Fertilization - Knowledgebase Question

Liverpool, NY
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Question by AJJRKJM
February 27, 1999
How does fertilization affect plant growth?

Answer from NGA
February 27, 1999
Fertilizers can be thought of as supplying some of the plant "food" or nutrients which are necessary for plant growth to occur. Plants require certain elements, three important ones being nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. (These are the three elements commonly found in "balanced" fertilizers.) Nitrogen is important for the leafy green top growth, phosphorus for rooting, fruiting and disease resistance, and potassium for the development of strong and resiliant plants. If the soil is lacking in any of these, then fertilizer may be used to make up the slack. Note, too, that overfertilization can have a negative effect on plants, so more is not always better.

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