Maintaining good soil health and providing adequate nutrients are basics of successful gardening and growing healthy Plants. When plants don’t look healthy and observe symptoms such as poor growth, yellowing, poor flowering and fruiting, curly and small leaves, hard and cracked soils, water logging etc., all these would be result of either poor soil health or poor nutrition or combination of both.
Growing media for plants can be soil, potting mix or water, but it acts as a reservoir for nutrients where plants absorb different nutrients as required when they grow. Like us, plants do need essential nutrients to grow healthy. Plants require 16 essential nutrients, of these carbon, hydrogen and oxygen are available plenty in atmosphere, but the other 13 nutrients will not be enough in soils or growing media and hence are to be supplemented through external sources as plant food or fertilisers. Depending on relative quantity of these nutrients required by plants, they are classified in to:
- Major nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium)
- Secondary nutrients (Calcium, Magnesium and Sulphur)
- Micro nutrients or Trace elements (Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Boron, Molybdenum)