Meet the Secondary Macronutrients and the Micronutrients Your Plants Need
Mineral Nutrients -- Do You Know the Seconday Micronutrients?Soil has varying amounts of minerals. When it rains, or we irrigate our gardens, the minerals dissolve, and the plant roots absorb the minerals. Our friends N-P-K are the primary macronutrients. Also important are the secondary macronutrients: Calcium builds cell walls. Add it via limestone powder, gypsum, oyster shell, or Kelzyme Calcium. Problems caused by low calcium include blossom end rot in tomatoes. Before you add calcium, check your soil pH in order to choose the best calcium source for your garden; oyster shell will raise the pH, but gypsum will lower pH. Magnesium supports chlorophyll production. Add it via dolomite, Diamond K Brand KMS or Azomite. Sulfur builds protein. Sulfur is released when “greens” like vegetable scraps and lawn cuttings decompose. Add it via gypsum, iron sulfate, and sulfur.
Meet the Micronutrients
We say “micro” because plants need only small amounts of them. Sometimes they’re even called “trace elements”. They all have a role to play, though. Let’s find out what they are, what they do, and how you can add them to your soil.
- Boron is a boss (or regulator) of other nutrients. Plants need it for seeds and fruit. Add it via powdered boron.
- Copper helps plants reproduce and boosts metabolism in roots.
- Chloride is another aid to plant metabolism. Iron assists in producing chlorophyll.
- Manganese breaks down carbohydrates, cooperating with enzyme systems.
- Molybdenum (in addition to being hard to spell) aids nitrogen use by plants.
- Zinc helps change carbohydrates into sugars, and it’s in plant growth enzymes too. Add it via zinc oxide, zinc sulfate, and zinc chelate.