Why Are Nutrients Important to Plants?
Plants need nutrients for the same reasons that animals need them. They need them to germinate, grow, fight off diseases and pests and to reproduce. Like animals, nutrients are needed in larger, smaller or trace amounts for the plant to stay healthy.
Some of the nutrients they need include:
1. Phosphorus is needed to help seeds germinate and for the growth or roots. This support of the root system is especially necessary for young plants and root vegetables such as carrots and beets.
The element is needed to make DNA, RNA, phospholipids and ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, which carries energy to the plant cells and is needed for photosynthesis.
DNA contains the plant’s genetic code, and RNA carries instructions from the DNA from one part of the cell to another.
Phospholipids are fats that help make up the cell membrane. They’re made up of fatty acids, a glycerol unit, a polar molecule and a phosphate group.
2. Nitrogen is necessary to create amino acids, which in turn make proteins. These are necessary for the growth of leaves and stems. Our Fort Worth lawn care experts know that nitrogen is especially important for grass.
What is interesting about nitrogen is though it makes up most of the air, it is unavailable to most plants save legumes, who have bacteria that fix it. However, plant food formulas often have a percentage of nitrogen in a form that the plant can use.
3. Potassium is necessary for the creation of flowers and fruit. It also imparts disease resistance. It controls how water is taken up in the roots and how it is discharged through the leaves. Nitrogen is needed in plant respiration and photosynthesis.
1. Calcium helps other nutrients to get into the plant and helps enzymic reactions. Calcium pectinate helps bond the plant’s cell walls together. It’s the same substance that goes into making jams and jellies!
2. Magnesium is responsible for healthy leaves and chlorophyll, the green pigment that is important in photosynthesis. It also help to create ATP and like calcium pectinate, helps glue the cell walls to each other.
3. Sulphur is used by the plant to make amino acids.
1. Boron -This trace mineral is necessary for flowering and cell formation.
2. Copper is important in photosynthesis and the reaction of enzymes.
3. Iron goes into cytochromes, which are necessary for plant transpiration. It also helps the plant make chlorophyll.
4. Manganese mineral helps form chlorophyll and enzymes. It helps make chloroplasts, the tiny bodies found only in the plant cell that make food and contain the molecules of chlorophyll. Manganese is important in plant respiration.
5. Molybdenum mineral goes into creating enzymes and amino acids.
6. Zinc activates enzymes and allows the reading of the plant’s genetic code.
Healthy soil already contains these nutrients and others, and if it doesn’t, there are products available that do. Getting the nutrients into the soil for the lawn is part of the task of fertilizing it and keeping it healthy throughout the year.