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close this bookBetter Farming Series 06 - The Soil: How to Improve the Soil (FAO - INADES, 1976, 29 p.)
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View the documentApplying fertilizers

Applying fertilizers

· Apply by hand.

You can apply the fertilizer by throwing it broadcast.
It falls all over the place.
It is better to apply fertilizer along the plant rows.
With a stick make a line in the earth a few centimetres away from the row of plants.

Put the fertilizer in this line and cover it with earth.

Or else, put the fertilizer at the foot of the plants just before you earth them up
In tree plantations such as palms, coffee, cocoa, put the fertilizer in a circle 1 or 2 metres from the tree trunk.

The feeding roots of the tree are at a distance of 1 or 2 metres from the trunk.

Spread fertilizer round the trunk at a distance of 1-2 m.

· Apply with a machine.

This machine is called a fertilizer distributor.
With some mechanical seed drills you can sow and spread fertilizer at the same time.


· Do not put fertilizer on the stems and leaves of plants. The fertilizer may burn them.

· Fertilizer is costly.

Do not put just any fertilizer on any crop. Different plants have different needs.
Ask the extension worker for advice.
Choose the right fertilizer.

· All fertilizers are not the same.

Fertilizers contain different amounts of the mineral salts (N, P, K).
Get to know the quality of fertilizers.