Understanding Soil Nutrients

 


Article by: Michael Russell

"Complete fertilizers" contain all three macronutrients - nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K) - but don't let the name "complete" fool you. It doesn't mean that the fertilizer has all the nutrients that plants , How To Keep Birds Off Of Your Patio Furniture need, just that it contains all three of the major ones.

Bags of complete fertilizers contain three numbers, such as 5-3-3, for example. Each number represents a percentage of N-P-K in that bag, as measured by weight. In this case, a bag of 5-3-3 fertilizer contains 5 percent nitrogen, 3 percent phosphorous, and 3 percent potassium. To determine the amount in pounds of each nutrient in the bag, multiply the weight of the bag (say 50 pounds) by the percentage of each nutrient: 50 pounds x .05 = 2.5 pounds of nitrogen. You need to know the actual amount of nutrients in the bag because a soil , Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction To Hydroponics Gardening For Beginners (part 8) History test often recommends pounds of actual N-P-K to add per square foot of your garden. , A Quick Overview of Outdoor Hot Tubs

Each of these three nutrients plays a critical role in plant , A Quick Overview of Outdoor Hot Tubs growth and development. Here's what they do and their deficiency symptoms to watch for.

Nitrogen (N): This critical element is responsible for the healthy , A Quick Overview of Outdoor Hot Tubs green foliage of the plants, , Concrete Curb Landscaping as well as protein and chlorophyll development. Chlorophyll is the pigment that makes plants , Compost: Food for the Soil green and is a vital component in photosynthesis. Nitrogen moves easily in the soil , Concrete Curb Landscaping and leaches out rapidly, especially from sandy soils , September Gardening Tips and in high rainfall areas or irrigated gardens. , Container ing: Urban Alternative for Plant Lovers Plants , Understanding Soil Nutrients use lots of nitrogen during the growing season, , Spurce Up Your Garden With Decorative Birdhouses so it's commonly the most deficient element. If you add too much nitrogen, however, plants , Moss on Lawns will have dark green, , Abatement Considerations and Common Sense leafy growth but less root , A Quick Overview of Outdoor Hot Tubs development and delayed flowering , September Gardening Tips and fruiting. Symptoms of nitrogen deficiency include slow growth and yellowing leaves, especially on older foliage. Animal manures, soybean meal, and cottonseed meal provide high levels of nitrogen.

Phosphorous (P): Plants , Ecological Landscape Design and Organic Lawn Care need phosphorous for strong root , Bird Feeders: Look Who's Coming to Dinner growth; fruit, , Understanding Soil Nutrients stem and seed , Understanding Soil Nutrients development; disease , Flowers For U resistance; and general plant , Flower Gardening vigor. Phosphorous doesn't move in the soil , Flowers For U as easily as nitrogen does so you don't have to add it as frequently. Depending on where you live in the country, your soil , Starting with a Water Garden may have plenty of phosphorous, but it may be unavailable to plants. , Ecological Landscape Design and Organic Lawn Care Phosphorous availability depends on warm soil , Moss on Lawns temperatures, pH range, and the levels of other nutrients, such as calcium and potassium, in the soil. , Don't Treat Your Like Dirt Deficiency symptoms include stunted plants , Care of Dendrobium Orchids with dark green , High Intensity Discharge Grow Light (Generic) foliage, reddish-purple stems or leaves, and fruits , Gardening with Bamboo that drop early. Rock phosphate and bone meal are good sources of phosphorous.

Potassium (K): This nutrient, sometimes called potash, is essential for vigorous growth, disease , Concrete Curb Landscaping resistance, fruit , Container Gardening: Urban Alternative for Plant Lovers and vegetable , How Savvy Gardeners Use Mulch To Make Garden Work Easier flavor and development, and general plant , Flowers For U function. Potassium breaks down slowly so you won't have to add it often. Deficiency symptoms include yellow areas along the leaf veins and leaf edges, crinkled and rolled-up leaves, and dead twigs. Fruit trees , September Gardening Tips may develop fruit , Care of Dendrobium Orchids with poor flavor or stunted fruits. , Lawn Edging Certain animal manures and mineral fertilizers, such as greensand, add potassium to the soil. , Spurce Up Your Garden With Decorative Birdhouses
Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Gardening

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