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Video: About The Shortage And Excess Of Plant Nutrients
How to increase the fertility of the garden with the help of fertilizing (part 1)
As you know, one of the basic components of obtaining rich harvests is numerous top dressing. The number of such dressings, as well as their composition, is a rather individual value. It depends on the conditions in a given area, and taking into account also the weather in a particular season.
In addition, the financial capabilities, and the provision of certain fertilizers, are different for everyone. Therefore, it is difficult to give unambiguous recommendations for feeding. However, there are some basic foundations and rules that we will try to provide.
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Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium - the basis of the basics
In plant nutrition, three main elements are of primary importance: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Therefore, first of all, you need to focus on the lack or excess of these particular nutrients, and here I will not discover anything new - the signs of both have been known for a very long time.
The only thing I would like to clarify. Soils are different for everyone, and they do not behave the same when accumulating or leaching out nutrients. If the clay holds the nutrients well enough (however, there are other problems with it), then on sandy soils nitrogen and potassium are washed out with lightning speed. At the same time, there is a regularity: the poorer the soil in humus, the faster it is washed out, but with the accumulation of a fertile layer, the rate of washing out of the above nutrients is no longer so rapid. And, of course, the role is also played by how abundant the snow cover is in your area and how strong and prolonged the rains are.
We, in the Middle Urals, soils with special fertility, frankly, do not differ, and there is usually more than enough rain and snow. Therefore, symptoms indicating a lack of nitrogen or a lack of potassium have to be observed all the time, but a lack of phosphorus is much less common. For example, I have never seen this in my garden and vegetable garden, although I observed these symptoms on seedlings sold in the spring. I believe that such seedlings are grown on questionable purchased soils, the nutritional composition of which leaves much to be desired.
And one more nuance - in cold cloudy weather, plants, especially thermophilic ones, consume noticeably more potassium than in a sunny warm summer. This means that if you are unlucky in the current season with spring and summer, then you cannot do without purchasing an additional amount of potash fertilizers. Otherwise, the plants will constantly experience a lack of potassium, and one can only dream of a harvest.
As for the symptoms themselves, with a lack of nitrogen, the lower leaves of plants turn yellow (nitrogen-poor plants transfer nitrogen from the old lower leaves up to the younger ones, and as a result, the lower leaves wither and turn yellow) and fall off; the total vegetative mass is clearly insufficient.
Excess nitrogen leads to the development of too fleshy deciduous part of the crop, which, in turn, delays the formation of flowers (fruits, roots or tubers) and reduces yields; in this case, the plants must be fed with phosphorus and potash fertilizers.
With a lack of phosphorus, the leaves become dark green or bluish, with a red tint, drying out and even almost black. Flowering and fruiting are delayed. Plants complete growth quickly. The harvest is minimal.
When there is a deficiency of potassium, the leaves of plants darken very much, and then their edges seem to "burn out" from the middle to the top of the plant. If the lack of potassium is not compensated for, then the leaves, including those that are just beginning to appear, turn brown and deformed, dry up and fall off. The yield falls dramatically.
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Macro- and microelements in plant nutrition
In addition to the basic nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), plants also need macronutrients and trace elements. Macronutrients include calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and boron - plants require a relatively large amount of these elements, although, of course, an order of magnitude less than nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. As for a variety of microelements, they are needed in microscopic doses, and therefore you should not bother yourself with signs of a shortage or excess of them. Yes, and most often you can not think too much about macronutrients, however, provided that you apply fertilizers for all crops with a full range of macro- and microelements.
Nevertheless, it is still necessary to be aware of the lack of some macronutrients. In practice, most gardeners tend to deal with calcium deficiencies as acidic soils are noticeably predominant. In the Middle Urals, we have no other soils, and near Yaroslavl (in my homeland) the soils were not acidic, although they had a certain tendency to acidification. Perhaps, in other regions in Russia, the situation is somewhat different, here I can not judge.
So that's about calcium. Usually, when it is lacking, the apical buds and roots of plants die off. Here everything is correct, only both can die off for a number of other reasons. In my opinion, the most striking signs of acidic soil, i.e. the soil, which lacks calcium, is the reddening of the leaves and tops of plants (of course, this redness manifests itself in different ways on different crops), as well as a slowdown in the development of this culture. In cabbage crops, this is also supplemented by an active attack by keel already in the early stages - even at the seedling stage.
For example, in my area with forest podzol in the first year of development, even the leaves of potatoes were red (I am not talking about beets and other crops), and then I was completely at a loss. After all, I observed all this after our gorgeous vegetable garden near Yaroslavl, where nothing of the kind was observed at all. Unfortunately, when observing a similar picture in the current season, it will no longer be possible to help the plants.
Calcium (in the form of slaked lime, fluff, etc.) can be applied only in autumn - then it will be necessary to carry out a complete liming of all planting areas, the positive results of which will appear already next spring.
In principle, you can not think about other macronutrients, although in practice their lack (more often magnesium and boron) is also quite common. But here it is easier to apply complex fertilizers that have the appropriate substances in their composition. It's easier because then there is no need to look for special narrow-profile fertilizers, and this is still a pleasure. It makes sense to do this, probably, only with impressive plantations in hydroponics. And the extra labor costs are useless, because additional feeding will be required. But, nevertheless, for every fireman, a cheat sheet with signs of a lack of other macronutrients should still be kept on hand (sometimes it is necessary).
So, with a lack of magnesium, plant leaves brighten, acquire a yellow, red or purple color at the edges and between the veins.
With a lack of iron, the leaves turn pale green, the tissues do not die off, but lightening appears between the veins - the so-called chlorosis.
In the case of a lack of copper, the tips of the leaves turn white, and with a lack of boron, the apical buds and roots die off, flowering does not occur (and if it does, the flowers are not pollinated), the leaves fall off.
Svetlana Shlyakhtina, Yekaterinburg