Fertilizing herbs

Fertilizing herbs


1. Fertilizer for herbs

Fertilizing herbs

Organic fertilizer is excellent for fertilizing herbs, just keep in mind that herbs belong to the third track. Even those herbs at the top of the list that require higher soil nutrition do not fertilize often. A 1.3L package of FERTILIZER is enough for 200L watering, so one such package will cover several seasons of your cultivation.

You can read more information about growing herbs at https://www.bylinkyprovsechny.cz/

Table briefly showing the need and frequency of herb fertilization.

2. Application of fertilizer to herbs

Apply watering to herbs and houseplants. Either for more plants when you pour 5 ml of fertilizer per 1L of water into a container. Let stand for 30 minutes – 4 hours and apply with watering. Or when fertilizing one plant, put a pinch in a bowl of water and apply in the same way. The lye will reach the roots faster and the fertilizer balls will gradually decompose on the soil and release nutrients in the next about 2 weeks before they decompose.

fertilizing herbs by watering

3. Fertilization of herbs

The need for fertilization 100%


fertilize twice a month

The soil for growing marjoram must be very fertilized, as the plant requires a large amount of nutrients. Watering should be adequate, we do not overflow. Fertilize only with organic fertilizers.

The need for fertilization 80%


fertilize twice a month

Fertilization of growing chives outside is suitable in autumn, when we can sprinkle organic fertilizer or compost and mulch around the tufts (thermal protection). During the winter and spring it will intensify and form large tufts with dark green leaves. More frequent fertilization of chives is not necessary.

Indoor chives, on the other hand, need to be fertilized more often, but always with a high-quality organic fertilizer that dissolves best in water (see our insect tea or watering). Nitrogen in organic fertilizer will not bother us when consumed, but if you use mineral fertilizers you can hurt yourself.

The need for fertilization 60%


fertilize 1-2 times a month from March to August

Rosemary does not need much watering during the growing season, but it does not like drying out. From March to March, it is advisable to fertilize 1-2 times a month with organic fertilizer diluted in water. Remember to transplant rosemary into a larger pot every year.

The need for fertilization 60%


fertilize 1-2 times a month from March to August

Mint is not a typical herb from the point of view of fertilization. It requires more nutritious soil and richer organic matter than other herbs. Fertilize twice a month with organic fertilizer.

The need for fertilization 60%
Lemon balm

Lemon balm

fertilize twice a month during the growing season

During the growing season, we fertilize lemon balm twice a month. Both nettle broth and organic fertilizer are suitable.

The need for fertilization 60%


fertilize twice a month during the growing season

Fertilize regularly every 14 days during the growing season.

The need for fertilization 60%
Měsíček lékařský


manure 1x in 4-6 weeks

Fertilize every four to six weeks with a balanced fertilizer throughout the growing season until the winter months.

The need for fertilization 50%


fertilize once a month

We do not overdo it with fertilizing basil, otherwise it will lose its strong aroma. Although it needs basic nutrition, it is not strong. Fertilization is enough about once a month, and basically only with organic fertilizers.

The need for fertilization 20%


not necessary, but 1x / month advantage

The need for fertilization 20%
Řeřicha setá


it is not necessary, spend once a month if you notice a lack of nutrients

Although the plant does not have high nutrient requirements, cultivated watercress may show signs of a deficiency of potassium, iron or phosphorus. Complete soluble fertilizer applied to the recommended extent should alleviate any of these problems.

The need for fertilization 10%


fertilize max 1x per year

Thyme is not a plant that is hungry after fertilization. Thyme does not tolerate direct fertilization even with organic fertilizer. It is beneficial to fertilize it once a year and avoid fertilizers too rich in nitrogen so that growth is not at the expense of the content of aromatic substances. Lightly fertilize with our manure.

The need for fertilization 10%


She doesn't like fertilizing. Only seedlings will appreciate organic fertilization.

You can treat Lichořeřišnice seedlings with organic fertilizer, but the herb itself in the vegetation does not like fertilizer.

The need for fertilization 0%


fertilization is not required

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Fertilization of garden plants

1. Fertilization of garden plants


The need for fertilization 100%
Plants of the first track

1 track

Nutrient intensive

We fertilize abundantly before the season with fresh manure and we fertilize during the season.

tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin, cauliflower, cabbage, cabbage, celery, leek, potatoes, squash, patison, cabbage, eggplant, corn

The need for fertilization 60%
rostliny 2 trate

2 tracks

Moderately nutrient intensive

A year after the first track. We add compost before the season (planting), but we do not fertilize directly.

carrot, parsley, radish, radish, beetroot, broccoli, kohlrabi, lettuce, spinach, chard, parsnip, black root, leek, chives, shallots, curls, fennel, chicory, melons, garlic, onion, Jerusalem artichoke

rostliny 3 trate

3 tracks

Low in nutrients

No fertilizing preparation. At the end of the season, the track is re-energized and thus we prepare 1 track for the next season.

peas, beans, lentils, beans, soy, shallots, beans, spinach, strawberry, asparagus (perennial crops), lettuce and shredding, cornmeal, herbs

if necessary, we can also use some plants from the second line such as carrots, radishes, spinach, onions, beans and garlic

2. Fertilization of fruit plants

Fertilization of fruit plants

Until 1. The tracks include the most demanding crops. The soil for these crops must be prepared in the autumn by digging a sufficient amount of manure / manure, compost or our organic fertilizer. We usually have to fertilize these crops during the cultivation itself.

fertilizing tomatoes

Fertilizing tomatoes

Tomatoes like nutritious soil and require fertilization before planting. It is best to deepen the flowerbed at the end of the season with added organic fertilizer. Fertilize 2-4 times a month.

fertilizing zucchini

Fertilizing zucchini

Zucchini is demanding on nutrients - especially nitrogen - and therefore requires fertilization every two to three weeks. The easiest way to supply them is with liquid fertilization - for example, fertilizer dressing - as usual :).

fertilizing peppers

Fertilizing peppers

Peppers are sensitive to mineral fertilizers so stick to the organic ones. We always fertilize peppers only after flowering, as soon as the fruit begins to grow, just like tomatoes, ie 2-4 times a month.

