Soil nutrients are the food for your plants. They help plants thrive, survive harsh weather as well as resist diseases and pests. Below is a quick guide on the basics that you need to know about these nutrients.
Types of nutrients
Soil nutrients fall into two major categories, essential and non-essential. Essential nutrients are those that the plants must have; the plants will die without them. Non-essential nutrients, on the other hand, promote healthy plant growth, but their absence will not prevent the plant’s growth. It is, therefore, important that plants receive a sufficient supply of the essential nutrients.
Types of essential nutrients
Essential nutrients fall into two categories based on the quantity the plants need. Those that plants need in large quantities are macronutrients, while micronutrients are sufficient in only small amounts. They are also known as major and trace elements, respectively. The main macronutrients are nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, collectively referred to as NPK. Others are magnesium, calcium and sulphur. Trace elements include; iron, boron, copper, molybdenum and manganese.
Role of macronutrients
Nitrogen gives plants the energy to grow, helping with vegetative growth. Phosphorous promotes the development of roots and shoots, while Potassium is essential for flowering and fruit formation. Calcium supports cell membrane development. Magnesium helps in the production of chlorophyll and sulphur is critical for the production of different enzymes and proteins.
Role of micronutrients
Iron catalyses the formation of chlorophyll. Boron is necessary for photosynthesis, while copper, manganese and molybdenum promote enzyme activities. Therefore, even though plants use them in small quantities, the absence of micronutrients can be fatal to the plant’s survival.
Often, soils do not have sufficient number of macronutrients making it necessary to use fertilisers and similar products. Some of the best soil nutrient boosting products are Soil Grow Nutrients and Soil Bloom Nutrients by BAC. Remember that fertilisers contain specific amounts of macronutrients. Therefore, if you are not sure of how much your soil needs, seek the help of an expert. Check BAC’s knowledge centre for more information on these products and others.