska as a fertilizer for tomatoes during the period of fruit ripening, since its use at this time can contribute to the deposition of nitrates in the edible part of plants.
Advantages and disadvantages of azofoska
Azofoska has been on the market for about 40 years and is very popular among vegetable growers. This is facilitated by the following advantages:
- It is a complex mineral fertilizer and satisfies almost all the basic nutritional needs of a tomato;
- Tomatoes become more resistant to adverse environmental factors, grow and bear fruit better, and the duration of their storage increases;
- Nutrients remain in the ground for a long time and are not washed out by rains;
- Granules are non-hygroscopic, and do not stick together even during long-term storage;
- Quite highly concentrated fertilizer, active ingredients can be up to 50% of the total weight;
- It dissolves well in water;
- One granule contains all three nutrients;
- Capable of increasing tomato yield by 40%;
- A very economical fertilizer to use - at a low cost, the application rates are on average about 35 grams per square meter. meter;
- Convenient to use, as it can be applied both dry and diluted in water.
Azofoska also has some disadvantages that must be considered when applied to tomatoes.
- Fertilizer of inorganic origin;
- May provoke the formation of nitrates in the soil;
- Under improper storage conditions, it can release toxic substances and even explode;
- Short shelf life.
Storage conditions and rules
Sometimes you have to buy more fertilizers than you need for immediate use.
Attention! It should be borne in mind that in the open form the azophoska is stored no more than 6 months.
If the bag is carefully closed, then the fertilizer can be stored in a cool dry place for up to 1.5 years.
Azofosk is not a toxic and flammable substance, but there are some peculiarities associated with its storage. So, in the event of a fire, it is unlikely to ignite, but when the temperature reaches + 200 ° C, it is capable of releasing poisonous gaseous substances that are dangerous to humans.
In addition, its dust is capable of exploding when it reaches significant concentrations during storage. Of course, this fact poses a great danger to large farms, where such substances can be stored in significant quantities. To prevent this, in rooms where a large accumulation of dust from azophoska is possible, the air is humidified with a spray bottle and collected in one container. In the future, the collected dust can be diluted with water and used also as fertilizer.
In some situations, the use of mineral fertilizers is necessary to obtain a full crop of tomatoes. In this case, using Azophoska would be a good choice. If you follow the manufacturer's instructions and the rules of use exactly, then tomatoes will delight you not only with a good harvest, but also with their taste and safety.