If you want to avoid gardening catastrophes, you need to understand fertilizer numbers and how much fertilizer your plants actually need.
Tag: soil nutrients
Strong, flourishing plants are obtaining all the soil nutrients they need. But there are telltale signs that your plants are struggling due to lack of soil nutrients. Learn which nutrients support plant health.
Nitrogen (N): Formation of chlorophyll, amino acids, and proteins. Deficiency: Pale green or yellowish lower leaves, slow growth.
Potassium (P): Water transfer, stomatal opening, winter hardiness, disease resistance. Deficiency: Older leaf edges are yellow or brown; may be chlorotic (yellow) and curl; may have necrotic (dead) spots.
Phosphorous (K): Flower and fruit formation and maturity; cell division, root growth, energy transfer, and membrane integrity. Deficiency: Stunted, very dark green leaves; purplish to reddish coloration of veins, leaves or stems; late flowering and maturing of fruits.
Calcium (Ca): Part of cell structure; membrane integrity; stem strength. Deficiency: Deformed or undeveloped terminal bud and root tips, blossom end rot on tomato and pepper fruit.
Magnesium (Mg): Part of chlorophyll; essential for photosynthesis; helps activate many plant enzymes. Deficiency: Interveinal chlorosis; mottling of older leaves.
Sulfur (S): Constituent of several amino acids. Deficiency: Light green color of whole plant; chlorotic young leaves
Iron (Fe): Synthesis of chlorophyll; electron transport. Deficiency: Interveinal chlorosis of upper leaves leading to total bleaching; new leaves may be yellowish-white.
Manganese (Mn): Catalyst involved in chlorophyll formation. Deficiency: Interveinal chlorosis; may be followed by necrotic spots; frequency occurs on middle leaves first.
Boron (B): Regulates carbohydrate metabolism; essential for protein synthesis. Deficiency: Dieback of shoots or growing points; thickened, wilted or curled leaves; distorted fruit; hollow root vegetables.
Zinc (Zn): Controls synthesis of indoleacetic acid which regulates growth; active in enzyme reactions; chlorophyll synthesis and carbohydrate formation. Deficiency: Short internodes; leaves appear rosetted; small leaves with interveinal chlorosis; misshapen leaf blades; abnormal root growth.
Copper (Cu): Electron transport in photosynthesis; protein and carbohydrate metabolism; catalyst for enzymes; synthesis and stability of chlorophyll and other pigments. Deficiency: Bluish-green appearance; plants wilt; young leaves die tip first—may resemble frost injury; summer dieback of terminal shoots of fruit trees; affects flowering and fruit information.
Molybdenum (Mo): Nitrogen fixation. Deficiency: Yellowish or pale green leaves; deformed leaves. Some leaves have a mottled and/or cupped appearance.
For more tutorials on soil health, visit these helpful stories from Countryside Network — The Soul of Soil: Facts for the Modern Homesteader, How to Check Your Soil pH and How to Lay Mulch.
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