Definition - What does Potash mean?
The potassium used in plant fertilizers is known as potash. Potassium is one of the three most important micro-nutrients to maintain optimal plant health and potash is a common form of naturally occurring potassium in soil.
Potash is used to ensure the soil is equipped with enough potassium to grow plants adequately. The term potash derives its roots from early usage. Potash used to be leached from wood ashes in iron pots resulting in the term pot-ash. After continuous harvest, soils require potash inputs to ensure continued soil productivity and crop yield.
MaximumYield explains Potash
The main function of potassium in plants is to help with synthesis (an integral process in generating plant proteins and hormones). With intensive agriculture across the globe there is an ongoing depletion of naturally occurring potash, so there is a need to produce and replenish the soils with potash.
The need for potash in soil is determined by the pH of the soil, when the soil pH is alkaline there typically is a need to add potash. But an excess can also be a problem so it is important to conduct a soil test before planting and ensure you are planting based on acidic or alkaline needs of plants. In order to ensure the potash reaches the roots, it needs to be placed keeping the reach in mind. Typically, potash only penetrates up to an inch within the soil, so, you need to ensure it is placed well enough to reach the roots.
There are four types of common types of potash.
- Potassium chloride is the most affordable yet effective source of potash for maximum crop yield.
- Potassium sulfate is known for its quick penetration properties and the ideal source of potash for sulfur deficient plants.
- Potassium-magnesium sulfate is essential for chlorophyll and is a great way to manage potash and magnesium in plants.
- Potassium nitrate is the perfect potash for high-yielding crops as they need high levels of nitrate along with potash.
While these are the popular choices there any many other options depending on your crop and soil needs.