Fertilizers: The Growing Consensus
Any living plant needs oxygen, water and nutrients in order to grow and thrive. Of course, plants growing in the wild that have access to all three of these elements do just fine. However, anyone who wants to grow plants on a commercial basis or at home is creating a somewhat artificial environment and shouldn’t leave it to chance these plants will have what they need for healthy growth. Therefore, they will need to consider adding artificial fertilizers with some or all of these nutrients:
- Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (the three most common chemicals you find in fertilizers)
- Sulphur, calcium and magnesium (often called secondary nutrients)
- Zinc, manganese, iron, molybdenum, cobalt, boron and copper (called micro-nutrients)
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While all three nutrient groups are important, it’s the first group -- nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium -- which are the most vital. They provide the basic building blocks from which a plant derives its amino acids, cell membranes and metabolism. In the wild, decomposed dead plants release these nutrients back into the soil from which they are recycled for use in living plants. However, their quantity and quality can vary widely. To make plants grow faster and more predictably, you need to add fertilizers containing all three elements to the soil or water which support your flowers, trees or whatever it is you are cultivating.
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