FUNCTIONS OF PLANT FOODS




NITROGEN (N) The element that stimulates growth, producing the rich green color of plants. The utilization of potash, phosphorus and other nutrients are stimulated by the nitrogen.

PHOSPHORUS (P) The element essential for hardy growth of plants and activity of the cells. Root development is encouraged and the maturity of plants is hastened. By stimulating rapid cell development in plants, phosphorus naturally increases resistance to disease.

POTASSIUM (K) The element that imparts increased vigor and disease resistance to plants; produces strong, stiff stalks; increases plumpness of the grain and seed. It is essential to the formation and transfer of starches, sugars, and oils.

CALCIUM (Ca) The element that produces early root formation and influences the intake of other plant foods. It also neutralizes poisons produced in plants and encourages bacterial action.

IRON (Fe) An element directly connected with the functioning of chlorophyll. A lack contributes to chlorosis causing a yellow unhealthy plant.

MAGNESIUM (Mg) Stimulates the assimilation of phosphorus in plants. It is essential to the formation of chlorophyll, thereby contributing largely to the green color of vegetation - a deficiency causes chlorosis.

MANGANESE (Mn) Essential to plant growth but too much is harmful. Combined with iron, it is the main factor in eliminating chlorosis. It plays an important part because of its relationship to the production of amino acids and proteins.

SULFUR (S) Utilized in the development of essential organic compounds - proteins, vitamins, etc., and has a direct bearing on water movements and in chlorophyll production. An aid to lower the pH factor in high alkaline soils.

FERTILIZER COSTS
Add the numbers in the formula to obtain the percent of active ingredients (8-8-8 =24%). Multiply the percent by the net weight (24% X 50 lbs = 12 lbs). Divide the price by the pounds of active ingredients ($5.00 by 12 lbs = 41.7 cents per lb). Compare this price per pound with other formulas and/or weights, using the same method of calculation to determine the best buy.

FERTILIZER MEASURES
If you convert pounds per acre to something like cups or teaspoons for a smaller area, the following table will be helpful. These rates for small areas are based on 100 lbs per acre, therefore if you are using a material that should be distributed in more or in less pounds per acre, take the appropriate percentage of the rates shown below. Example: 50 lbs per acre = 50% or 1/2 the given rate (1/4 oz per square yard).

l,000 sq ft - 2 1/2 lbs or 2 1/2 pts
100 sq ft - 1/4 lbor 1/2 cup
1 sq yd - 1/2 oz or 2 1/2 tsp


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Page Prepared by;
Milton L. Pierson
miltonp@botanictreasures.com

Last Modified September 26, 2001