soil nutrients and fertilizers 24.00: explain the role of nutrients in quality plant growth

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  • Soil Nutrients and Fertilizers24.00: Explain the role of nutrients in quality plant growth

  • Macro vs Micro NutrientsMacro nutrients are required by the plant in relatively large amountsMicro nutrients are required only in small amountsminor or trace elements

  • Macro nutrientsNon-mineral elementscarbon (C)hydrogen (H)oxygen (O)Primary NutrientsNitrogen (N)Phosphorus (P)Potassium (K)Secondary Nutrientscalcium (Ca)magnesium (Mg)sulfur (S)

  • Micro nutrientsIron (Fe)Copper (Cu)Zinc (Zn)Boron (B)Molybdenum (Mo)Manganese (Mn)Chlorine (Cl)

  • Functions of NitrogenPromotes growth of leaves and stemsGives dark green color and improves quality of foliageNecessary to develop cell proteins and chlorophyll

  • NitrogenDeficiency symptomssick, yellow-green colorshort stems, small leaves, pale colored leaves and flowersslow and dwarfed plant growth

  • Nitrogen deficiency

  • Functions of PhosphorusStimulates early formation and growth of rootsProvides for fast and vigorous growth and speeds maturityStimulates flowering and seed developmentNecessary for the enzyme action of many plant processes

  • PhosphorusDeficiency symptomsdecrease in growthslow maturityolder leaves are purplish color

  • Phosphorus Deficiency

  • Functions of PotassiumUsed to form carbohydrates and proteinsFormation and transfer of starches, sugars and oilsIncreases disease resistance, vigor and hardiness

  • PotassiumDeficiency symptomsmottled, spotted, streaked or curled leavesscorched, burned, dead leaf tips and margins

  • Potassium Deficiency

  • Functions of CalciumImproves plant vigorInfluences intake and synthesis of other plant nutrientsImportant part of cell walls

  • CalciumDeficiency symptomssmall developing leaveswrinkled older leavesdead stem tips

  • Calcium Deficiency

  • Functions of MagnesiumInfluences the intake of other essential nutrientsHelps make fatsAssists in translocation of phosphorus and fats

  • MagnesiumDeficiency symptomsInterveinal chlorosis-yellowing of leaves between green veinsleaf tips curl or cup upwardslender, weak stalks

  • Magnesium Deficiency

  • Functions of SulfurPromotes root growth and vigorous vegetative growthEssential to protein formation

  • SulfurDeficiency symptomsyoung leaves are light green with lighter color veinsyellow leaves and stunted growth

  • Sulfur Deficiency

  • IronFunctions of IronEssential for chlorophyll productionHelps carry electrons to mix oxygen with other elementsDeficiency symptomsmottled and interveinal chlorosis in young leavesstunted growth and slender, short stems

  • Iron Deficiency

  • CopperFunctionsHelps in the use of IronHelps respirationDeficiency symptomsyoung leaves are small and permanently wiltmultiple buds at stem tip

  • Copper Deficiency

  • ZincFunctionsplant metabolismhelps form growth hormonesreproductionDeficiency symptomsretarded growth between nodes (rosetted)new leaves are thick and smallspotted between veins, discolored veins

  • Zinc Deficiency

  • BoronFunctionsaffects water absorption by rootstranslocation of sugarsDeficiency Symptomsshort, thick stem tipsyoung leaves of terminal buds are light green at baseleaves become twisted and die

  • Boron Deficiency

  • ManganeseFunctionsplant metabolismnitrogen transformationDeficiency symptomsinterveinal chlorosisyoung leaves die

  • Manganese Deficiency

  • MolybdenumFunctionsplant developmentreproductionDeficiency symptomsstunted growthyellow leaves, upward curling leaves, leaf margins burn

  • Molybdenum Deficiency

  • ChlorineFunctionsessential to some plant processesacts in enzyme systemsDeficiency symptomsusually more problems with too much chlorine or toxicity than with deficiency

  • Chlorine Deficiency

  • Fertilizers

  • Types of FertilizersCompleteIncompleteOrganicInorganicSolubleInsoluble

  • Complete vs. IncompleteComplete has all three primary nutrients-nitrogen phosphorous & potassiumExamples: 10-10-10, 15-30-15, 20-5-20Incomplete DOES NOT have all three primary nutrientsExamples: 20-0-0, 0-20-0, 12-0-44

  • Organic FertilizersComes from plant or animal matter and contains carbon compoundsExamples: urea, sludge and animal tankage

  • Advantages of OrganicSlow release of nutrientsNot easily leached from the soilAdd organic components to growing media

  • Disadvantages of OrganicHard to getNot sterileLow nutrient contentExpensive

  • Inorganic FertilizersComes from sources other than animals or plantsChemical products

  • Advantages of InorganicCan make the desired ratio of nutrientseasy to getlower cost

  • Disadvantages of InorganicNo organic material possible chemical building up in growing media

  • Soluble FertilizerDissolve in water and are applied as a liquid solutionFertigationfertilizing through irrigation waterbig advantage

  • Insoluble FertilizerIncludes granular and slow release applied to the growing media

  • Granular vs. Slow ReleaseGranularrelatively inexpensiveeasy to findSlow Releasemore expensive because it is coatedmore uniform release of nutrients over time period

  • Fertilizer AnalysisFertilizer analysis expresses weight as a percent of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium20-10-20

  • Fertilizer AnalysisFor ExampleA 100 pound bag of fertilizer has an analysis of 15-5-15. How many pounds of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are in the bag?Nitrogen: 100lbs X 15%=15lbsPhosphorus: 100lbs X 5%=5lbsPotassium: 100lbs X 15%=15lbs

  • Fertilizer RatiosA fertilizer with a 10-10-10 analysis would have a 1:1:1 ratioA fertilizer with a 24-8-16 analysis would have a 3:1:2 ratioWhat would be the ratio for a fertilizer with an analysis of 36-18-27?4:2:3

  • Application ProceduresBandingSidedressingTopdressingPerforatingBroadcastingFoliar sprayingFertigation

  • BandingPlacing a band of fertilizer about two inches to the sides and about two inches below seed depth.DO NOT place below the seeds because fertilizer will burn the roots.

  • SidedressingPlacing a band of fertilizer near the soil surface and to the sides after seedlings emerge from the soil.

  • TopdressingMixing fertilizer uniformly into the top one to two inches of growing media around the plant.

  • PerforatingPlacing fertilizer in 12-18 holes drilled 18 to 24 around the canopy drip line of fruit trees. Cover the holes and fertilizer slowly dissolves.

  • BroadcastingSpreading fertilizer to cover the entire production area

  • Foliar SprayingSpraying micronutrients in a solution directly on plant leaves.Quickly corrects nutrient deficienciesFertilizer concentration should not be too high or leaf burning will occur.

  • FertigationIncorporating water-soluble fertilizer into the irrigation system of greenhouse and nursery crops.Concentrated solutions usually pass through proportioners or injectors to dilute to the correct ratio.Venturi-typePositive-displacement

  • Venturi-typeSimple and inexpensiveless accuratedepends on water pressure in the hose and in the smaller tube to proportionExample: Hozon

  • Positive-displacementMore expensivevery accuratephysically inject and mix specific amounts of concentrated solution and waterExamples: commander proportioners, and Smith injectors

  • Rules for applying fertilizersMethod used should be practical, effective and cost efficientMethod used affects nutrient availability for plant useFertilizer must be dissolved and reach plant roots


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