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Chemistry

The plant’s main job is to photosynthesize, creating sugar. A plant with increased sugar levels will result in increased energy but also increased nutrition and nutrient density for the consumer. Nutrient density should be the chief goal in the production of food.
All minerals found on the periodic chart have unique characteristics or personalities. These characteristics are found in all environments and don’t change from the soil to the plant to the animal. For example, if an electrolyte mineral causes water retention in the human body, it will also retain water in the plants and the soil as well.

Minerals needed for plant growth and production:

Calcium

Calcium is seen as the backbone, the mediator, the mentor, the organizer. All minerals in the soil should balance to the quantity of water-soluble or “available” calcium in the soil. Generally, calcium is believed to play the following roles:

  • Improves soil structure “by enabling flocculation of the soil particles.”
  • Is the tour guide and mediator of all minerals.
  • The stimulated growth of soil microbes.
  • Mobilization of nutrients into the plant.
  • Increased nitrogen utilization and protein content.
  • Increased root growth, leaf growth, cell wall building and cell division.
  • Increased sugar content in the plant.
  • Promotes enzyme functions.
  • Enhances overall plant health resulting in higher quality grain or fruit.

Phosphorus

Phosphorous is the workhorse in the soil. All minerals other than Nitrogen should enter the plant in the phosphate form. In cooperation with Calcium, photosynthesis is increased and the production of sugar is greater.
Phosphorus is found in several forms in the soil, i.e.: P1, P2, and P204. P204 is the organic state that is stable in the soil and available to the plants. All other forms of phosphorous require metabolic changes before the plant is able to utilize it.
Characteristics of Phosphate include:

  • More vigorous and rapid growth.
  • Early root development.
  • Better development and quality of grain.
  • Hastened maturity.
  • Increased nitrogen uptake.
  • Increased mineral content.
  • Higher BRIX readings in plant sap.
  • Promotes energy release in cells, cell division, and enlargement, photosynthesis.
  • Contained in the cell DNA.

The following three minerals are needed in plant growth,
but likely not in the amounts often recommended:

All three are considered electrolyte minerals that, along with other functions in the plant, will draw and hold water.
Potassium is an anionic mineral like Calcium, but the use of large amounts of potassium for anionic energy will result in a large vegetative plant, but will likely not produce exceptional levels of sugar due to the increased water held by the excess potassium. Excess magnesium levels in the soil will cause complications with structure and hydration. Excess amounts of sulfur will tie up available calcium.

Magnesium

  • Key element in chlorophyll.
  • Increased protein production, enzyme production and energy released in cells.
  • Aids in phosphorous uptake, oil formation and starch translocation.
  • Very important in the process of photosynthesis, however is not needed in great quantities in the soil.
  • Excess quantities can cause soil compaction and loss of aeration.

Potassium

  • Regulates plant processes.
  • Better stalk strength and lodging resistance.
  • Adjusts water balance in the plant.
  • Increased protein and carbohydrate production.
  • Better sugar translocation.
  • Enhanced enzyme function and cell division.
  • Improved winter hardiness.

Sulfur

  • Needed for the synthesis of protein and oils.
  • Needed for the metabolism of nitrogen.

Characteristics of the Elements

Oxygen
Oxygen is the needed mineral in the soil for the aeration and survival of the aerobic micro-organisms.

  • Needed by plants for the production of sugar.
  • Drawn into the plant through the leaves.

Nitrogen – 78% of the air we breathe

  • Is the major component of proteins, hormones, chlorophyll, vitamins and enzymes essential for plant life.
  • Makes up to 40% of the dry matter of protoplasm – the living substance of the plant.
  • Places an important role in leaf and stem growth.

Carbon

  • Required for the formation of sugars.
  • Basic building blocks of life.
  • Capable of holding up to 4 times is weight in water.

Copper – mineral of elasticity

  • Plays a role in the nitrogen metabolism.
  • Plays a role in disease suppression.
  • Required for photosynthesis.
  • Needed for normal leaf growth and increased stalk strength and elasticity.
  • Required for enzyme functions.

Zinc

  • Contributes to test weights.
  • Hastens maturity.
  • Chlorophyll formation.
  • Regulates plant growth.
  • Overuse may cause weed problems.

Silicone

  • Components of cell walls, produces stronger and tougher cell walls.

Sodium

  • Osmotic and ionic balance in plants (water movement).

Molybdenum

  • Involved in the enzyme that reduces nitrates to ammonia.
  • Nitrogen fixing bacteria may also require it.

Chlorine

  • Involved in Osmosis.

Manganese

  • Involved in the activity for photosynthesis, respirations, and nitrogen metabolism.
  • Involved in the germination of seeds and determination of yield.

Cobalt

  • Required for nitrogen fixation.

Iron

  • Necessary for many enzyme functions.
  • Catalyst for the synthesis of chlorophyll.
  • Needed by nitrogen fixing bacteria.
  • Produces a thicker leaf.

Boron

  • Necessary for cell wall formation.
  • Membrane integrity.
  • Translocation of sugar.
  • 16 other functions including flowering, pollen germination, cell division, etc.

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