fertilizing cucumbers

Fertilizing cucumbers

Due to the weaker root system, it is demanding sufficient nutrients and a balanced moisture regime. Fertilize regularly like tomatoes and peppers 2-4 times a month depending on the nutritional value of the soil.

fertilizing eggplant

Fertilizing Eggplant

Eggplant requires a lot of nutrients. When planting, give (though I don't like to say) an inorganic fertilizer rich in Cererite. Water the eggplant plants less often, but all the more abundantly. Fertilize once a week with organic fertilizer until mid-May. Then reduce to 2 times a month. The phosphorus contained in our manure will be used for the benefit of the plant. There is no need to fertilize two weeks before harvest.

fertilizing Pumpkins

Fertilizing Pumpkins

Pumpkins respond positively to organic fertilization or well-distributed compost. As with previous crops, it is advisable to plow the fertilizer in the autumn before the season.

fertilizing cauliflower

Fertilizing Cauliflower

Cauliflower needs constant fertilization. Add composted manure or organic fertilizer rich in nitrogen. Place the fertilizer around the plant without direct contact with the leaves. Fertilize again 2-4 times a month.

fertilizing head cabbage

Fertilizing Cabbage

Cabbage is demanding on nutrients. The soil should therefore be of good quality and nutritious. The pH of the soil should preferably be between 6.5 and 7 so that the cabbage does not suffer from bulges. Fertilize like all previous crops 2-4 times a month.

manure sprouts

Fertilizing Cabbage

Cabbage is very demanding on fertilization and sufficient watering. Fertilized sprouts are fertilized shortly before planting. Do not use fresh manure before planting to keep the roses firm. We fertilize regularly 2-4 times a month.

fertilizing Pumpkins

Fertilizing Pumpkins

Pumpkins create a lot of organic matter, so they require permeable soil with enough humus and rich in nutrients. They react positively to organic fertilization or well-distributed compost. We fertilize regularly 2-4 times a month.

fertilization of Patizones

Fertilization of Patizons

Organic fertilization with manure or well-distributed compost is suitable. Insect droppings also do a great job. In the growing season, fertilize just like zucchini twice a month.

fertilizing Corn

Fertilizing Corn

Organic fertilizers are commonly used to fertilize corn, especially on soils with lower fertility. Usually autumn application is better, only on light soils can spring fertilization be tolerated.

3. Fertilization of root plants

Fertilization of root plants

Most root vegetables belong to the second track to the third track, but there is an exception like celery in the first track. It is therefore necessary not to fertilize directly and to make the best use of the land of the first track from the previous season.

Track 1

fertilizing Celery

Fertilizing Celery

Celery is nutrient intensive. So when transplanting, on the one hand, we have to dig larger dimples to put organic fertilizer on their bottom. Celery can also withstand fresh manure or chicken. We put a layer of soil on the fertilizer, pour it and then plant the celery itself. If we plant celery for organic fertilizer, we will do without fertilization for most of the season. If celery has not been applied to the fertilizer, it is necessary to supply nutrients in liquid form once every 2 weeks. Remove fertilization in August and do not fertilize in September.

fertilizing potatoes

Fertilizing Potatoes

Potatoes belong to well-fertilized and aerated soil. The first plowing is carried out in the autumn with the incorporation of organic fertilizers and the second in the spring with fertilization. Fertilization increases the stability of potato yield.

Track 2

leek fertilization

Fertilizing Leek

Like garlic, it belongs to the second route. Due to the long growing season, leeks only need to use nutrients from slower soluble fertilizers. 13 g / m2 of nitrogen, 10 g / m2 of phosphates and 28 g / m2 of potassium salt should be added to the soil during the growing season, this dose should be applied three times. At the first fertilization before sowing we supply a higher proportion of nitrogen and less potassium salts and phosphates, after three weeks we fertilize a second time and a third time in the phase of several fully developed leaves we supply the highest proportion of potassium and phosphorus, while the last dose of nitrogen fertilizer should be the lowest.

fertilizing radishes

Fertilizing radishes

Sufficient moisture is more important than fertilizer. Plant the radishes in reasonably enriched soil, but do not fertilize them during the growing season. Do not plant, if possible, in soil prepared for the first route.

fertilizing radish

Fertilizing Radish

It does not tolerate direct organic fertilization. This causes a bitter taste and pungency. Really bet on the second track and fertilize at a rate of 1-2 times a month.

fertilizing Jerusalem artichokes

Fertilizing Jerusalem artichoke

Plant like celery in the soil with enough nutrients, but then there is no need to fertilize the plant.

fertilizing beets

Fertilization of beets

Beetroot does not tolerate direct fertilization, not even with organic fertilizers. It is good to plant it in the second track on the spot after early vegetables (eg potatoes). Apply during vegetation at a rate of 1-2 times a month.

fertilizing garlic

Fertilizing Garlic

Garlic does not like direct fertilization with fresh manure, but at the same time it is relatively demanding on the content of nutrients in the soil, so it belongs to the second or third line. Before planting, light manure or our organic fertilizer can be applied to the land, provided that it is well evenly mixed with topsoil. The advantage of insect droppings is that they do not have to be left to rest and can be applied at any time.

Track 3

fertilizing onions

Fertilizing Onions

If we have prepared the plot for growing onions correctly in advance, we do not have to fertilize. Before planting, mix a reasonable amount of organic fertilizer into the soil and then do not fertilize. Onions have a short growing season and therefore do not need many nutrients. It does not tolerate direct fertilization with manure.

fertilizing the red root

Fertilization of the Black Root

It requires deeply elaborate soil and does not tolerate acidic soils as well as direct fertilization with manure or fertilization with nitrogen fertilizers (negative effect on the taste and structure of the pulp). During the vegetation, there is no order or organic fertilization. In the autumn before its season, plow quality compost or organic fertilizer as on the first track, but then no longer fertilize as on the third track.

