Soil is a major source of essential nutrients for plants to grow. Three of the main ingredients for successful plant growth are nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K). These nutrient contents are represented in a percentage ratio found on most commercial fertilizer bags. They are listed as N-P-K ratios which make up the percentages of each within a certain mixture of fertilizer.
Other essential nutrients are calcium (Ca), sulphur (S), and magnesium (Mg). Together, these six nutrients are known as the major elements.
Nitrogen – Is found in all plant cells, chlorophyll, plant proteins, and hormones. Nitrogen is used to make ammonium sulphate, ammonium nitrate, and urea. It is easily stripped from the soil by high concentrations of water or excess rain and needs to be replaced in small amounts.
Phosphorous – Assists in photosynthesis. Making it one of the important essential nutrients. It encourages plant and root growth and hastens fruiting and flowering. Phosphorous is beneficial for crop and pasture production and can be found in superphosphate (sulfuric acid and rock phosphate).
Potassium – Is considered part of the essential nutrients as it stimulates disease resistance and increases the vigour of plants. Potassium is low in sandier soils or can be removed from soils in areas where there is intensive grazing. A common source is sulphate of potash.
Calcium – This is vital for root health and new root growth. It forms part of the essential nutrients as it also plays an important role in leaf development. It’s generally in short supply in acidic soils, but can be found in substances like gypsum, dolomite, and lime.
Magnesium – Also plays a key role by transferring energy from sunlight to the plant and is present in chlorophyll. It may be needed in sandy, acidic soils in high rainfall areas. Deficiencies of this element can be replaced using concentrations of dolomite, Epsom, or magnesite.
Sulphur – Is involved in energy-producing processes but can leach easily. Elemental sulphur, sulphate of ammonia, and gypsum can be used to replace it.
This is a summarised version of the essential nutrients needed to enhance plant growth. On a biological and microscopic level, these elements play an extremely complex role in the plant growing process. If you have any doubts as to the percentage contents of these “Big 6” nutrients in your soil, come to Kynoch.
Kynoch is an internationally renowned, leading brand name in innovative plant nutrition through the use of Yield Enhancing Technologies and consistently evolving innovation. If you need assistance with soil testing or any other of our full range of nutrient-feed fertilizer products and services, Consult with Kynoch, and we’ll get it growing.