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Gardening with Kids

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Who are these little fellas. Just because they are called micro we still need to give them full attention for successful gardening.

In gardening, there are 16 essential plant nutrients. Seven of these are micronutrients. They are not any less important, but rather they are just taken up in smaller amounts.

They are:

Most of these micronutrients are already found in sufficient amounts in garden soils. but many times they are found to be lacking after a soil test.

The classification of being a micronutrient is based on the amount found in the plants - and not based on the level of importance.

Let it be noted that if any one of the essential nutrients is absent, the plant will not complete its life cycle.

The other nine elements?

The three major elements are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). These are the numbers that are most often seen on bags of fertilizers - NPK. The three secondary elements are calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S). (See "Understanding Your Soil")

Plants will receive carbon (C) from the air, hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) from water.

When the other elements are missing, the addition must be made in the form of supplementary fertilizers.

Keep in mind, when dealing with the micronutrients, that too much application can be toxic.