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Know Your Nutrients: Sulfur

Sulfur (S) is a secondary nutrient, but it can be just as important as the primary (macro) nutrients. In fact, a plant’s sulfur requirements are similar to its needs for phosphorus, which is why some people call it “the fourth macronutrient.”

Sulfur is essential for plant growth, aiding in enzyme and vitamin activities, chlorophyll formation and nitrogen stabilization. It is an integral part of several amino acids which are essential for protein production and is necessary for nodule formation in legumes. 

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Know Your Nutrients: Potassium

Potassium (K) is a primary (macro) nutrient that functions as a regulator within a plant’s cells, improving the overall quality and resilience of the crop. 

Potassium aids in photosynthesis and the functioning of chlorophyll; helps form and translocate starches, sugars and fats; and supports enzyme actions and the formation of proteins.

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Know Your Nutrients: Phosphorus

Phosphorus (P) is a primary (macro) nutrient needed for plant development and growth throughout the entire life cycle – from seedling to maturity.

A macronutrient, phosphorus is necessary for cell formation and division, and plays a key role in photosynthesis and energy transfer in the plant. Phosphorus also stimulates root development and improves plant strength, seed production and overall quality.

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Know Your Nutrients: Nitrogen

One of the most abundant elements on Earth, nitrogen (N) is present in the cells of all living systems; without nitrogen, there would be no life.

Despite its abundance, much of the nitrogen in soil is not readily available to plants. There are several factors that can further limit the availability of nitrogen, including water logged soils, poorly aerated soils, and mineral soils low in organic matter. 

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Know Your Nutrients: 16 Essential Elements

Like humans, plants require certain key nutrients to grow well, develop, reproduce and remain healthy. The performance of a crop in the field depends on the genetic makeup of the variety grown, fertility and pesticides programs, and interaction with the environment. 

The elements required by plants and obtained from soil and/or fertilizers encompass major nutrients (aka macronutrients), secondary nutrients, and micronutrients (aka trace elements). The qualification of major and minor nutrients comes from the relative abundance and requirement for various functions in plants.

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