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Why do plants need fertilizer?

Share | 2016-03-21 15:41:24 From:topfert Comment:0 Look:3312 [ L M S ]

In order for a plant to grow and thrive,it needs a number of different chemical elements. The most important are:


Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen - Available from air and water and  therefore in plentiful    supply

Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium - The three macronutrients and  the three elements      you find in most packaged fertilizers

Sulfur, calcium, and magnesium - Secondary nutrients

Boron, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc –Micronutrients 


The most important of these arenitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.They are important because they arenecessary for these basic building blocks.Without nitrogen, phosphorus andpotassium, the plant simply cannot grow because it cannot make the pieces itneeds. It's like a car factory running out of steel or a road crew running out of asphalt.


If any of the macronutrients are missing or hard toobtain from the soil, this will limit the growth rate for the plant. In nature,the nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium often come from the decay of plantsthat have died. In the case of nitrogen, the recycling of nitrogen from dead toliving plants is often the only source of nitrogen in the soil.


To make plants grow faster, what you need to do is supplythe elements that the plants need in readily available forms. That is the goalof fertilizer. Mostfertilizers supply just nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium because the otherchemicals are needed in much lower quantities and are generally available inmost soils. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium availability is the big limit togrowth.


So why don't people need fertilizer to grow? Because weget everything we need from the plants we eat or from the meat of animals that eatplants. Plants are factories that do all of the work to process the basicelements of life and make them available to us.

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