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Summary Of Nutrients

N.P.K:Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium Nitrogen

Key element, affects plant growth and crop yields.Nitrogen is absorbed by plants primarily in the nitrate form and is used by plants to synthesise amino acids and form proteins.It is also required by plants for other vital compounds such as chlorophyll and enzymes.Too much nitrogen will produce lush green plants with dark green leaves but with few flowers and poor fruit set.Nitrogen is a mobile element, deficiency symptoms will appear first on older leaves.
These deficiencies include:

  • Slow growth and stunted plants
  • Yellow leaves (chlorotic)
  • Browning of tips and margins of leaves

Stimulates early growth and root formation.Used by plants to form nucleic acids, DNA and RNA, is very important to the plant’s energy transport system.Phosphorus can hasten maturity and promote seed production.Phosphorus is a mobile element within the plant and is greatly affected by temperature.Too much phosphorus will interfere with the normal function of other elements such as iron, manganese and zinc.
Deficiency symptoms include:

  • Slow growth, thin stems and small leaves
  • Purplish coloration of foliage on some plants
  • Dark green colouring with tips of leaves dying
  • Delayed maturity with poor fruit production

Essential for translocation of sugars and for starch formation.High potassium levels are required for protein synthesis and fruit production.Potassium is another mobile element in plants, too much of it can induce a calcium or magnesium deficiency.
Deficiency symptoms include:

  • Older leaves develop marginal burning
  • Weak stalks
  • Slow growth
  • Forward curling of leaves

Absorbed by plants as the calcium ion (Ca++).Calcium is essential for the formation and structure of cells.It is non-mobile in plants which means that any signs of deficiency occur first in the newer leaves.
Deficiency symptoms include:

  • Shoot tips turn yellow and die off
  • Abnormal dark green foliage
  • New leaves distorted
  • Premature shredding of blossoms and buds
  • Root tips die and acquire black spots

Is used by plants in the form of the magnesium ion (Mg++).Contained in the chlorophyll molecule, it is essential for photosynthesis.Magnesium is also required for the activation of many enzymes involved in the growth process.
Deficiency symptoms include:

  • Yellowing of older leaves
  • Withering of leaves
  • Upward curling of leaves along margins
Fish Fertilizers and Seaweed

Fish and other sea products are rich in micronutrients and growth hormones.Enzymes, vitamins and over 70 minerals are claimed to be available from kelp extracts.Fish fertilizers, high in nitrogen and phosphorus, are often used in combination with kelp sprays to enhance their performance.Almost immediate greening up can be seen after foliar application of fish emulsion.Foliar feeding can aid fast-growing plants, such as vegetables, whose growth can outstrip available plant food.Under many circumstances, spraying fertilizer on the leaves of plants may be three to five times more effective than root application.

Humic Acids

Humic acids are complex organic molecules formed by the breakdown of organic matter in the soil.They are not considered to be fertilizers, but soil enhancers and improvers.Humates biologically stimulate plant growth, chemically change the fixation properties of soil and physically modify the soil.
Benefits of Humic Acids to Soils:

  • Stimulate plant growth by improving transpiration in plant tissues
  • Help build a more substantial root system
  • Helps soil absorb more water and hold moisture longer
  • Buffer excess salinity in the soil, make salt minerals available for plant uptake and assist the assimilation of phosphates.
  • Enhances results from fertilizers, disease and insect control products
  • Helps plants produce more abundant foliage, flowers and fruit
  • Promotes healthier, thicker lawns
  • Gets seedlings and transplants off to vigorous start
  • Enhances flavour, colour and shelf-life of fruits and vegetables

Are substances that regulate plant growth and development.Commercial growers commonly apply them as foliar sprays to alter many plant processes.Some of the more commonly used for foliar applications include:

