Fertilisers are a blend of plant nutrients that enhance and promote plant growth.
Plant growth is affected by elements contained in the soil referred to as macro- and micro- elements from the soil.
As these names suggest – macro elements are the major elements, needed in regular supply. Micro elements (or trace elements) are needed in smaller amounts.
There are 3 macro elements – nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K)
• Nitrogen (N) – the leaf-maker. Nitrogen stimulates the growth of leafy vegetables, improves leaf colour in lawns and increases the size of evergreen plants.
• Phosphorus (P) – the root-maker. Phosphorus (P) stimulates early root formation. It is essential in soil used for sowing seeds and for growing young plants. Phosphorous also enables plants to resist disease and encourages winter hardiness.
• Potassium (K) – the flower and fruit maker. Potassium or potash (K) improves the quality of flowers and fruit, and the flavour of fruit and vegetables. Essential for photosynthesis, potassium also makes plants more resistant to temperature extremes and drought.
There are 7 micro-elements, Aluminium (Al), Boron (B), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Magnesium (Mg), Molybdenum (Mo), Sodium (Na),
Micro-elements are needed in small quantities and perform a variety of different functions within different plants. A deficiency in any one of the micro-elements may result in growth retardation or deformities