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garden nutrients

8 Important Garden Nutrients That Your Plants Need to Receive

Flowering and fruiting plants in your yard require the appropriate balance of garden nutrients to grow well and produce delicious fruits and vegetables all season.

You may need to supplement with an all-purpose fertilizer for vegetable gardening or take a targeted approach to supplement any of these eight nutrients if your garden soil can’t meet the demands of your fruits and vegetables.

Whether you’re a beginner in vegetable gardening or ready to grow bigger, juicier tomatoes, consider A Garden Patch’s productive tomato planters to take the guesswork out of managing your garden nutrients. Read more about the necessary garden nutrients for flowering and fruiting plants in your garden below, and learn more about the GrowBox™ Nutrient Patch™.

1. Carbon

All living things need carbon. Although plants can get carbon from converting carbon dioxide in the air to oxygen during photosynthesis, you can supplement soil carbon with organic matter like compost or manure.

2. Hydrogen

Plants use hydrogen in photosynthesis to bond with carbon dioxide and form glucose. You can provide a plant with all the hydrogen it needs with regular watering if your garden doesn’t see much rain.

3. Oxygen

Plants need oxygen to form parts of the glucose molecules they create during photosynthesis. Oxygen is also necessary to absorb garden nutrients from the soil into the roots. Ensure that plants get the oxygen they need by aerating your garden soil. You can mix in soil amendments like worm castings or gypsum to maintain air pockets in the soil throughout the season.

4. Nitrogen

Nitrogen is essential for plants to grow big and leafy, although too much can decrease plant health and reduce crop yields. A complete fertilizer will label the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as their percent ratios of the total, such as 10-20-10, where the other 60% of the bag are fillers for easier mixing into the soil.

High-nitrogen organic compounds include fish emulsion, blood meal, biofertilizers, and manure. Synthetic fertilizers also often contain nitrogen. Use a soil test to determine how much you need to add, and look at the fertilizer label to find the source and quantity of nitrogen.

5. Phosphorus

Phosphorus is the main nutrient necessary for lots of delicious vegetables from your garden. Phosphorus supports flowers and fruits during the productive cycles of your tomatoes, eggplants, squash, and more.

Use nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K) complete fertilizers with at least twice as much phosphorus as the other nutrients for a healthy and productive vegetable garden.

You can also use natural or organic phosphorus sources to supplement phosphorus in your garden nutrients. Look for rock phosphate, manure, or bone meal to boost phosphorus in your vegetable garden. Note that some products also contain nitrogen, so be aware of your garden’s nitrogen levels.

6. Potassium

Make sure your garden nutrients include potassium for a healthy plant capable of fighting off pests and diseases. Potassium also helps develop plant enzymes essential for the absorption of other nutrients, as well as resistance to extreme temperature changes.

Deficiencies in potassium present with deformed fruits, leaves that appear dark or scorched, and wilting of old leaves, stems, or branches. For natural sources of potassium, use wood ash, potash, or add banana peels to your home compost.

7. Calcium

Calcium strengthens cell wall development and neutralizes plant and soil acidity. Deficiencies in calcium show in younger leaves, deforming the shape of the leaf and causing leaf tips to die. Over time, no new leaves will grow. In tomatoes, blossom end rot demonstrates a calcium deficiency. To supplement calcium, use bone meal, eggshells, gypsum, or limestone.

Be aware that some calcium sources, such as gypsum, can acidify the soil. Make sure you get a soil test and know the preferred pH of your chosen vegetables. Acidic soil can make garden nutrients less bioavailable, while alkaline soil can prove overabundant.

8. Magnesium

Magnesium is essential for plants to produce chlorophyll. Without magnesium, plants can’t process sunlight as part of photosynthesis. To supplement magnesium in your garden, apply dolomite, Azomite, or Epsom salts.

garden nutrients

Provide the Right Garden Nutrients Every Season with a GrowBox™ by A Garden Patch™

Knowing which garden nutrients to supplement and what products to use can be challenging whether you’re a novice gardener or have been growing vegetables for years. Should you choose an all-purpose fertilizer, a high-nitrogen fertilizer, or an organic soil amendment?

At A Garden Path™, we developed the GrowBox™ to grow beautiful tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, squash, and more without worrying about garden nutrients. Simply fill your GrowBox™ with potting soil, place a Nutrient Patch™ on top of your soil, then plant according to the numbered guide printed on top of the Nutrient Patch™.

One GrowBox™ Nutrient Patch™ provides all the nutrients your plants will need for a full growing season in each GrowBox™. The GrowBox™ design keeps air and water distributed appropriately to the roots. Just keep the four-gallon well filled with water for the best vegetables on your street.

Additionally, the portable GrowBox™ allows you to keep a vegetable garden outdoors, inside a screened patio, indoors near a window, or even on a concrete apartment balcony.

Our Original GrowBox™ offers a range of fashionable colors, including the standard terra cotta or green, or premium color options of cauliflower, eggplant, lime, or celery. If you already have a GrowBox™, you can order the Nutrient Patch™ Replanting Kit for the new growing season.

Although suitable for several different kinds of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and more, we originally developed the GrowBox™ for growing tomatoes. Because many potting soil mixes are highly acidic, between 3.5 and 4.5 on the pH scale, you may need to add dolomite to “sweeten” the acidic potting mix for tomatoes. Dolomite can fortify your potting mix with calcium while raising the pH to 6.0 to 6.8.

Plan a Vegetable Garden with the Right Garden Nutrients

Learn which garden nutrients your vegetables need, or rely on the GrowBox™ Nutrient Patch™ to keep your vegetables fed all season. Visit our blog to learn more about the dos and don’ts of summer gardening, and order your A Garden Patch™ GrowBox™ online today, or call 800-519-1955 to order by phone.

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