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The first chart
shows some NPK percentage comparisons of various elements and
rates of applications.
We feel it is an interesting chart so we are including it here. We have had a
copy of this chart for many years and the source is unknown.

The second chart shows nutrient deficiency symptoms.
It is a good diagnostic tool if your plants are showing physical signs you can't explain.

The third chart shows the function of elements
There are 19 beneficial elements which contribute to healthy plant growth.
Three of these essential elements: oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon, are provided by air and water
while the rest are absorbed by plants through the soil.

Major Natural Sources of One Element

Bloodmeal 15.0 10 oz. 265 lbs.
Felt Wastes 14.0 12 oz. 285 lbs.
Hoofmeal & Horndust 12.5 13 oz. 320 lbs.
Guano 12.0 14 oz. 335 lbs.
Animal Tankage 8.0 1-1/4 lbs. 500 lbs.
Cottonseed Meal 8.0 1-1/4 lbs. 500 lbs.
Fish Scrap 8.0 1-1/4 lbs. 500 lbs.
Milorganite 6.0 1-5/8 lbs. 665 lbs.
Castor Pomace 5.5 1-3/4 lbs. 725 lbs.
Bone Meal 4.0 2-1/2 lbs. 1000 lbs.
Peanut Shells 3.6 2-3/4 1100 lbs.
Cowpea, Vetch or Alfalfa Hay 3.0 3-5/8 lbs. 1450 lbs.
Cocoa Shells 2.7 3-3/4 lbs. 15oo lbs.
Flyash 12.0 14 oz. 335 lbs.
Wood Ashes 8.0 1-1/4 lbs. 500 lbs.
Granite Dust 5.0 2 lbs. 800 lbs.
Seaweed 5.0 2 lbs. 800 lbs.
Fish Scrap, Dried 4.0 2-1/2 lbs. 1000 Lbs.
Greensand 7.0 1-1/2 lbs. 570 lbs.
Phosphate, Rock 30.0 12 oz. 279 lbs.
Bonemeal, Steamed 28.0 14 oz. 330 lbs.
Bonemeal, Raw 24.0 14 oz. 330 lbs.
Animal Tankage 20.0 1 lb. 400 lbs.
Fish Scrap, Dried 13.0 1-3/4 lbs. 675 lbs.
Basic Slag 8.0 2-1/2 lbs. 1000 lbs.
Sugar Wastes, Raw 8.0 2-1/2 lbs. 1000 lbs.
Incinerator Ash 5.0 4 lbs. 1500 lbs.
Cottonseed Meal 2.5 8 lbs. 1-1/2 tons


Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms

Nitrogen (N)
Necessary for all phases of plant growth
Little new growth, yellow leaves: this being more pronounced in older leaves. Earlier fall leaf drop. New shoots may be red to red-brown. Quick fix: Make weekly foliar applications of fish emulsion or manure tea.
Long term: Apply aged compost, manure, soybean meal or cottonseed meal to the soil once in spring. Seaweed extract will improve the soil environment thus giving nitrogen fixing bacteria a boost.
Phosphorous (P)
Necessary for strong stems, fruiting, rooting and seed making.
Overall dark green with purple, blue or reddish cast to leaves particularly on underside, veins and stems and some plants respond to lack of P with yellowing. Foliage may be sparse, small and distorted becoming mottled and bronzy with maturity. Very distinctive symptoms. Excess foliage with no flowers can also indicate lack of (P). Quick fix: Spray plant weekly with fish emulsion until symptoms quit. Apply a light soil dressing of wood ashes. Incorporate aged compost into the soil to boost microorganisms.
Long term: Mix rock phosphate or aged manure into the soil in fall.
Potash (K)
Necessary for strong root systems and for forming starch, protein and sugar.
Sickly looking plants, undersized fruits, leaves showing marginal and interveinal yellowing. Yellowing starts on older leaves and progresses upwards. Leaves may crinkle, turn brown and roll upwards. Blossoms may be distorted and small. Plant has little resistance to heat, cold and disease problems. Potash deficiency is mostly in the upper levels of soil.
Quick fix: Spray plant weekly with fish emulsion until symptoms quit.
Long term: Apply seaweed, manure, granite dust or greensand to the soil in fall. Hardwood ashes may be applied to soil anytime. 
Calcium (Ca) Young leaves are small and distorted with curled back leaf tips. Shoots may be stunted and show some dieback, roots will be stunted.
Magnesium (Mg) A lack of magnesium is characterized almost identically with iron deficiency but the older leaves, generally at the bottom of the plant, show marginal and interveinal reddening or yellowing with leaf base and midrib staying green. Later in the season interveinal necrosis may occur. Leaves may be brittle and thin with leaf curling and stunted growth.. Apples may drop prematurely. In the fall as temperatures cool plants are unable to take up Mg and leaves will turn a purple color. Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) can be used for magnesium deficiency. You can use it watering with a mix of 1-2 teaspoons or Epsom salts dissolved in 1 gallon of water or using the mix as foliar spray. Make 3 applications 6 weeks apart. Other treatments include adding fish meal, basic slag, greensand or dolomitic limestone.
Sulfur (S) Leaves are pale yellow-green at any stage of development. Shoots are stunted. Similar to chlorosis. Perform a soil test; correct as necessary.
Add sulfur or potassium sulfate as necessary. Use caution when applying sulfur compounds, however. Too much sulfur ("sulfur toxicity") appears as veinal chlorosis followed by rapid defoliation of the lower leaves.


