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Fertilizers: Basic history and growth

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To keep your garden healthy, strong and vibrant you must take care of it with love, affection and passion. Fertilizing essentially means making it possible for your plants to grow better by providing rich nutrients extracted from the soil in an easy, nutrient-dense form. Keeping your vegetation happy and getting the most out of it even during various harshest seasons ensures that you get a lot out of all the hard work that went into planting and nurturing it throughout the rest of the year.

While the ways in which we feed and take care of our plants have certainly evolved over time, the concept of giving plants what they need to grow isn’t a new one. In fact, there is plenty of history behind the use of fertilizers from ancient times all the way up to the present day. Without fertilisers, crops and food that we think so highly of today would be utterly non-existent!


Fertilizers can be made of natural or artificial substances, which give a plant the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and thrive. Types of fertilizer include manure, which is another word for animal poo, but there are many other elements like water and chemicals that can help enrich a plant with the correct balance of chemical compounds. Fertilizers can add back into the soil the nutrients taken out after harvesting those crops before.


The Babylonian civilisation used the first kinds of fertiliser over 5,000 years ago. The ancient Egyptians were also great users of fertilizer. The Romans invented the first kind of centralized system when it came to agriculture, which was based on manure and other natural fertilizers. Several centuries ago, people in the Andes used bat guano for fertilizer, as evidenced by historical records. Bat guano is still used to this day as a fertilizer. The use of animal manure as fertilizer goes way back. People have been using organic and inorganic fertilizers in an attempt to grow healthier crops for centuries.


During the 18th century, Johann Fredrich Mayer brought the idea of using gypsum and minerals to facilitate the growth of crops in Europe. Later on, during that century, it was found that gypsum contained large amounts of sulphuric acid – the main ingredient for aiding the growth and health of vegetation. During the 18th century, other agriculturists found that ashes from turf and other organic materials worked as well as fertilizers due to having large amounts of sulfate of iron and sulphate of alumina which have similar effects to that of gypsum.


In the 19th century, people began to understand the needs and nutritional makeup of plants and crops. Justus von Liebig espoused theories that ammonia was one of the most important compounds in plant growth and other inorganic materials. While many of his theories have since been disproven, he had a great impact on plant growth and plant nutrition.


The 20th century was the time of big changes to farming as fertilizer use became more widespread and industrial. In 1927, a method of producing nitro phosphate was introduced by Erling Johnson which brought about its widespread use of it in Europe and North America. By working on the acidification of phosphate rocks with nitric acid, he found that he could produce phosphoric acid and calcium nitrate. Both compounds are indispensable in modern-day fertilizers because they can help a plant get nitrogen when mixed into the soil.

It’s important to have both a lawn and a garden. You should use fertilizer on both of these as well!

There are plenty of ways to give a boost to the healthiness of your plants, and fertilizers are one of the most straightforward – find the best fertilizers, manures and other garden utilities at Shruhti Agro. We maintain our quality and are the finest producers of fertilizers and manure in Pune and Maharashtra overall.