Saving money by understanding how to move beyond the NPK Paradigm
Nitrogen – Phosphorous – Potassium (NPK) These are the names we are most familiar with when buying a fertilizer. The below method is how we save money and grow more nutrient dense crops that are less affected by insect and disease and have a longer shelf life.
Collect and send off for a Complete soil test with Recommendation from Logan Labs costs $95. All the how to information is on their website. This includes a Standard test which dissolves the soil in a strong acid as well as a paste test which dissolves the soil in water. Those two tests are compared together to get the true results to make recommendations from.
Step 2: Acknowledge that plants follow an ordered chain of chemistry as determined by Hugh Lovel, where one mineral affects the plants ability to uptake and then use the next or you will experience bottlenecks and fertilizer leaching if all links of that chain are not available in working order. That order being:
1. Sulphur which dissolves the edges, creating more surface area for biology and chemistry to interact with
2. Boron, which activates and increases sap pressure of the plant and allows Calcium to move from root to shoot
3. Silicon, which carries all other nutrients, building strong cell walls and an effective transport system for water and sap starting with
4. Calcium, which binds and shuttles nutrients across cell membranes starting with
5. Nitrogen to form amino acids, DNA and cell division. Amino acids form proteins such as chlorophyll and tag trace elements, especially
6. Magnesium, which is at the heart of chlorophyll that transfers energy from sun light via
7. Phosphorus in the form of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) to
8. Carbon to form simple and complex sugars, which go where
9. Potassium carries them.
All this to say, if you are putting on fertilizer without testing and addressing your Sulfur, Boron, Silica, and Calcium FIRST then much of what you are putting out CAN NOT BE USED and will wash away in the next rain. This is what causes algae blooms in lakes, rivers and wastes your money. Once you get your results, please reach out to us at email@example.com and we will happily share our lessons learned on how to address these efficiencies. Ideally you would put the minerals you need with compost when you put it out to make it easier to spread and more palatable for your soil. For more on the Biochemical Sequence read any books by Hugh Lovel.