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Fruit and Flower Blend
THE IMPORTANCE OF POTASSIUM AND MAGNESIUM
Written by Wally Richards
It has come to my attention that too many gardeners don’t supply their plants with sufficient amounts of potash (Potassium) and magnesium for best health. Plants like us, if they do not get sufficient minerals in their diet; they will be adversely affected and poorly.
Potassium deficiency will show as soft limp plant growth, poor flowering, taste decline in fruit, and general loss of vigor.
I am often asked what is wrong with plants which, don’t seem as good as they could be, even though they are fed well and watered right.
Often the reason is insufficient Potassium.
Then there is fruit, especially citrus which are lacking in juice and flavour.
Tomatoes and cucumbers that don’t have that home grown flavour that one would hope to have.
Plants that have poor flowering or don’t flower at all. Once again the problem can be insufficient Potassium.
Magnesium is involved in chlorophyll production, which converts sunlight into sugars and is involved in activating enzymes. Because of its role in chlorophyll, the first symptoms of magnesium deficiency show up as yellowing, usually between the veins of the older leaves. In severe deficiencies, the entire leaf will turn yellow or red and then brown, with symptoms progressing up the plant.
There are numerous plants that show this tendency, citrus, daphne, rhododendrons, tomatoes, passion fruit, roses to name a few.
Once the yellowing starts to appear then already the plant is having problems and even when magnesium is supplied, it takes several weeks before the lovely dark green colour is restored.
During this time the plant is weakened, as the chlorophyll is not working to its full potential which makes the plant more susceptible to diseases and pests.
During drought conditions, plants suffer and one important aspect to assist in this is Potassium.
It regulates water absorption and retention, influences the uptake of some nutrients and helps to increase disease resistance.
As the weather cools and winter approaches, plants feel the chill like we do, but plants cant put on a jersey like we can. Plant’s protection from chills and frosts comes from having adequate Potassium in their diet.
Thus us gardening commentators always suggest to gardeners to supply potash to their plants as winter starts to approach and to avoid too much nitrogen.
Commercial growers of plants and orchardists have a commercial product that they use to ensure their plants have sufficient Potassium and magnesium in their diet.
These two vital elements are blended together in the right balance as required for plants.
It comes nicely packaged in a plastic jar with a 50 gram (50ml) scoop. The jar contains 1250 grams of potassium and magnesium in the right balance.
It is used at the rate of 50 grams (one scoop, just below level full) per square metre around the base of the plant or around the drip line.
(Whichever is applicable) to start with, for any plant that is flowering, fruiting, showing lack of vigor or yellowing in foliage.
Now this next bit might surprise many; but the monthly requirement is 25 grams (half scoop) per square metre. This should be applied while plants are flowering, fruiting, during dry times and going into winter. Outside of these times a 2-3 monthly dose should be fine.
For fruiting a dose at 50 grams should be applied prior to flowering followed by the 25 grams till harvest. For the likes of tomatoes and cucumbers, apply over fruiting period for best flavour.
I get a lot of complaints that citrus fruit are dry and lack flavour so this should fix the problem.