Fertilizing the lawn

How to take care of lawn fertilization

1. Fertilizing the lawn

the best fertilizer for the lawn

Fertilizing the lawn is a matter of timing, so I recommend that you make a plan when you will fertilize the lawn. A well-fed lawn is healthier and has a stronger root system. This makes it resistant to excessive heat, cold, drought, mowing or walking. Fertilization once a year will improve the condition of lawns, 4 times a year will significantly strengthen it. Avoid fertilizing on hot days and after rain. It is best to fertilize before the rain.

1L of insect droppings is enough for 70-88 m2 of lawn. This is given by the value of nitrogen from analyzes where N (nitrogen) = 3%.

2. Organic lawn fertilizer

3% N = 1kg N in 3.33kg fertilizer = 9.52 L fertilizer

The lawn in April fertilization needs 4-5g of nitrogen per m2.

1L of insect droppings is enough for 28 m2 of lawn with the consumption of 5 g of nitrogen (N) per m2 of area.

3. When to fertilize the lawn

when to fertilize the lawn in spring

Early - April

Nitrogen is important. Dosage 4-5 g per m2. The grass begins to turn green and grows actively. It is necessary to start the growing season and strengthen the roots.

The lawn will wake up after the winter and will crave nutrients to strengthen the roots and start the growing season well.

when to fertilize the lawn in spring

Late spring - June

The grass grows and consumes nutrients. It is good to add nutrients to keep the lawn going. Phosphorus is important for strengthening roots. Magnesium and potassium are added.

The grass grows and consumes nutrients. It is therefore advisable to add nutrients so that the grass continues its activity.

when to fertilize the lawn in summer

Summer - September

The grass grows and consumes nutrients. It is good to add nutrients to keep the lawn going. Phosphorus is important for strengthening roots. Magnesium and potassium are added.

In summer, lawns suffer from heat, drought and walking. Fertilization will help strengthen the grass and withstand the effects.

The need for fertilization 15%
when to fertilize the lawn in autumn

Autumn - end of October

It requires potassium, which increases the grass's resistance to freezing.

The lawn will be preparing for winter rest. Fertilizing will strengthen the roots and increase nitrogen storage, which will be used next spring.

4 Reasons for fertilizing the lawn

Fertilizing the lawn

Frequent mowing removes a large part of the organic above-ground matter from the lawns, which removes nutrients from the soil, which must be replenished regularly. According to experience, intensively grown lawn consumes about 25 g of nitrogen per year in pure nutrients per 1 m2. In the case of carpentry and playground lawns, this limit is even higher, in the case of park lawns lower. It should be fertilized with combined fertilizers where all elements of NPK are represented. The fertilizer must be regularly spread over the surface. It should not be fertilized in strong sunlight or when the vegetation is wet.

5. Nutrients affecting the vitality of lawns


A balanced diet is a prerequisite for a healthy and vital lawn, resistant to diseases and pests. Often mowed and intensively treated lawns are nutritious, and consume up to 150-300 kg of nitrogen per hectare during the year, depending on the intensity of mowing. In addition to regularly applied nitrogen, they require the supply of other nutrients, such as phosphorus and potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, chlorine and silicon.


Nitrogen (N)

Supports overall growth, rooting, affects color.

When there is a lack of nitrogen, the lawn is light green, thinning, slowing down slowing down. After fertilization with nitrogen fertilization is dark green, grass leaves are softer less resistant to trampling, prolongs the growing season and slows down the maturation of vegetation, which makes the lawns worse over winter and is prone to snow mold. The nitrogen source can be decomposing mulch after mowing the lawn, as well as organic fertilizers (compost or peat substrate) or mineral fertilizers. I think about mineral fertilizers and I will not analyze them further. One way or another, the maximum single dose of nitrogen should not exceed 10 g / m2. In the form of urea only 5 g / m2. 


Phosphorus (P)

supports the growth and maturation of the lawn in autumn.

Lawns consume 1.5-3.5 g P per year per year.


Potassium (K)

It supports the healthy and powerful development of plants, increases frost pattern and resistance to disease and water scarcity.

The lawn consumes 8-16 g / m2 of potassium per year. Potassium is mostly contained in fertilizers, so it does not need to be added separately, which would be possible by applying ground limestone.

6. Fertilization of a new lawn - Tomáš z Chomutova

fertilizing a new lawn
fertilizing a new lawn

4/15/2021 grass sown

10.5.2021 grass begins to grow and is fertilized once

fertilizing a new lawn
fertilizing a new lawn

5/20/2021, the neighbors' eyes can peek over the result

Fertilization of houseplants

Fertilizer for houseplants

How to fast growing houseplants?


1. Fertilizer for houseplants

fertilizer for houseplants

Insect droppings are suitable for houseplants. Its values correspond to chicken droppings, but unlike chicken droppings, it does not need to be diluted and adjusted in any way.

Fertilizing houseplants is a matter of course and should be regular. Since the rooms grow only in a “limited” space (mobile container), they greatly strain the soil. The roots are overgrown in it and therefore it is necessary to transplant these plants into larger containers – to supplement them with fresh soil. At the same time, we treat their roots and add a suitable fertilizer. If we want to make fertilizer watering, it is ideal for dinner. We only fertilize healthy plants when they grow and bloom. Fast-growing plants are fertilized more often. Flowering houseplants need to be most fertilized during the period of budding.

We must not fertilize during the rest of the plants in late summer and autumn. Unrooted and diseased plants must not be fertilized, nor must we water the plant with fertilizer water in dry soil, first the plant must be watered from above. In other words, we do not fertilize plants during the dormant period, before the dormancy period and at the end of the period of their growth. We must not fertilize freshly transplanted plants or freshly purchased ones. Fertilization is possible after two weeks. We also do not fertilize diseased plants for which we do not yet know the cause of the disease and plants with diseased roots (root rot). And beware – cacti must not be fertilized with organic fertilizers .

Information taken from another site HERE

Table briefly showing the need and frequency of fertilization of houseplants.

