Growing Big Plants With the Right Nutrients
It’s every gardener’s goal to harvest bushels of fresh, tasty veggies. When the crops are plentiful there’s more to share, and it’s not too hard to achieve that goal. When plants get the right nutrients, they’re more likely to survive and thrive. Here, you’ll learn how proper nutrition aids in plant growth.
Every Gardener’s Goal
Although many cultivators grow vegetables for their own consumption, others grow plants to resell or for ornamental purposes. No matter why you’re growing a garden, lush, green, and healthy plants are the goal.
Whether you’re growing plants for personal or commercial purposes, good health is the main objective. Most plants’ nutritional needs start to change during the blooming phase, as that’s the time when fruit begins to emerge. With the right level of effort and dedication, it’s possible to produce a bumper crop no matter what you’re growing.
When growing certain plants, you’ll need to separate the males and females to prevent cross-pollination.
Accelerating Bloom Growth
As the flowering phase begins, plants direct their efforts toward bloom growth. If a plant isn’t healthy, it may stop budding to conserve nutrients. Your plants will need several nutrients throughout their life cycle. These nutrients will increase growth and lead to better bloom development.
When the plants start to flower, potassium becomes crucial to their development. Many gardeners buy ready-made fertilizer blends, though some make their own. Be sure to use a blend that’s designed for the growth phase and the substrate you’re using
If you’re buying commercially available nutrients, the packaging will provide information on the blend’s nutrient ratio. Although phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen are the most crucial nutrients, other micronutrients will give the plants everything they need for optimal growth and bloom formation.
Nutrient Use: It’s a Matter of Timing
To ensure healthy growth at every life stage, a gardener must know which nutrients to use and when to apply them. For instance, seedlings need few nutrients because their roots haven’t yet developed. You’ll only need to add nutrients when the plants begin to vegetate.
When plants are in the growth phase, it’s best to choose a nutrient blend with high nitrogen, moderate potassium, and low phosphorus. A 9-4-5 blend will offer optimal results, especially for first-time gardeners.
Some plants use a substantial amount of nitrogen during the vegetative phase, so they should get plenty. A nitrogen deficiency will lead to stunted growth and yellow, wilting leaves. If the plants start to acquire a yellowish tinge, a nitrogen shortfall is likely to blame.
As the plants enter the flowering phase, their nutrient needs change. While they need an abundance of nitrogen during vegetation, they need less during flowering. Here, the plants will need extra potassium and phosphorus. Use a fertilizer with a 10-3-10 NPK ratio for optimal bloom formation.
Macronutrients at Every Stage
All plants need certain compounds to survive. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are just three of the macronutrients plants need for steady growth and bud formation. Tomatoes have easy-to-remember nutrient requirements, so they’re a great choice for new gardeners. Here, we’ll discuss some of the most important macronutrients for growing plants.
- Nitrogen: This nutrient is essential during vegetation, as it helps with photosynthesis and chlorophyll production. If plants are deficient in nitrogen, their leaves will turn yellow because of a lack of chlorophyll. Nitrogen accelerates the growth of leaves and stems during the vegetative phase, and it makes plants more resilient. Levels will decline when the water or soil is too cold, so be sure to monitor the growth medium’s temperature regularly.
- Phosphorus: This nutrient comes into play at the beginning of the bloom phase. If you’re trying to grow big plants with a lot of fruit, give the plants plenty of phosphorus. A phosphorus deficiency will stunt the plants’ growth, and smaller leaves may dry out faster. These leaves will develop discolored edges and they may even look burnt. If the deficiency becomes too severe, it may result in decreased potassium levels.
- Potassium: This macronutrient is crucial to the growth and health of most plants. It aids in metabolism, which is the process by which the plants change the sun’s energy into the food needed for survival. Potassium is extremely important in flowering and it plays a role in bloom development. If the plants are deficient in potassium, they’ll grow more slowly, and their leaves will change in appearance. These leaves may curl and turn brown at the edges.
Macronutrients are essential to bloom formation, but they only tell part of the story. In the sections below, we’ll discuss the importance of micronutrients.
Don’t Forget the Micronutrients
Though macronutrients are vital for plants’ development, micronutrients simply cannot be ignored. These trace elements will help the plants grow big, healthy, and full of blooms or fruit.
- Calcium: It should be part of any fertilizer used on flowering plants. Calcium is essential for cell wall strength and leaf and stem growth. If your plants lack calcium, their leaves will become curly and distorted.
- Magnesium: This trace mineral incites chlorophyll production, which is the foundation upon which photosynthesis occurs. If the plants don’t get enough magnesium, their leaves will turn yellow and begin to wilt.
- Sulfur: This micronutrient assists in protein production, plant growth, and chlorophyll production. If there’s a deficiency, the plants will experience stunted growth.
- Manganese: It helps with chlorophyll and enzyme production. When there’s a shortfall, the plants may become deficient in iron and leaf spots may develop.
- Boron: This nutrient controls leaf color and growth, and it’s also essential to bud formation. A deficiency will lead to leaf death and the eventual destruction of a plant.
If you’re after big and bountiful crops, it’s important to pay attention to plant nutrition. Check for nutrient deficiencies regularly, so your plants’ health isn’t compromised. With our collection of Advanced Nutrients, it’s never been easier to give all types of plants what they need at every growth stage.