Plants require water, air, light, suitable temperature, and 16 nutrients to grow. Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen plants absorb from air and water. The other 14 nutrients come from the growing medium/soil.
Soil nutrients are divided into two groups according to their demanded quantity by the plants. The macronutrients are those that are demanded in relatively high levels, such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S). The micronutrients, which are needed only in trace amounts, are iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), boron (B), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), molybdenum (Mo), chloride (Cl), sodium (Na), nickel (Ni), silicon (Si), cobalt (Co) and selenium (Se). They are also called 'essential mineral elements' or mineral nutrients. Any deficiency of a nutrient, no matter how small the amount needed, it will hold back plant development and manifest in visible signs on plants. Therefore proper fertilizing management and supplemental feeding of plants it's very important.
Often a lack of nutrients may seem like an attack of the disease. For example:
- Curling backwards of tomato leaves and purple coating on the reverse of leaves means a lack of phosphorus
- Bitter pits of fruits means calcium deficiency
- The appearance of yellow and green spots on tomato fruits means a lack of potassium
- Peak blight of vegetable fruits means calcium deficiency
- Cork creations on vegetable fruits means lack of boron
- Autumn red leaves of blueberries means lack of nitrogen.
Preventive measures for nutrient disorders is accurate fertilization according to soil supply of nutrients and dosage of nutrients as plants required. To make your farm management profitable and worth of all your effort, it's necessary to make soil analysis and then fertilizing.