2. How to learn that a flower needs fertilizer

It is not easy to recognize when a houseplant lacks nutrients. The plant can’t tell us like our children. It’s quite confusing, because the cause of the withholding may be related to something else. Knowing when it’s time to fertilize houseplants is a difficult thing for long-term houseplant growers. I would now like to share with you some basic information on how and when to fertilize your houseplants.

Houseplants wither when they need water. Their leaves fade and pull out if they do not have enough sunlight. Their leaves become brittle at low humidity. On the contrary, when the humidity is too high, they may show rot. But how to know when it is necessary to fertilize? There is no clear signal that the plant would share with you “Look, I would like a steak”. The only sign of manifestation is in slowed or stagnant growth which is quite difficult for most people to notice. It is thus a better place to wait for the signal to take matters into your own hands and fertilize the plants according to a plan that is based on their growth cycle.

Each houseplant has slightly different needs in terms of amount and frequency of fertilization. However, this is not a reason to complicate fertilization too much. Yes, it is possible to study every single species you care for and determine its specific nutritional needs, but the truth is that the vast majority of common houseplants have fertilizer requirements so similar that you can approach them in the same way. It is true that some plants are slippery and need more nutrients and others less. Therefore, the table in paragraph 4 should be able to reliably orient you in how often you should add to this or that flower with watering.

This is, in my opinion, the best fertilization plan for most common houseplants. It is based on the cycle of the growing season, which affects outdoor and domestic plants in the same way, although domestic flowers have consistent temperatures without fluctuations.

3. Planting fertilization of houseplants

This is, in my opinion, the best fertilization plan for most common houseplants. It is based on the cycle of the growing season, which affects outdoor and domestic plants in the same way, although domestic flowers have consistent temperatures without fluctuations.

Spring fertilization

plan to fertilize houseplants in the spring

Start fertilizing houseplants about 8 weeks before the last expected spring frost. For example, it is usually around May 15. This means that they will start fertilizing their houseplants in mid-March. This is the time when the days begin to lengthen considerably and the houseplants move from a semi-dormant state to a period of active growth.
The first three fertilizer applications should be half the recommended dose. In this way, fertilize the plants while they are preparing for active growth and do not yet require a large amount of nutrients for fertile growth itself.

Summer fertilization

plan for fertilizing houseplants in the summer

With the arrival of summer, it is time to move to a more regular houseplant fertilization program. The frequency of fertilization also depends on the type of fertilizer. Liquids are used more often than granular. Sometimes twice a week or a month. Our insect droppings decompose gradually, so there is no need to fertilize as often as is the case with liquid fertilizers. Insect droppings gradually decompose and release their nutrients in small amounts over a long period of time. Thus, one application can last longer than stated in paragraph 4. That is, where it is recommended to fertilize twice a month, you can fertilize with our fertilizer once a month.

Follow this plan regardless of whether you move your houseplants out for the summer. Houseplants are in a state of active growth when there is a high level of summer light, regardless of whether they are at a constant temperature or on the terrace.

Autumn fertilization

plan to fertilize houseplants in the fall

About 8 weeks before the first expected frost in the fall, reduce the amount and frequency of fertilizers for houseplants. For us, this means that from mid-August I will halve the amount of fertilizer and begin to extend the time between fertilizations to about 3-4 applications until the arrival of winter.

Winter fertilization

plan for fertilizing houseplants in winter

Do not fertilize the plants in winter. Houseplants are not in active growth during the winter and should therefore not be fertilized. This could lead to burning of the fertilizer and brown leaf tips.

4. When to fertilize houseplants

The need for fertilization 90%


fertilize twice a week, but only once a month in winter.

The need for fertilization 90%
Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

fertilize twice a week.

The need for fertilization 85%
Chamaedorea sličná


fertilize twice a week from March to August.

The need for fertilization 80%
Areka palma zlatoplodá

The golden palm isca

from March to August, log in once a week

The need for fertilization 80%
Light board "Quadricolor"

Light board "Quadricolor"

fertilize in the growth phase once a week

The need for fertilization 80%

Coffee tree

fertilize once a week

The need for fertilization 80%
Strelície královská

Royal shooting range

fertilize once a week

The need for fertilization 80%
Zelenec Variegatum

Zelenec Variegatum

fertilize once a week

The need for fertilization 70%

Small-leaved ficus "Jute trunk"

fertilize twice a month during the growing season

The need for fertilization 70%


fertilize twice a month during growth

The need for fertilization 70%


fertilize twice a month during growth until the end of August

The need for fertilization 70%

Chrysalidocarpus yellowish

fertilize twice a month.

The need for fertilization 70%
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Ficus Ginseng Bonsai

fertilize twice a month in summer

The need for fertilization 70%
Břečťan popínavý

Creeper ivy

fertilize twice a month

The need for fertilization 70%


fertilize twice a month.

The need for fertilization 60%

Tauerie (Monstera Deliciosa)

fertilize twice a month from spring to autumn

The need for fertilization 60%

Monster "Leichtlinii"

Fertilize twice a month with a weak dose. In winter once every two months.

The need for fertilization 70%
Zelenec chocholatý


Fertilize once a week from March to September.

The need for fertilization 70%

Kidney bag

Fertilize once a week from March to October.

The need for fertilization 60%
Domácí štěstí

Home happiness

Fertilize once every 2-3 weeks.

The need for fertilization 50%

Old man

Fertilize once a month from April to September.

The need for fertilization 50%
Kulkas zamiolistý

Kulkas zamiolistý

Fertilize from spring to autumn once a month.

The need for fertilization 50%
Orchidej můrovec

Orchid moth

Fertilize once a month.

The need for fertilization 50%


Between spring and autumn once a month.

The need for fertilization 40%
Pilea peperomioides

Pilea peperomioides (pancake plant)

Spray once a month.

The need for fertilization 40%


Spray once a month.

The need for fertilization 40%
Tchýnin jazyk

Mother-in-law's language

In the growth phase, fertilize once a month.

The need for fertilization 20%


Fertilize rather in spring or summer. Give half the dose to other plants once a month.

The need for fertilization 0%
Mucholapka podivná

A strange flycatcher

No need to fertilize.