  • Auxins are naturally occurring growth-promoting plant hormones.They affect growth pattern, cell enlargement, leaf and blossom drop, fruit set and sex expression in some plants.
  • Gibberellins affect cell enlargement and cell division.They increase plant size, stimulate seed germination and manipulate seed stalk and fruit development.
  • Cytokinins stimulate shoots and cell division.They impact leaf growth, light response and aging.
  • Ethylenes are used to introduce fruit ripening.In addition, ethylenes encourage fruiting and bring about fruit drop at harvest time.
  • Abscisic Acid is a natural inhibitory compound that affects bud and seed dormancy and leaf drop.It can also promote flowering in some short-day plants.
Chemical Fertilizers
  • Chemical fertilizers, especially when heavily applied, tend to strip soils of beneficial organisms from earthworms to bacteria.Organic fertilizers not only feed plant roots, but also the community of organisms in which they live.Organic methods generally improve soil texture, long-term fertility and water retention characteristics.
  • Water can run off from chemically fertilized fields is increasingly recognised as presenting an environmental danger to surface and ground water supplies and to downstream ecosystems.The build-up of toxic salts in some soils is another potential drawback to chemical cultivation.

The large complex salts of Humic Acids.Humates regulate the water holding capacity in soil, by their high cation exchange capacity they prevent fertilizers from leaching and assist the aggregation and cohesion of the soil structure.

Humates stimulate seed germination and root growth.They also stimulate the proliferation of soil micro organisms, plant enzymes and generally act as natural soil conditioners, allowing natural plant functions to take place.


May be absorbed from the air.It is a constituent of amino acids and therefore essential for protein synthesis.It is also present in the oil compounds that are responsible for the characteristic odour of plants.Deficiencies appear similar to nitrogen except that the symptoms appear in the new leaves.
Deficiency symptoms include:

  • New leaves appear light green to yellowish
  • Small spindly plants
  • Retarded growth and delayed maturity

Is required by plants for chlorophyll synthesis.It activates biochemical processes such as respiration, photosynthesis and nitrogen fixing.Iron can easily combine with other elements.
Deficiency symptoms include:

  • Yellowing between the veins of newer leaves
  • In severe cases, death of entire limbs may occur

Serves as an activator for enzymes and aids iron in forming chlorophyll.It also helps produce oxygen from water during photosynthesis.
Deficiency symptoms include:

  • Yellowing between the veins of leaves near the tip of the plant
  • Leaves may turn brown and drop off

Used to regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates in plants.It is a non-mobile element and a small but continuous supply is required at all growing points of the plant.
Deficiency symptoms include:

  • Dieback of shoots and root tips
  • Young leaves appear thick and curled
  • Reduced flowering

Is required by plants for the utilisation of nitrogen.Plants can not transform nitrate nitrogen into amino acids without it.
Deficiency symptoms include:

  • Yellowing of older leaves moving into newer leaves
  • Stunted, slow growing plants
  • Some cupping or rolling of leaves

Is an activator of several enzymes and also plays a role in the production of Vitamin A.A deficiency interferes with protein production.
Deficiency symptoms include:

  • Stunted growth
  • Poor pigmentation
  • Wilting and eventual death of leaf tips

Are protein like substances, made up mainly of amino acids.They act as a catalysts to speed up chemical reactions and make plant nutrients available to roots.Without enzymes plant and microbe activity would cease and therefore, soil, formed mainly by these microscopic organisms, would no longer exist.Enzymes are naturally present in varying amounts.Organic soils are rich in enzymes while low humus soils are enzyme-poor.Enzyme products, combined with nutrients and humic acids, can be applied as foliar sprays.Plants absorb many nutrients better through their leaves than through their roots.Leaf sprays of zinc seem to be more efficient than soil applications for fruit trees such as citrus or peach.

Chelating Agents

Chelating agents increase the solubility of metals, making metallic nutrients, such as iron, copper, zinc and manganese available to plants.Chelates can be applied either to the soil or to plant leaves by spraying.Many soil fungi yield by-products that behave as chelators.Spray that contain microbe stimulating properties, such as the humic acids and seaweed and fish extracts, assist chelation by increasing the microbial populations.

TNN provides a complete range of these products.