NUTRIENT ANTAGONISM

It is very important to understand how certain nutrients react with each other. If you don’t understand these interactions, you may over-supplement with a specific nutrient in anattempt to correct a deficiency.

Not all deficiencies are caused by a lack of nutrients! For example, Calcium deficiency may be diagnosed due to low Calcium levels OR because there are high levels of Nitrates (NO3). Nitrates ‘push’ Calcium away and can block absorption.

So you should use organic Nitrogen instead of inorganic Nitrogen, which is high in Nitrates. Many modern synthetic fertilisers contain primarily Nitrates or other salt-based forms of nitrogen. Fertiliser salts are the most common cause of tip burn, nutrient antagonism, and weak plant growth.

The antagonistic action of nutrients shows how overdoses of certain elements can lock out or displace another element. The list below shows which elements react with each other. Understanding nutrient antagonism makes diagnosing deficiencies and toxicity more difficult, but ultimately more accurate.

TRUE PLANT NUTRITION

The way plants assimilate nutrients, the interactions between nutrients, and the bioavailability of nutrients are widely misunderstood.

Modern plant nutrition systems are managed as if they were a chemistry experiment. All kinds of chemical compounds for nutrition (especially Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium salts) and protection (pesticides, fungicides and insecticides) are released in the plant’s environment. Results are expected simply because all the proper chemicals are present.

However, nature teaches us that the use of chemical-based nutrients and pesticides is not enough to solve existing plant problems.

Typically, as more chemicals are added, more and more problems are created. This is because chemical-based nutrients typically create imbalance in the nutrition uptake of the plant.

Chemical fertilisers tend to decrease pH in plants, which induces plant weakness against pests and fungal diseases. Chemical fertilisers and pesticides also decrease micro-life populations and species in the grow medium significantly. This results in poor mediums, poor mineralisation and minimal plant stimulation.

To fix these problems, better understanding of nutrient uptake sequencing, nutrient interactions, and bioavailability of nutrients is essential.