Plants need nutrition, various kind of nutrition, just like human. We need carbohydrates, sugars, lipids, proteins, all from different sources in different forms in order to grow healthily. So does plants, growing plants isn’t actually as simple as putting it in a pot filled with soil, water it everyday. Well, it might works, but slower. In order to take a good care of plants, especially in agriculture scale, we need to give enough nutrition. Where did those nutrition come from? Potash, is one of its source.
What is Potash?
You might be familiar enough with potassium, one of the members of the periodic table that you learned in high school. But what about potash? If the first thing you think of when hearing potash is potassium, then you’re right.
The word potash actually derived from potassium and ash. Why ash? This actually connected to the ashes that’s soaked in water in a plant pot. It was called pot ash long ago, thus derives the word potassium, one of the elements that has these Potassium Uses and Properties in Everyday Life.
Where Can You Find Potash?
Beside from industries, you can actually find potash in the nature. Commonly, in the soil. Potash in the soil is being extracted as salt deposits. When we, human eat plants that are cooked, of processed, of course, we will absorb that potassium to our body. As the circle goes by, our waste will release the potassium again into waterways.
Not just in the plant’s soil, but also in the earth’s crust. In the potash rocks, clay minerals, sea water, even rain, you can find them.
Potash’s Functions: Human needs
We, human need potassium as one of the most important electrolytes in our body. We need it to make sure that our body, from the cells, tissues, organs are all working just well. Lacking of potassium can cause fatigue, constipation, even respiratory failure. Sufficient intake of potassium will help our heart to beat normally, decreasing the risk of arrtyhmia in the same time.
We can find potassium in out diet, such as soy beans, beet greens, banana, and so much more. Although we can consume potassium in supplements form, it’s still better to get it right from the source, which is plants. As what we know, everything that’s too much is not good. So does potassium, consuming too much potassium could lead to Hyperkalemia, which is not good for our health either.
Uses of Potash in Agriculture
In plants, potassium is being recycled all the way through the trees and roots. Potassium that comes from potash can literally help the overall plants growth. Here are things that explains the uses of Potash in agriculture fields :
- Balancing the amount of nitrate
- Controlling water uptake
- Improving nitrogen assimilation
- Synthesizing plant sugars
- In charge of crop quality
- Promote more flowers
- Improves water retention
- Improves nutrient value
- Promote better taste of food crops
- Repair food crops’ texture
- Maintaining fresh, natural color of crops
- Increasing disease resistance that a crop has
- Increasing drought and frost resistance
- Controlling fruits size
- Develops fruits with higher weight
- Increase proteins production
- Activating enzymes
You might want to read : 30 Harmful Effects Of Using Chemical Fertilizers and Pesticides
In order to get those long list of benefits that potash can give to a plant, we need to give it in the form of fertilizer. IT won’t be enough for the plant to just absorb what’s already in the soil. We need to boost that by giving fertilizer to the plants. Plants such as rice, corn, soybeans, and others are just few examples of the plants that need potash as potassium source. There are various types of potash fertilizers that we can find, and the uses of Potash in agriculture fields such as :
- Potassium Chloride(KCl)
This is probably the most common type of potash fertilizer that’s being used in agriculture. This fertilizer can be found in white or red forms, which actually developed due to its origin. While red one comes from mines, white one comes from natural brines. The red one contains iron particle, resulting in the red color that it has.
If you’re wondering about which one to choose, it’s actually all up to your preference. Both colors are just differentiating its looks, but has no agronomic significance. In order to apply this fertilizer, you can just give it directly to the soil or doing some blends.
- Potassium Nitrate (KNO3)
As a source of nitrate and potassium, potassium nitrate has high solubility in water. It’ mostly used in vegetables, fruits, even flowers.
Plants that are compatible with this type of fertilizers are potato, strawberry, onion, carrot, avocado, etc.
- Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4)
Although this type of fertilizer is not as soluble as the other, it’s still beneficial as a source of potassium and sulfate. Due to it’s characteristic, potassium sulfate is often applied by spraying rather than through the irrigation.
You might also read : Potassium Sulfate Uses in Daily Life
- Potassium carbonate (K2C03)
Unlike the earlier one, this type of potassh fertilizer is very soluble. The applying of potassium carbonate fertilizer is through drippers.
While choosing the right fertilizer for our plant, we need to do a thorough study. That way, we can make sure what we’re giving is suitable and effective.
What you sow is what you reap. In order to harvest good quality crops, you need to invest your time a little bit more. Taking care of plants can be tricky at times, but learning how to do it right will boost your plants growth. Since it’s chemical, fertilizers that you use as extra vitamins for your plants, you should also take a look at the amount that you’re using.
If you’re not paying keen attention, there are Bad Effects of Agricultural Chemicals on Human Health that might be waiting for you on the other side. You should also stay away from these List of Banned Agricultural Chemicals to avoid the risks. Just the right amount of the right type of fertilizer will blow your mind at working through the plants growth.