MACRONUTRIENTS: 2 groups of Macronutrients (Primary and Secondary)
• Primary: Plants use large amounts for growth and survival.
• Nitrogen (N): Fuel for plant, cell formation, responsible for photosynthesis
• Phosphorus (P): Cell formation, root health, encourages bloom, transforms solar energy into chemical energy
• Potassium (K): Root health, water regulation, photosynthesis, reduction of diseases, increases size and quality of fruits
• Secondary: Needed in moderate amounts.
• Calcium (Ca): Essential part of plant cell wall structure, strength in plant, used in root system and leaf development
• Magnesium (Mg): Activates many plant enzymes needed for growth, central atom of the chlorophyll molecule which makes it
absolutely necessary to photosynthesis
MICRONUTRIENTS: Elements essential for plant growth which are needed only in very small (micro) quantities
• Boron (B): Aids in production of sugar and carbohydrates, essential for germination of pollen grains and pollen tubes
• Copper (Cu): Important for reproductive growth, catalyst for other plant reactions
• Iron (Fe): Essential for formation of chlorophyll, carries oxygen, critical to photosynthesis
• Manganese (Mn): Involved in breakdown of carbohydrates and nitrogen metabolism
• Zinc (Zn): Essential for transformation of carbohydrates, regulates consumption of sugars
ORGANIC MATTER: According to the USDA, “Soil organic matter (SOM) is the organic component of soil consisting of three primary
components: small (fresh) plant residues with small living soil organisms, decomposing (active) organic matter, and stable organic matter
(humus).” A healthy range is 2-6%
CATION EXCHANGE CAPACITY: An indication of the soil’s ability to hold or absorb the cations or fertilizer that is applied. The higher the
CEC, the more nutrients the soil will hold.
pH: Measures the acidity of alkalinity in the soil. The industry standard for neutral is 7.
BUFFER pH: Indication of the soil’s ability to resist a pH change. The higher the buffer pH reading, the smaller amount of lime is required to
raise the soil pH. To lower the pH use sulphur