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Plant nutrition

Plant nutrition


1. Plant nutrition

For their growth and development, plants need not only light, heat, air, but also a number of substances, which we collectively call nutrients. These are chemicals that are essential for the life processes of plants. At the same time, each of them has its specific irreplaceable building or functional role.

There are a total of 16 necessary plant nutrients and the plant receives the roots, or leaves from its growing environment.

We divide them into:

Carbon - plant nutrition


(C), which the plant obtains from carbon dioxide present in the air

Hydrogen - plant nutrition


(H) which the plant obtains by cleavage from water

Oxygen - plant nutrition


(O), which also comes from the air

Minerals - plant nutrition

Mineral substances

(nutrients) whose main source is soil and fertilizers supplied to the soil.

In addition to plant nutrients, other chemical elements that are present in the environment are also taken in. However, plants do not need them for their life.

2. The role of nutrients in plant life

Each nutrient has specific functions in plants that cannot be replaced by other nutrients. They are either the “building blocks” of organic substances (carbohydrates or sugars, lipids or fats and nitrogenous substances, especially proteins), or they are necessary for the chemical processes in which these organic substances are formed.

The functions of nutrients in plants are not only complex and diverse, but also numerous and often differently different in different species. Therefore, the nutrient requirements of different garden crops are different.

3. Basic functions of plant nutrients

Carbon, oxygen, hydrogen

Carbon (C), oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H)

they are needed to create all organic components of the plant body. They are part of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fiber, organic acids, etc.


Nitrogen (N)

is not only an essential component of proteins, but also enzymes, chlorophyll, vitamins, etc. It mainly supports the growth of shoots and the formation of green leaf mass. In protein production disorders, nitrogen accumulates in the undesirable nitrate form (nitrates).


Phosphorus (P)

It is primarily part of the protein store and is essential for the accumulation, transfer and release of energy in plants. It accelerates development and maturity, increases resistance to low temperatures, supports the development of the root system and has a very positive effect on the biological value of seeds and seedlings.


Potassium (K)

is necessary for many biochemical processes. Its strongest effect is on the water regime of plants. Increases in plant products content of sugar, starch, cellulose and some vitamins. When it's enough, they are storage losses of tuberous and pulpy fruits lower and plant resistance against disease infestation higher. It is also involved in the activation of enzymes


Calcium (Ca)

it has a positive effect mainly on the growth and function of the roots. Increases the preconditions for pollination of seed crops.


Magnesium (Mg)

is important in the conversion of light energy into chemical energy in the process of photosynthesis, and therefore an irreplaceable component of leaf green (chlorophyll). It is a building block of other organic substances and an activator of some enzymes.


Sulfur (S)

It is part of proteins, but also vegetable oils, vitamins and enzymes.


Iron (Fe)

participates in many functions, e.g. in the construction of chlorophyll, the conversion of nitrogenous substances and the formation of enzymes (which accelerate chemical reactions in plants). For example, tomato leaves contain 3.25 mg of chlorophyll when there is enough iron per gram of fresh matter, while only 0.25 mg


Manganese (Mn)

supports the activity of enzymes and many important reactions


Boron (B)

promotes cell differentiation, increases seed production (by stimulating fertilization processes) and acts by moving sugar


Copper (Cu)

has a significant effect on photosynthesis and in the regulation of the water regime in plants


Zinc (Zn)

it is present in many enzymes and activates some others


Molybdenum (Mo)

It mainly supports the activity of tuberous bacteria, which in biological crops (legumes, clover) are biologically bound and supply the plants with atmospheric nitrogen. Molybdenum also plays an important role in the reduction of nitrates (especially in spinach).

4. Intake of plant nutrients

Carbon , hydrogen and oxygen , whose source is CO2, H2O and O2, are the basic building blocks of organic matter produced in the plant and their intake
it proceeds as follows


Carbon dioxide (CO2) is taken up by the plant’s leaves from the air. It comes from the respiratory activity of plants and animals, the microbiological decomposition of organic matter
and from the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, oil).

The production of CO2 in the soil (by the activities of microorganisms and the root system of plants) is more intense the higher the biological activity of the soil. This is conditioned by the way of farming the soil (especially sufficient organic fertilization and aeration of the soil). CO production from 1 ara of soil ranges from 10 to 50 g per hour. In the atmosphere of closed spaces of greenhouses, the content of carbon dioxide (CO2) can be increased by burning special briquettes or by releasing compressed CO2 in bombs (up to a concentration of 0.3%).

The intake of leaves takes place through vents (stomata), whose opening and closing mechanism is controlled not only by life processes growing, but also by light, humidity and temperature conditions. With optimal light, humidity and temperature conditions, the intake of carbon dioxide is highest.


Oxygen (O), ingested by plants from the air, is as physiologically important to their lives as carbon dioxide. He has an irreplaceable role in energy metabolism (release of energy from assimilates during respiration – dissimilation).

Oxygen is absorbed both through the vents in the leaves of the plants, but also by the roots, where it is necessary for respiration of the roots. Therefore, we take care of sufficient access of oxygen to the soil by suitable cultivation, especially of heavier, flowing soils. Lack of oxygen in the soil also causes nitrogen losses by the release of air into the air (so-called denitrification) and reduced intake of all nutrients by plant roots.


The plant obtains hydrogen (H) from the received water.
While nutrients C, O, H are involved in the formation of organic matter in plants and physiological processes in larger volumes, the remaining nutrients are found in the dry matter of plants in small concentrations (up to 12%). In summary
we call them mineral nutrients , because all these inorganic substances are also found in soil minerals.

We divide them into basic ones


Nitrogen (N)


Phosphorus (P)


Calcium (Ca)


Magnesium (Mg)

others, the most important of which are: sulfur (S), iron (Fe), chlorine (CI), sodium (Na) and trace elements: boron (B), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), molybdenum (Mo).

