Most school biology students will know the importance of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) for healthy plant growth. However, a more in-depth study would have revealed that these are just three of many elements that play an essential role in overall plant welfare. While these constitute the main requirement, relatively large quantities of calcium, magnesium and sulphur are equally necessary. Although they only need minute traces of micronutrients, these are no less crucial to ensure growing crops thrive.
Even the nutrients in well-fertilized soil can become severely depleted by the end of the growing season. At the same time, some ground may display various mineral deficiencies even before cultivation. In the past, a farmer would have dug in a mix of farmyard manure and vegetable compost and hoped for the best. While this is a long-standing traditional approach, it fails to produce the high yields necessary today. Instead, modern intensive farming relies on precisely formulated mixtures of primary, secondary, and essential micronutrients.
A fertilizer with an appropriate NPK ratio is a fundamental requirement for all plants. However, it can be dangerous to overlook the need for traces of boron, chlorides, copper, manganese, molybdenum, iron and zinc. For example, copper plays a crucial role in enzyme and chlorophyll activity and promotes seed formation. Iron acts as an activator for photosynthesis, respiration and nitrogen fixation and is required for chlorophyll production. Factors such as excessive damp, cold, high pH and heavy rainfall can quickly deplete the small traces of these and other natural micronutrients in the soil.
However, too much of a good thing can sometimes cause more harm than good. Before supplementing any of these elements, it is wise to determine which supplementation is necessary. If a plant’s condition prompts you to suspect a deficiency, the first step should be to conduct a soil analysis. The available DIY test kits are relatively basic and limited to measuring pH and the more prevalent elements in the soil. In practice, this task calls for in-depth knowledge of plant physiology and sufficiently sensitive test procedures to measure the concentration of micronutrients in the growing area.
Once armed with an accurate soil analysis, a dependable fertilizer manufacturer can compile a bespoke mixture to restore the nutrient balance. The service guarantees a working solution based on your unique test results and the needs of your proposed crop. In addition to providing personalised solutions, Kynoch offers a wide range of granular and liquid fertilizers containing selected micronutrients in various proportions. You are welcome to click here for more details about these and other world-class Kynoch products.