Organic vs. Synthetic Fertilizers & Nutrients | Grubbycup

Organic vs. Synthetic Fertilizers & Nutrients

Plants need nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and other nutrients for healthy growth. These are elements, and as such, there is no difference between the nitrogen (N) from an organic nutrient, or a synthetic nutrient. Elemental nitrogen is the same exact thing, regardless of the source. This article by Grubbycup is republished here from Issue7 UK of Garden Culture Magazine. It originally appeared under the title, Organic vs. Synthetic Nutrients. The most important (and most interesting) of these is nitrogen (N). Unfortunately, plants can’t absorb pure elemental nitrogen (N) directly. There isn’t a way to feed plants a pile of single nitrogen (N)...

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Plant Hormones: Auxins and Cytokinins

Auxins are plant hormones that help guide plant growth. They work in conjunction with, but in opposition to, cytokinin hormones. They are both required, and the ratio of one to the other will either promote root growth (if the ratio has more auxin), or promote shoot growth and inhibit root growth (if the ratio has more cytokinin). IAA (indole-3-acetic acid), and IBA (indole-3-butyric acid) are the two primary natural plant auxins. Two other natural plant auxins used by some plants are 4-Cl-IAA (4-Chloroindole-3-acetic acid), and PAA (2-phenylacetic acid). The primary (but not the only) flow of IAA is from the growth tips down through the phloem (transport tubes...

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Biosolids (a.k.a. Sewer Sludge)

Gardeners and health conscious consumers may be shocked to learn that the organic sounding ingredient “biosolids” found in some potting and compost mixes is actually municipal sewage sludge. “Biosolid” is a misleading public relations term for semi-treated municipal sewage sludge. The sludge is sometimes sold or given to consumers and farms for use as a free or low-cost fertilizer. It is also used in some low grade potting and compost mixes. While biosolids do contain about 4% nitrogen, and several micronutrients, they also contain elevated levels of harmful bacteria, heavy metals, medical waste, and other hazardous materials. An estimated 3-5 million dry tons of biosolids fertilizer is in use...

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Indoor Garden Air – Anything But Thin

When all of the beverage from a drinking cup has been imbibed, it is considered to be “empty”, and admittedly that definition tends to work as far as drinking needs go in gardening. It is sometimes helpful to remember that it is not empty at all, but rather full to the brim with air. In a natural setting, such as a meadow, an ocean of air washes over and though the plant life. Waves of air push away excess humidity and oxygen, and they carry carbon dioxide in. When a plant is removed from its native habitat, the natural...

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Mycorrhizae: Fungi, Molasses & Rock Phosphate

Many plants go through a juvenile stage where they sharply increase in size before shifting their energy into flowering and fruiting. The size plants reach during this stage has an impact on how much harvest they produce. Beneficial fungi, molasses, and rock phosphate have been used to help boost plant growth during this critical stage for years. They work in concert to help plants thrive. Since beneficial fungi take time to establish and colonize the root system, they are best introduced early. Mycorrhiza fungi are beneficial and assist in nutrient collection and uptake. Adding carbohydrates to a nutrient solution...

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