Mineral nutrients are absorbed mostly by plants dissolved in water, from the so-called soil solution, by their roots. When ingesting mineral nutrients, plants have a certain ability to choose. This means that from a soil solution in which all nutrients are present in a reasonable amount, the plants receive more of those they need more. However, this only applies if the concentration of nutrients (or some nutrients) is not too high. In this case, the active mechanism of selective nutrient uptake is disrupted and the plant is forced to take in passively. The principle is that the higher the concentration of individual nutrients, the faster and in greater quantities they penetrate the plant, regardless of whether the plant needs them or not. Intensive intake of one nutrient then suppresses the intake of other nutrients. This leads to a disturbance of the balanced intake of nutrients.

Gardeners know the effects of selective nutrient intake as an effect of old soil strength and do everything in their power to make full use of their cultivated horticultural crops. They take care not only of the supply of organic fertilizers to the soil and the blunting of the acidic soil reaction by liming, but also of good soil structure and a suitable moisture and air regime of the soil. In short: they work for a permanent increase in soil fertility. This is the basic premise of the old soil power. In order for this “power” to be used to create high and high-quality yields for garden crops, it is necessary to fertilize. Nutrient uptake by high harvests is so high that without fertilization, the soil in our garden would soon be germinated.

Nutrient uptake by some garden crops (in g per 1 m2)

fertilizing head cabbage


N: 15g
P: 2.2g
K: 18.7g

hnojení květáku


N: 20g
P: 2.5g
K: 17g
Ca: 10g
Mg: 1.5 g

hnojení rajčat


N: 10g
P: 3.2g
K: 16g
Ca: 8g
Mg: 1.2g

hnojení cibule


N: 9g
P: 2.1g
K: 12g
Ca: 4.5g
Mg: 1.5 g

Vetch plants (legumes and clover) have a special ability to absorb nitrogen also from the air, through the so-called tuberous bacteria that form at the roots in the soil. Their creation can be supported by the so-called vaccines. Cs. The medicine is called Rhizobin. We inoculate with it seed or soil on those plots where the species in question has either never been grown before, or a long time ago.

Plants receive, through certain nutrients dissolved in water in considerable dilution (0.2 to 0.5%). Nutrients penetrate mainly through the leaf skin and active transport by carriers through membranes to the inner space of the cell (vacuoles). This method of nutrient uptake through plant leaves is called extra-root nutrition.

In this method of nutrition, nutrients enter the plant very quickly, so they can be used immediately for the formation of organic matter. The highest degree of utilization (utilization) is achieved for those nutrients that the plant is deficient in.

The entry of nutrients into the leaves is so fast that some penetrate within a few hours. Research has shown that 50% of the nitrogen supplied is already ingested within 1 to 4 hours and 50% of magnesium or sodium within 5 hours. Slower (within 3 to 5 days) potassium, phosphorus and calcium are ingested. But even these times are significantly shorter compared to income “through the roots”.

Also, the degree of nutrient utilization “through the leaves” is two to three times higher than through the soil. Lower air temperature and higher relative humidity contribute to fast and very good nutrient uptake through the leaves. Also after rain or when using so-called wetting agents, the surface of the nutrient leaves is more easily permeable.

5. Utilization of received nutrients

The nutrients taken up by plants are used for complex biological processes, which result in the growth and development of plants completed by the creation of desirable products. We talk professionally about the implementation of a genetic program of the relevant species and variety of garden crops. The better the nutrient intake corresponds to the demands and vegetation rhythm of the plants, the richer and better we can expect the harvest.

This ratio is specific to individual species, or varieties of crops and vary within a certain range even during the growing season. For example, for most crops, the optimal nitrogen to phosphorus ratio in younger plants is wider (more nitrogen per unit of phosphorus) than in older plants. The importance of a suitable ratio of nutrients ingested for the success of growing garden crops can be shown, for example, in the results of an experiment with tomatoes.

Influence of the ratio of nutrients received on tomato harvest

Nutrient ratio 50%

Ratio N = 100 P = 5.3 K = 49.6

Number of fruits per bush: 13.8g
Average fruit weight: 60.3g
Weight of red fruits per bush: 779g

Nutrient ratio 75%

Ratio N = 100 P = 7.4 K = 64.8

Number of fruits per bush: 16.6g
Average fruit weight: 74.2g
Weight of red fruits per bush: 1103g

Nutrient ratio 100%

Ratio N = 100 P = 10.2 K = 78.1

Number of fruits per bush: 20.3g
Average fruit weight: 76.6g
Weight of red fruits per bush: 1453g

It is very clear from the table that with insufficient intake of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), fewer and smaller fruits were born, so that the final yield was almost half lower.

The fairly simple rule of thumb is that the success of all gardeners who have mastered the “alphabet of plant nutrition and fertilization” is in line with their needs to absorb nutrients in a balanced ratio to provide a high and good yield.

We all know very well that to achieve success in this area requires not only mastering certain fertilization measures, but also “insight under the cover of the secrets of chemical and biological processes in soil, plants or fertilizers”, or study the literature, because optimizing plant nutrition is It is necessary to take into account not only the demands of crops and the properties of fertilizers, but also the properties of the soil, the way it is cultivated, the influence of weather and other factors, as can be seen from the following chapter dealing with the effects on nutrient intake.

6. What all affects the intake of nutrients

Not so long ago, when we thought that the intake of nutrients by the plants of our gardens is mainly affected by nutrients that we supply directly to the cultivated crop. Chemical analyzes of plants, which in recent years have also been performed on garden crops, have corrected our earlier ideas. For example, carrots fertilized with 9.0 g of nitrogen, 1.8 g of phosphorus and 10.0 g of potassium removed far more nutrients from the soil than from the fertilizers supplied. This is due to the fact that garden soils regularly fertilized with organic and mineral fertilizers have high nutrient contents in the soil and that nutrients from the soil supply are better absorbed.

We can be convinced of the content of nutrients in the soil of our flower beds in the garden by agrochemical analysis of the soil sample taken. For example, an analysis of regularly fertilized garden soil showed that to a depth of 20 cm, 260 mg of P (phosphorus), 510 mg of K (potassium) and 116 mg of Mg (magnesium) per 1 kg of soil. In terms of grams and m2, it is 78 g P, 153 g K and 35 g Mg. This is several times more than we supply per year in fertilizers. (We consider a very high dose of phosphorus to be 5 g P, 20 gK and 3 g Mg.)

