Hi I’m Tricia, an organic gardener. I grow organically for a healthy and safe food supply, for a clean and sustainable environment, for an enjoyable and rewarding
experience. Most gardeners compare NPK numbers diligently to make sure that their plants get the right nutrients but
that’s only half the story, plants need at least sixteen different
elements for proper growth. The first three elements your plants
need are carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Plants get these three from the air and water. The next six are called the macro
nutrients. The primary macro nutrients are nitrogen
for vegetative growth, phosphorus for root and flower development,
and potassium for vigor. For more information on these macro
nutrients checkout our How to Fertilize Organically video. There are lesser talked about macro
nutrients that are important, sulfur, magnesium and calcium. Calcium is an important element to build
strong cell walls. Magnesium is a necessary mineral for
chlorophyll production and sulfur is needed by plants for protein building. The remaining seven are called
micronutrients or trace minerals because they’re needed in smaller amounts. The seven trace minerals are boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc. Before you start amending for micro
nutrients it’s important that you get a soil test. The uptake of micronutrients is affected by
pH and the presence of other elements. For example you might have plenty of
calcium in your soil but if you have too much magnesium, the calcium you have may not be available to your plants. Let’s talk about what the secondary
macro nutrients in the trace minerals do and organic sources available. If you’re soil is lacking in calcium some great amendments include limestone, gypsum, oyster shell and calcium25. One of the problems that a lack of
calcium can cause is blossom end rot in tomatoes. Pay attention to the effects that these
amendments will have on your pH. For example, oyster shell lime will raise the pH and
the gypsum will lower your pH so make sure that you know what the pH of your
soil is before choosing a calcium source. For a magnesium boost use KMag, Dolomite and Azomite. Magnesium is often found with calcium
like in Dolomite or with potassium like in KMag. The older leaves of plants that need
magnesium will turn yellow from edges of the leaf in. Careful because there are other
deficiencies and viruses that look similar. Straight sulfur can be added using the EB Stone or the Tiger Organic
products or it can piggy back with other nutrients like it does with this iron
sulfate or gypsum. When sulfur is low the young leaves
of the plant will turn yellow sometimes the leaves will be small and
stunted looking as well. Micronutrients are only needed in small
amounts but not having them can really cause
problems for your plants. But too much micronutrients is also a
problem. Think of micronutrients as vitamins for your plants. Some my favorite plant multivitamins are kelp meal, Gaia green glacial rock
dust and Azomite and these three are all slow release. For a fast response I like the organic
liquid kelp. Take care of your babies, give them all the nutrition they need and grow organic for life!