Stone phosphate is a long-term organic fertilizer for gardens. It is known that plants stay healthy and encourage new growth. It does this by adding phosphorus, which helps them make other phytonutrients more accessible. But what exactly is raw phosphate and how should it be used for your plants?
Our top recommendations for raw phosphate
What is raw phosphate?
Example of the mines from which the raw phosphate fertilizer comes. Source: davidstanleytravel
Rock phosphate, also called phosphorite, is a sedimentary rock that contains a lot of phosphorus. The rock is mined and also contains clay and limestone. Phosphate rock is of course an essential source of phosphorus – the essential nutrient "P" from the three vital nutrients "NPK". It is used to make organic phosphate fertilizers for gardens.
In earlier times, gardeners used raw phosphate as a fertilizer for plant growth. Due to the low phosphorus concentration and the lack of supply, most gardeners today used the processed version.
Modern fertilizers contain soft phosphate, which is often confused with hard phosphate. Both sources contain high levels of phosphorus and calcium. However, these nutrients are more accessible in soft rock phosphate, which makes their use easier. As a slow-release fertilizer, it provides your plants with an even source of essential macronutrients.
What is stone phosphate used for?
Raw phosphate fertilizer works with the soil, in contrast to chemical fertilizers that work against it.
Phosphate rock is extremely rich in essential nutrients to ensure vibrant and healthy plants. These fertilizers are also referred to as “rock dust” due to the rock minerals they contain. The use of mineral phosphate fertilizers is a common practice to promote healthy flowers and vegetables.
If you have perennials in bloom in your garden, they'll be happy to use phosphate rock at the start of the season. The high mineral content leads to huge, colorful flowers.
Flowers like roses love phosphate fertilizers because they develop more buds and a stronger root system. The phosphates contained in the formula are also used for a healthy development of the lawn and tree root system. It serves as a general-purpose fertilizer for various types of perennials and trees in the garden.
If you grow a vegetable garden, you need to take stronger measures to ward off pests and diseases. Fortunately, phosphates help reduce pests and improve the taste and yield of your vegetable crops. Powdered raw phosphate is ideal for cereals such as coffee, tea, apples, gum and citrus fruits. The nature of the soil can tolerate the direct spreading of the fertilizer.
Rock phosphate effect on plants
Rock dust or rock phosphate usually has a slow effect on plants. It is best used in early spring, just before flowering. You should ideally aim for 10 pounds of raw phosphate fertilizer per 100 square feet.
Raw phosphate requires specific soil conditions under which it performs best. It is usually more accessible in acidic soils with a pH of less than 5.5. In this way, the phosphorus is soluble and can be absorbed by plant roots.
Is it good for plants?
Certainly. As a natural source of phosphorus, raw phosphate is essential for the ripening and healthy growth of plants. Phosphorus also plays a crucial role in photosynthesis. This nutrient is present from seedling growth to the ripening of the grain. Every plant therefore needs phosphorus in the early years. The nutrient supports vitality and general health.
Crude phosphate also provides phosphorus from the storage and transmission of energy, cell enlargement and respiration in plants. Without the use of raw phosphate, plants cannot grow fully or regulate their metabolic pathways.
Use soft rock phosphate fertilizer correctly
Soft rock phosphate is insoluble if your soil's pH is above 5.5. Acidic conditions are required to be fully absorbed by the plant roots. In order to use the soft rock phosphate correctly, it must always be worked into the soil before planting. You can also add it to a planting hole when repotting or planting trees.
If you have a well-established lawn and trees, sprinkle the phosphate over the landscape. Gently rake it into the soil to better integrate it into the root zone. Use 2 to 10 pounds for each planting hole to transplant and grow trees. If your soil is particularly low in phosphorus, you can increase your intake to 50 pounds per 100 square feet. Depending on how healthy your plants are, a single application of soft phosphate can take 5 years.
Get the most out of your rock phosphate
The phosphorus in raw phosphate needs acidic soils to be accessible. Alkaline soils can make the fertilizer almost unusable. To speed up the process, you can add fertilizer to the compost. The acidic nature of compost can allow the chemical bonds to break, making phosphorus more accessible to the roots.
You can add other useful microbes like mycorrhizas for the rapid release of phosphorus. Always buy high quality raw phosphate from a reputable company to ensure that your plants receive the best treatment.
How is phosphate rock made?
Phosphate rock is a naturally occurring fertilizer. In most cases, it reacts with sulfuric acid to form phosphoric acid (P2O5) before it can be used. The acid is added to powdered phosphate rock. Phosphoric acid is then processed to produce good fertilizers for gardens, trees, flowers and vegetables.
When using sulfuric acid, the resulting chemical is called "Normal or Single Phosphate (SSP)", which contains 16 to 21% phosphorus. The production of SSP begins with the mixing of the phosphate rock and the sulfuric acid in one reactor. The mixture is then transferred to a slowly running conveyor. It is then cured for at least 4-6 weeks before being packaged and shipped as a fertilizer. All phosphate fertilizer plants have production plants for phosphoric and sulfuric acid.
What is the chemical formula for phosphate rock?
The chemical formula for phosphate rock is Ca5FO12P3. This mineral formula is also called calcium carbonate fluorapatite. There are four types of phosphate rocks:
- River pebbles phosphate
- Land pebble phosphate
The chemical formula for phosphoric acid (also known as phosphorite) is P2O5, and the phosphate content can vary between 2% and 21%.
Is it an organic fertilizer?
Granular form of phosphate fertilizer.
Phosphate rock can be considered an organic fertilizer depending on how you define it as organic. Real “organic” fertilizers such as compost are obtained from organic substances such as animals, fertilizers and plants. Phosphate rock, on the other hand, is a rock mineral that is processed for use as a fertilizer. Since it occurs naturally, it helps gardeners to avoid synthetic chemical fertilizers. According to this logic, it is "organic".
As a natural and potent source of phosphorus and calcium, it is often used in organic farming. It contains 30% phosphates and 48% calcium. It is environmentally friendly as it also reduces greenhouse gases and helps harvest plants and flowers better.
When is raw phosphate unsuitable as a fertilizer?
Raw phosphate may not always be a suitable fertilizer. Since most of it remains insoluble, it can be difficult for the roots to absorb the maximum amount of phosphorus. Aside from its bulkiness, it is relatively slower than fast-acting synthetic chemical fertilizers.
Over-fertilization with raw phosphate is also a common problem that can lead to leaf chlorosis and the destruction of useful microorganisms in the soil.
Even though it is relatively environmentally friendly, phosphate fertilizers run the risk of polluting the water. Phosphates can bind firmly to the soil particles and rarely get out of the soil. If too much fertilizer is used, excess phosphorus can get into the water system. This can lead to contamination problems and the outbreak of bacteria and algae.
Our top recommendations for raw phosphate
The green thumbs behind this article:
Last updated on 2020-01-16 / Partner Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API