Boron (B)
Boron amounts in the soil is directly proportional to the amount of organic matter.
Youngest leaves may be red, bronze or scorched also small, thick or brittle. New shoot tips may form what is called a witches broom. Stems stiff; terminal buds die and growths die back; lateral shoots developed, giving plant flat top; leaves highly tinted purple, brown and yellow. Fruit and vegetables may have heart rot. Fruits pitted and corky areas in skin; ripening is uneven. Boron deficiencies are found mainly in acid, sandy soils in regions of high rainfall, and those with low soil organic matter. Borate ions are mobile in soil and can be leached from the root zone. Boron deficiencies are more pronounced during drought periods when root activity is restricted. Apply household borax at a rate 1 tablespoon borax to 12 quarts of water. This amount will treat a 100 foot row of vegetables or 10 square feet of soil. Apply two times 2-3 weeks apart.
Copper (Cu) Copper deficiencies are mainly seen on sandy soils which are low in organic matter. Copper uptake decreases as soil pH increases. Increased phosphorus and iron availability in soils decreases copper uptake by plants. Small leaves with necrotic (dead) spots and brown areas near the leaf tips. Rosetting of the leaves and dieback of terminal shoots.
Iron (Fe) New leaves are the most symptomatic and when condition is most severe they can be all yellow or white but still have green veins. Overall you see yellow leaves with green veins leading to marginal scorching or browning of leaf tips. Tip leaves, especially basal areas of leaflets, intense chlorotic mottling; stem near tip also yellow. Fruits have poor color. Shoot diameter is small. Iron deficit often occurs when the soil pH is higher than 7.5 meaning it is more alkaline. Lack of Fe is common in plants living next to concrete walls, foundations etc. Perform a soil test; correct soil pH to 7.0 or lower.
In iron-deficient soils, add bone meal or blood meal organic amendments, or add iron sulfate or chelated iron liquid or granular inorganic amendments.
Quick fix: Apply chelated iron directly to soil or as a foliar spray.
Reduce soil pH to at least 7.0 which is considered neutral.
Long term: Improve the soil by adding 1-2 inches of compost in the spring every year.
Manganese (Mn) Similar to N deficiency, leaves display marginal scorching, rolling and reduced width. Yellowing may also occur between leaf veins or total yellowing on youngest leaves. Perform a soil pH test; correct to 6.5 or lower.

In deficient soils, add millorganite or houorganite treated sludge organic amendments, or

Add manganese sulfate inorganic amendments.


Molybdenum (Mo) Only a problem with brassicas like broccoli, cauliflower etc in acid soil. Heads can fail to form,  leaves will become thin, elongated and rippled. Add lime to soil before planting or sowing seeds.
Zinc (Zn) Zinc deficiencies are mainly found on sandy soils low in organic matter and on organic soils. Zinc deficiencies occur more often during cold, wet spring weather. New and intermediate leaves are small, yellow, sometimes with a grayish cast. Narrow and older leaves may drop. Small shoots may show rosetting followed by dieback. Test the soil for a pH Imbalance, making sure that the pH is between 5.8 and 6.2. A pH imbalance can inhibit the absorption of zinc and other nutrients.
Use fertilizers that generate acidity. Organic compounds such as zinc chelates (zinc EDTA and zinc NTA) are about 5 times more effective than inorganic salts with equivalent amounts of zinc.
Apply aged organic manure.


Function of Elements in Plant Health

Boron (B) Stimulates cell division, flower formation and pollination
Calcium (Ca) Raises soil pH; promotes root hair formation and early growth
Chlorine (Cl) Needed for photosynthesis; stimulates root growth and aids water circulation in plants
Cobalt (Co) Improves growth, water circulation, and photosynthesis
Copper (Cu) Stimulates stem development and pigment formation
Iron (Fe) Stimulates the formation of chlorophyll and helps oxidize sugar for energy; also necessary for legume nitrogen fixation. It regulates the respiration of the plant's cells.
Magnesium (Mg) Aids in chlorophyll formation and energy metabolism; it increases oil production in flax and soy beans; helps regulate uptake of other elements. It also promotes healthy, disease-resistant plants. It is generally available in acidic soils.
Manganese (Mn) Necessary for the formation of chlorophyll
Molybdenum (Mo) Needed for nitrogen fixation and nitrogen use in the plant; stimulates plant growth and vigor much like nitrogen
Nitrogen (N) Necessary for chlorophyll and genetic material (DNA & RNA) formation; stimulates green, leafy growth
Phosphorous (P) Necessary for genetic material (DNA & RNA) formation; stimulates fruit, flower and root production, and early season growth; increases disease resistance
Potassium (K) Associated with movement of water, nutrients, and carbohydrates in plant tissue. Stimulates early growth. Helps in the building of protein, photosynthesis, fruit quality and reduction of diseases.
Silicon (Si) Increases number of seeds; strengthens cell walls of plants
Sodium (Na)  Increases resistance to drought; increases sugar content in some crops
Sulfur (S) Aids in formation of certain oil compounds that give specific odors to some plants such as onions, garlic, mustard, etc; increases oil production in flax and soy beans
Zinc (Z) Stimulates stem growth and flower bud formation

Nutrient Deficiency Chart Copyright © Golden Harvest Organics 1996-2012
All rights reserved unless otherwise attributed

Update: 02/24/15


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