Fertilizer potassium is sometimes called “potash”, a term that comes from an early production technique where potassium was leached from wood ashes and concentrated by evaporating the leachate in large iron pots (“pot-ash”). Clearly, this practice is no longer practical and is not environmentally sustainable. In food production, potassium is removed from the soil in harvested crops and must be replaced in order to maintain future crop growth.
Potassium is essential for plant health and there must be an adequate supply in the soil to maintain good growth. When the potassium supply is limited, plants have reduced yields, poor quality, utilize water less efficiently, and are more susceptible to pest and disease damage.
Potassium fertilizers are safe to use since they pose no harmful environmental or health effects. However, like any substance, when used in excess quantities they can have undesirable effects. High-yielding crops remove large amounts of potassium in the harvested portion…amounts that eventually must be replaced for the soil to remain productive.
“Potash” fertilizer comes from many common earth minerals and provides an important boost for maintaining the health of both humans and plants. There are many excellent sources of potassium that can be used to sustain a productive and healthy ecosystem.