Pushing Plants for Maximum Versus Optimum Growth: Beware of Imbalances
Bryson L. James
Balanced Nutrition. "Balanced nutrition" is the key to good plant health and vigor. Growers and researchers have tried for years to quantify and identify exactly what it takes to maximize plant growth. Not everyone agrees on the proper quantity or source of plant nutrients that is best for maximizing plant growth, but everyone does seem to agree that a proper balance of all plant nutrients is essential.
When trying to maximize growth, especially with high N soluble fertilizers, K frequently becomes deficient. When "pushing" with N and K, Ca and/or Mg, and S deficiencies usually occur. It is extremely difficult to keep all nutrients in balance when trying to maximize growth.
Problems with Trying to Maximize Growth. Fortunately, plants can and do survive on less than perfectly balanced nutrition. My purpose today is to alert you to problems associated with trying to maximize growth and to suggest guidelines for optimum nutrition. Problems caused by imbalances/deficiencies are not worth
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