Fertilizers - Fertilizers are soluble salts of essential elements. Ions are charged atoms or molecules. Some ions have a positive charge-cations- and others have a negative charge-anions. When fertilizers are put into or on the soil, the ions become available in the water. “See essential elements”. Remember, fertilizers are not a source of energy. Quick release fertilizers are those that release the ions as soon as the materials dissolve in the soil water. Slow or controlled release fertilizers are of two basic types: 1. The chemical granules are coated with materials that must wear away or dissolve away before the fertilizer granules are able to dissolve in the soil water. 2. The essential elements may be bonded with carbon to form organic molecules. The microorganisms must break down these molecules before the ions are released into the soil water. Once the ions enter the soil water they are like small magnets or submarines with a positive or negative charge.
If you believe that you can feed a plant, put the "food" on and then put the plant in the dark. See what happens. If you could feed plants, there would be no need for photosynthesis, or the light energy of the sun. Ridiculous! Stupid! Why do we keep using the sloppy term? Because everybody does it. More ridiculous! More Stupid! I, and many other people, refuse to be part of the everybody. Fertilizers are not plant food in the sense of having an energy source.
When most people say "fertilizer" in the USA, what they most often mean is NITROGEN. It is to easy and too inexpensive to over load annual crops with fertilizers high in urea and other nitrogen based chemicals. The same problems are with trees in urban areas. High amounts of nitrogen based chemical from over fertilization move into the ground water and then into the Mississippi river. The river empties into the gulf of Mexico. The nitrogen leads to luxuriant growth of water plants. The plants use so much oxygen that few animals can grow. A dead zone. I often fertilize with microelements with low nitrogen. When I say fertilize I mean 14 essential elements that come from the soil. There are 17 essential elements.
See A TOUCH OF CHEMISTRY, SHIGO, 1996
See NEW TREE BIOLOGY DICTIONARY, SHIGO,1986, pg45
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1. Plants' essential chemical elements by Dr. Kevin T. Smith
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