Coppice Road Allotments Association

(affiliated to the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Ltd)

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Synthetic Fertilisers - Details

Type of Fertiliser

(alternative names)


Areas of Use

Application Method & Rate

Straight Synthetic

Chloride of Potash, (Potassium Chloride, Muriate of Potash)


(plus some Chlorine)

Not much used nowadays, except as an ingredient in some Growmore formulations

Nitrate of Ammonia (Ammonium Nitrate, Nitram)


Very high nitrogen content, with the ammoniacal portion taking longer to be released. Mainly used on grassland pasture and cereal crops.

Nitrate of Chalk (Calcium Nitrate) (*)

Nitrogen 27%

(plus some Calcium)

Very useful source of nitrogen without increasing the acidity of the soil. Useful for fruit crops and green vegetables

Base- & Top-dressing


Nitrate of Soda, (Sodium Nitrate, Chilean Saltpetre) (*)

Nitrogen 16%

Good general fast acting source of nitrogen for leaf crops, can increase soil acidity

Sulphate of Ammonia (Ammonium Sulphate) (*)

Nitrogen 20%

(plus some Sulphur)

Slightly slower acting ammoniacal nitrogen, can cause leaf scorch and increased acidity. Used in Lawn Sand and in Growmore and as ‘compost accelerator’

Soluble so can be used in liquid feeds - 25g/sq.m.

Sulphate of Iron, (Ferrous Sulphate)

Iron 20%

(plus some Sulphur)

Source of Iron to combat lime induced chlorosis. Also used in Lawn Sand

Sulphate of Magnesium, (Magnesium Sulphate, Epsom Salt)

Magnesium 10% (as oxide)

(plus some Sulphur)

Source of Magnesium, used to combat chlorosis caused by high potash feeding regime, e.g. Tomato fertiliser

Sulphate of Potash, (Potassium Sulphate) (*)

Potassium 50%

(plus some Sulphur)

Effective fast-acting source of potash for flowering and fruit crops. Aids ‘ripening’ of immature tissues in autumn

Initial base dressings followed by use as top dressing


Superphosphate of Lime (*)

Phosphorus 18.5%

(plus some Calcium)

Phosphorus for root activity and crops, without increasing soil acidity

Base & Top-dressings



Nitrogen 46%

Organic chemical source of ammoniacal nitrogen so slower acting over longer period. Soluble for liquid feeds

Compound Synthetic

Growmore 7:7:7 (*)

Nitrogen 7%

Phosphorus 7%

Potassium 7%

The ‘workhorse’ of fertilisers with ‘balanced’ nutrient content. Can be obtained with different ratios to suit individual crops

Base- & Top-dressing


Nitrate of Potash, (Potassium Nitrate, Saltpetre)



Good source of both nitrogen and potassium for flowering and fruiting plants. Can be used in liquid feeds and hydroponic solutions

Those fertilisers highlighted in ‘green’ (*)represent those most commonly used by the amateur grower. They are readily available and economical.

Next/ Organic Fertilisers