We have shown that plants draw nutrients from both fertilizers and soil resources. By fertilizing we provide nutrients to plants, but because they can receive only a part of the supplied fertilizers in the year of fertilization, the remaining part passes into the soil supply (old silos), from which these nutrients are pumped by other crops. “Therefore, we fertilize not only the plants directly, but also the soil and the subsequent crops through it.”

From organic fertilizers (manure, compost), plants can absorb about 35% nitrogen, 25% phosphorus and 45% potassium in the year of fertilization. Among industrial fertilizers, the share of nutrients received in the year of fertilization is higher, around 60% of nitrogen, 25% of phosphorus and 55% of potassium. The degree of utilization of nutrients from fertilizers depends not only on a suitably chosen fertilization procedure, but also on a number of other factors (type of crop, soil fertility, weather). Due to the different use and ability of soils to bind individual nutrients, gardeners are also switching to the application of a fertilization system, in which we fertilize mainly crops with nitrogen fertilizers, while others tend to use soil. soil strength). The results of experiments and many years of experience have shown that even in gardens this progressive method of fertilization contributes to a better use of nutrients from fertilizers to create high and good yields.

Let’s talk more about the main causes that reduce the use of nutrients from fertilizers and soil. A common cause of low nitrogen utilization from easily soluble fertilizers (saltpeter, urea or compound fertilizers) is that we use a single high dose instead of low frequent doses. From this, plants can absorb about 40% less than if we supply the same amount of nitrogen in thirds three times during the growing season. This is because large amounts of nitrogen cannot be absorbed by plants at once, and in the soil, especially the glacial form of nitrogen is poorly bound. And so, during the first heavy rain or watering, undrawn nitrogen travels to the bottom and to the detriment of us all, the sources of drinking water spoil us. Not only our, but also world standards consider drinking water to be harmless if it does not have more than 50 mg of nitrates in 1 liter of water (for infants, this criterion is significantly lower – at 15 mg). One-time high doses of nitrogen usually cause an increased content of nitrates in plants, especially vegetables, where they are also harmful to humans. Therefore, gardeners are moving to more and more fertilization of garden crops with small doses of nitrogen fertilizers during the growing season.

By using foliar fertilizers, we speed up the intake of nutrients, because, for example, nitrogen in the form of urea solution is 50% taken by cucumbers or tomatoes in as little as 1 to 4 hours and magnesium in apples by 20% within 1 hour.

Soil reactions have a significant effect on nutrient intake. Most nutrients have reduced accessibility on acidic and alkaline soils. For example, phosphorus (P) reacts very significantly in the acidic soil reaction (below pH 5.0) and in the alkaline (alkaline) soil reaction (above pH 7.0), when the accessibility of this nutrient to plants decreases sharply. In contrast, the effect of fertilization with soluble forms of phosphorus (e.g. superphosphate) is low on such soils. Manganese (Mn) has the greatest accessibility in acidic soils and boron (B), on the other hand, has little accessibility only in acidic soils.

Garden crops will have the most suitable conditions for nutrient uptake if we grow them in habitats where the soil reaction will meet their requirements. If this is not the case, we must take appropriate measures, ie. blunt acidic soil reaction by liming, or reduce the alkaline soil reaction by acidification (peat, physiologically acid fertilizers). Another factor that reduces nutrient intake is drought. Due to the lack of water, plants usually suffer from a lack of all nutrients. The content of nitrogen in the dry year was 35 %, phosphorus 30% and potassium 33% lower in the dry year than in the wetter year. For individual crops, we encounter mainly a lack of phosphorus, or. boron.



Not watered

P content in leaves = 100%

K content in leaves = 100%


P content in leaves = 157%

K content in leaves = 120%

Apple tree

Apple tree

Not watered

P content in leaves = 100%

K content in leaves = 271%


P content in leaves = 157%

K content in leaves = 125%

Drought can be largely offset by irrigation. Fruit trees had a higher content of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) in the leaves during watering compared to non-watered trees.

Excess water – wetting also bothers the intake of nutrients mainly due to lack of air in the soil. It is similar on foundry soils. The carapace that forms on the surface of the soil not only “suffocates” the plants, but also limits their nutrition. Experiments with grasses have shown that e.g. in the case of defenseless, a lack of air in the root zone reduced nutrient intake by about a quarter. However, gardeners are well aware of the “fertilizing” effect of loosening loose soil, which is always followed by an intensified intake of nutrients. In the experiment with tomatoes, the nutrient intake decreased by decreasing the partial pressure of oxygen (O2) in the nutrient solution.

Reflection of reduced O2 pressure in the nutrient solution for tomato nutrient uptake

O2 pressure reduction by 76%

P - Phosphorus
Nutrient ratio 56%
K - Potassium
Nutrient ratio 75%

O2 pressure reduction by 98%

P - Phosphorus
Nutrient ratio 30%
K - Potassium
Nutrient ratio 37%

The effect of light on nutrient intake was also studied. It has been shown that nutrient intake generally decreases with decreasing light intensity (Figure 7). Potassium intake is the least reduced. It seems to compensate to some extent for the lack of incident light. Not only water and light, but also soil temperature affect the intake of nutrients. A decrease in cold intake was observed mainly for potassium (K) but also for phosphorus (P), while the relative intake of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) increased.

As already mentioned, in soil sufficiently supplied with organic matter (humus), plants have better conditions for nutrient intake and every gardener knows that the effect of industrial fertilizers is lower on soil with insufficient organic fertilization.

It is stated that with regular organic fertilization, the intake of nutrients from industrial fertilizers is about 44% higher for nitrogen (N), 33% for phosphorus (P), 65% for potassium (K), 12% for calcium (Ca) and 45% for magnesium (Mg) compared to soil that has not been organically fertilized for a long time. Pre-crops as well as weeds also affect nutrient intake. This is often due to the unilateral depletion of some nutrients from the soil, the lack of which is then felt by succeeding or concurrent crops.

