About Potash

About Potash

The name 'potash' basically refers to potassium-bearing minerals or compounds. 

The name "potash" comes from the "ash" of a "pot". Centuries ago people burned wood, mixed the ashes with water and evaporated the solution in iron pots. The remainder was potash which was used primarily for soap and glass. However, it was noticed that potash had a positive effect on plants and the importance of potassium began to be recognised.

Potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus are the three macro-nutrients vital for plant growth. Potassium helps the 'blood flow' of the plant, enabling sugars and waters to move around. It thickens cell walls, protects against drought and helps the plant defend against disease. Potassium naturally occurs in soils to varying degrees.

Why is Potash so important?

When a plant grows, it takes potassium out of the growing zone, which is the area where a plant's roots reside. In Australia, and around the world, many farming growing zones have been leached of potassium.

Potassium: 

  •  affects the quality of the plant, the size, shape, colour and taste;
  •  helps the plant to regulate carbon dioxide uptake;
  •  helps to regulate water uptake and loss;
  •  improves drought resistance;
  •  is essential for protein synthesis;
  •  thickens the cell wall to help the plant resist disease.

Plants deficient in potassium can appear scorched on the leaves, be stunted in growth, and have less water circulation resulting in heat and drought susceptibility. They will also have poor resistance to pests and weak roots.

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