Fertilizer Nutrient Information
Dr Earth’s Hand-Crafted Fertilizer Blends are made of premium ocean byproducts like fish bone meal, kelp meal, kelp flour and fish meal that not only provide Nitrogen(N), Phosphorus(P) & Potassium (K) but are rich in Secondary Nutrients such as Calcium (Ca) Magnesium (Mg) & Sulphur (S). These ocean byproducts also are rich in Micronutrients and Trace Elements like Iron (Fe), Chloride (CI), Zinc (Z), Copper (Cu), Boron (B), Molybdenum (Mo) and Manganese (Mn).
We use kelp and fish bone in all our premix blends because they contain a wealth of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. Kelp's trace minerals include chromium, manganese and zinc, as well as such ultra-trace minerals as germanium, iridium and rubidium.
Sixteen basic nutrients are required for crop development (plus hundreds more we know are needed in minute amounts). It is best to use well-rounded organic fertilizers for healthy plants and soil on a regular basis. Long-lasting organic materials are great sources of nutrients and are a safe way to ensure that all nutrients are available anytime a plant needs them. We favor ocean-based fertilizers, because they are loaded with nutrients, well beyond the basic sixteen needed for crop development. All the nutrients plants use are equally important, yet each is required in vastly different amounts. These differences have led to the grouping of essential nutrients by the relative quantities in which plants require them, namely, primary or macronutrients, secondary nutrients, and micronutrients. Dr. Earth fertilizers contain all of these nutrients as well as additional trace elements beyond the essential 16. Below is a list of these key nutrients, their function in plant growth along with signs of deficiency:
MACRONUTRIENTS (referred to by the chemical shorthand N-P-K)
NITROGEN (N) – Needed to produce amino acids. Essential for plant cell division, vital for plant growth, directly involved in photosynthesis, necessary component of vitamins, aids in production and use of carbohydrates and affects energy reactions in the plant. Helps trap energy from sunlight. Deficiency causes thin stems, yellow leaves, slowed growth and yellowing where plants should be green.
PHOSPHORUS (P) – Needed for genetic material, cell membranes, root development, seed number and size. Facilitates the use of energy, involved in photosynthesis, respiration, energy storage and transfer, cell division and enlargement. Promotes early root formation. Improves quality of fruits, vegetables and grains. Deficiency causes purple leaves beginning underneath, halted roots, slow growth, poor fruit and vegetable production.
POTASSIUM (K) – Needed for carbohydrate metabolism. Influences the uptake of calcium, sodium and nitrogen. Increases photosynthesis. Essential to protein synthesis. Important in fruit formation. Activates enzymes and controls their reaction rates. Improves quality of seeds and fruit, improves winter hardiness, increases disease resistance. Deficiency leads to flabby stems, halted growth, burnt leaf edges and vulnerability to disease.
CALCIUM (Ca) – Helps regulate access to plant cells. Used for continuous cell division and formation. Involved in nitrogen metabolism. Required for enzyme activation and cell reproduction. Reduces plant respiration, aids translocation of photosynthesis. Increases fruit set and stimulates microbial activity. Deficiency halts growing tips, curls leaves, and causes cell membranes to disintegrate, producing thin cell walls and blossom end rot.
MAGNESIUM (Mg) – Needed for the chlorophyll molecules that put the green in plants. Also used for enzyme activation. Improves utilization and mobility of phosphorus. Increases iron utilization in plants and influences earliness and uniformity of maturity. Deficiency causes yellowing of lower leaves and, in some cases, lower crop yield.
SULPHUR (S) – An integral part of amino acids needed to build proteins. Contributes to the development of several enzymes and vitamins. Aids in seed production and promotes nodule formation on legumes. Needed in chlorophyll formation. Deficiency causes younger leaves to yellow.
MICRONUTRIENTS OR TRACE ELEMENTS
IRON (Fe) – Important for nitrogen fixation, chlorophyll synthesis and used in other enzymes and proteins. Deficiency more likely in alkaline soil. Causes yellowing between enlarged veins and short, skinny stems.
CHLORIDE (Cl) – Most soils have enough chloride for adequate plant nutrition. However, chloride deficiencies are reported. Deficiency in sandy soils in high rainfall areas or those derived from low-chloride parent materials. There are few areas of chloride-deficiency, so this micronutrient is not considered in fertilizer programs.
ZINC (Z) – Essential component of various enzyme systems for energy production, protein synthesis and growth regulation. Needed to produce plant growth hormones. Greatly benefits seed and grain production and maturation. Deficiency displays yellowing and mottling of leaves. Plants also show delayed maturity.
COPPER (Cu) – Important for reproductive growth. A catalyst for enzyme and chlorophyll synthesis. Aids root metabolism and helps in using proteins. Deficiency symptoms generally appear on young plants. First symptoms are yellowing of youngest leaves with slightly stunted growth. In extreme cases, leaves die after becoming shriveled, twisted, broken and ragged.
BORON (B) – Important for all growing tissues. Exists in cell membranes. Needed for nitrogen fixation, protein synthesis, starch and sugar transport, root growth, water uptake and transport. Deficiency more likely in alkaline soils. May lead to growing points dying and cells being disrupted.
MOLYBDENUM (Mo) – Important for nitrogen metabolism and protein synthesis. Needed to convert inorganic phosphates to organic forms. Deficiency occurs mainly in acid soils. Can cause pale, deformed, thin leaves.
MANGANESE (Mn) – Needed for synthesis of chlorophyll, assists in vitamin, carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism. Deficiency more likely in alkaline soil. Stops new leaf growth and pale color, mostly between veins.
In addition to the 13 nutrients above, plants also require carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Plants extract these elements from air and water to make up the bulk of their weight.