Hydrogen is one of the four elements any living plant needs.
The pH level refers to the amount of acid & alkaline contained inside the water and the growing medium or soil.
If the environment is too acidic the plant will not attract enough hydrogen. An environment that is too alkaline will attract too much hydrogen.
Environments that continually fluctuate from one extreme on the pH scale to the other is unhealthy for the plant.
Why is pH important in gardening?
Because soil acid or alkaline directly affects plant growth.
If the soil is too sour or too sweet the plant will not take up the nutrients like N-P-K.
There are 17 different Nutrients that plants need to grow.
Plants get carbon, hydrogen and oxygen from air and water.
The other fourteen nutrients come from the soil.
Plants will grow normally until they run short of one nutrient.
Then growth is limited by the availability of that nutrient.
Occasionally two or more nutrients will run short at the same time.
If the nutrients are deficient, or too abundant, then plants
will be discolored or deformed.
Deficiency symptoms indicate which nutrient or nutrients
are needed, although the symptoms vary from one plant to another.
It is much better to supply additional nutrients before
deficiency symptoms appear.
A soil test or leaf analysis will tell which nutrients are
low before growth is affected.
Soil nutrients are divided into two groups according to
the amounts needed by plants.
0 - 0 - 0
Stimulates leaf and stem growth. Nitrogen deficiency causes reduced growth and pale yellowish green leaves. The older leaves turn yellowish first since the nitrogen is readily moved from the old leaves to the new growth. If the soil is cold and wet, nitrogen in the soil is not as available to the plants. Excess nitrogen may cause potassium deficiency.
Is important in the germination and growth of seeds, the production of flowers and fruit, and the growth of roots. Phosphorus deficiency causes reduced growth and small leaves that drop early, starting with the oldest leaves. Leaf color is a dull, bluish green that becomes purplish or bronzy. Leaf edges often turn scorched brown. Excess phosphorus may cause potassium deficiency.
Promotes general vigor, disease resistance and sturdy growth. Potassium deficiency causes stunted growth with leaves close together. Starting with the older leaves, the leaf tips and edges turn scorched brown and leaf edges roll. Excess potassium may cause calcium and magnesium deficiencies.
Three secondary macro-nutrients :