Chemicals in Liquid Fertilizer

Man has used natural fertilizers for thousands of years to improve crop yields. Modern chemistry now offers a stable, easily to apply and safe alternative. Liquid chemical fertilizers can effectively provide the three primary elements that plants need to grow vigorously.

Sources of Phosphorus

Phosphorus is derived from phosphate mined from fossilized marine life. It is then converted to chemical form for incorporation into liquid fertilizers. The phosphorus is usually provided in a highly concentrated form called triple superphosphate. It can also be delivered as monoammonium phosphate or diammonium phospate.

Sources of Nitrogen

Nitrogen is an essential element in the development and growth of plants. However, very few types of plants can actually use the nitrogen available in the atmosphere. Adding chemicals that increase the levels of nitrogen in the soil can significantly improve growth. Liquid fertilizers can use ammonia, a chemical high in nitrogen, or may use soluble forms of other chemicals including: urea, nitric acid, sodium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate and ammonium phosphate.

Sources of Potassium

Potassium is one of the most abundant elements on earth and is found in every living thing, including plants. Potassium works for plants in much the same way calcium works in animals--by helping to form strong structures within the plant the support it. Potassium carbonate, also known as potash, is the primary means for delivering potassium to plants. Potassium nitrate can also provide potassium.

Sources of Other Elements

Calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, copper and molybdenum are also essential for improved plant development. These elements can be incorporated into liquid fertilizers by adding calcium carbonate, calcium sulphate or calcium magnesium carbonate, and dolomite. Iron in the form of ferrous sulfate, copper, and molybdenum as molybdenum oxide can be added.

Keywords: chemical fertilizer, liquid chemical fertilizer, liquid fertilizer elements, chemicals in liquid fertilizer

About this Author

Located in Jacksonville, Fla, Frank Whittemore has been a writer and content strategist for over 15 years, providing corporate communications services to Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics that stem from his fascination with nature, the environment, science, medicine and technology.