Growing happy, healthy plants is not always easy! Plants need thirteen different nutrients from the soil in order to fully develop. Six of these nutrients are needed in large quantities.
These six essential nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulfur and calcium. The cool thing about these key nutrients is that they help create new cells, which then organize into plant tissue. Without these nutrients, growth and survival would not occur.
What do these nutrients do? Let’s break it down by nutrient.
1. Nitrogen: Nitrate (the form of nitrogen that plants use) helps foliage grow strong by affecting the plant’s leaf development. It is also responsible for giving plants their green coloring by helping with chlorophyll production (gardensalive.com). For additional information on nitrogen, visit this blog: Nitrogen Fertilizers 101.
2. Phosphorus: Phosphorus is responsible for assisting with the growth of roots and flowers. Phosphorus also helps plants withstand environmental stress and harsh winters (gardensalive.com). For additional information on phosphorus, visit this blog article: Why Your Plants Need Phosphorus.
3. Potassium: Potassium strengthens plants, contributes to early growth and helps retain water. It also affects the plant’s disease and insect suppression (extension.uum.edu).
4. Magnesium: Magnesium contributes to the green coloring of plants (gardeningknowhow.com).
5. Sulfur: Sulfur helps plants resist disease as well as contributing the plant growth and the formation of seeds. They also aid in the production of amino acids, proteins, enzymes and vitamins (davesgarden.com).
6. Calcium: Calcium aids in the growth and development of cell walls. This is key because well-developed cell walls help the plant resist disease. It is also necessary for metabolism and the uptake of nitrogen by the plant (davesgarden.com).
How do you add these nutrients to the soil? Looking at well-balanced fertilizers
One of the great things about the six essential nutrients is that they are easy to find.
Adding a well-balanced fertilizer is an easy way to increase nutrient levels in the soil. Be sure to check out Holganix's fertilizer options including: Holganix Blue Sky 21-0-0, Holganix 2-10-20 and Holganix granular options.
Unlocking nutrients in the soil
Healthy soil is already pumped with these nutrients, although some like nitrogen and phosphorus are often locked in an unusable form for the plant.
Plant and soil probiotics containe ACTIVE, beneficial microorganisms that unlock plant nutrients in the soil. They also nurture longer, more web-like root systems that are better able to mine for nutrients deeper in the soil.