During nutrient uptake, at higher concentrations in the soil solution, there is an interaction, in which the nutrient in relative excess suppresses the intake of some other nutrients. We call this phenomenon antagonism. For example, a high concentration of potassium (with excessive application of potassium fertilizers and insufficient magnesium fertilization) suppresses magnesium intake. In an experiment with celery, an overdose of potassium fertilizer increased potassium uptake by 78 %. and while reducing magnesium intake by 18 %.

On the other hand, we can also find a favorable effect of the intake of one nutrient on the intake of others. We only call this synergism. It most often occurs during continuous nitrogen fertilization on soils well supplied with other nutrients (in the old soil strength). The so-called plant uptake capacity. It is determined by the volume and activity of the roots. It is important to note that well-nourished plants that do not suffer from a deficiency of one or more nutrients have a higher uptake capacity. This relationship has been evident since the early youth of the plants, which is why we make sure that all the nutrients are already in the seed or seedling. In other words, if we take care of the good nutritional status of the mother plant, the daughter plants will also be “armed” for better nutrient uptake in the initial vegetation. It is interesting to note that foliar fertilizers can correct and optimize the nutritional status of plants and thus increase their intake capacity. This can also explain the unexpected increases in yield and quality improvement with the appropriate use of relatively small amounts of nutrients in these modern fertilizers.


7. Nutrient intake during vegetation

Nutrient requirements are still not the same during vegetation. When germinating, plant seeds need a lot of water, but no nutrients. They obtain them from stocks in seeds or tubers. Young plants have high demands on nutrients. They intensively accept and use them for growth. At a time when the growth of the leaf area is culminating and reserve organs (seeds, bulbs, etc.) are beginning to form, the plants also have high demands on nutrients, but to a large extent already specified. Nitrogen is absorbed in large quantities during the production of proteins, especially during the development of the leaf area. The need for phosphorus peaks at the beginning of the development of the root system and at the beginning of the formation of fruits and seeds. Potassium requirements are greatest when the carbohydrates needed for leaf mass development are formed and later when they are used to form reserve substances.

In the final phase of growth, the intensity of nutrient intake ceases, partly even with the fall of leaves or the excretion of roots into the soil, the content of nutrients in plants decreases. This is especially significant for perennial crops, where a significant part of the nutrients migrate to the reserve organs.

The relative intensity of nutrient intake (N, P, K) in early potatoes and late cabbage shows that early potatoes received only a small percentage of total intake in April, while the largest share of nutrients was taken from May to June. For late cabbage, a low percentage of nutrients was taken up in May, the highest for nitrogen (N) from August to November and for phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) from September to October. It is also necessary to adapt the fertilization to this, not to fertilize young plants and not to let adult plants starve.

The intake of nutrients in connection with the formation of dry matter of plant matter is reflected in the so-called nutrient concentration or percentage of nutrients in the dry matter. Due to the fact that the intensity of nutrient intake precedes the intensity of dry matter formation during vegetation, there is a decrease in the concentration of nutrients in the dry matter of plants. We call this phenomenon the “dilution effect”. The table shows as an example the decrease in the concentration of nutrients in the above-ground mass of cucumbers in the later stage of vegetation compared to the earlier stage.

Time intake of nutrients in early potatoes in different months

Nutrient intake 17%

Nitrogen (N) = 3%

Phosphorus (P) = 7%

Potassium (K) = 7%

Nutrient intake 50%

Nitrogen (N) = 23%

Phosphorus (P) = 27%

Potassium (K) = 35%

Nutrient intake 100%

Nitrogen (N) = 100%

Phosphorus (P) = 100%

Potassium (K) = 100%

Time intake of nutrients in late cabbage

Nutrient intake 10%

Nitrogen (N) = 10%

Phosphorus (P) = 6%

Potassium (K) = 9%

Nutrient intake 25%

Nitrogen (N) = 35%

Phosphorus (P) = 20%

Potassium (K) = 20%

Nutrient intake 50%

Nitrogen (N) = 60%

Phosphorus (P) = 38%

Potassium (K) = 40%

Nutrient intake 70%

Nitrogen (N) = 80%

Phosphorus (P) = 60%

Potassium (K) = 60%

Nutrient intake 90%

Nitrogen (N) = 90%

Phosphorus (P) = 90%

Potassium (K) = 90%

Nutrient intake 98%

Nitrogen (N) = 95%

Phosphorus (P) = 100%

Potassium (K) = 100%

Nutrient intake 98%

Nitrogen (N) = 100%

Phosphorus (P) = 95%

Potassium (K) = 95%

8. Percentage of nutrients in garden plants

The concentration of nutrients in plants (their percentage in dry matter) is very different. It depends not only on the type of plant and the vegetation phase, but also on parts of the plants and the nutritional conditions.

The leaves have the most nitrogen (N) and potassium (K), most often from 1 to 5 %. The contents of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), phosphorus (P), sulfur (S) and chlorine (CI) are lower. They usually range from 0.1 to 2 %. Iron (Fe) and trace elements manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu) and boron (B) are present in small amounts, from 5 to 200 ppm (ppm = one millionth or mg per 1 kg). Molybdenum (Mo) is present in the smallest amount from 0.2 to 5 ppm.

Young leaves tend to have a high concentration of most nutrients. In contrast, older leaves often have higher contents of low-nutrient nutrients, e.g. calcium (Ca), copper (Cu) or boron (B). For example, the youngest leaves in tomatoes had only 0.7% Ca in dry matter, while the oldest leaves had 4.7% Ca, i.e. almost seven times. This is confirmed by data obtained with vines, where the percentage of Mg was higher in older plants.

Influence of vine leaf age on nutrient content in leaf dry matter

% N

The youngest leaf = 5.03

Oldest sheet = 2

% P

The youngest leaf = 1.60

Oldest leaf = 0.67

% Ca

The youngest leaf = 0.05

Oldest sheet = 0.60

% Mg

The youngest leaf = 0.17

Oldest leaf = 0.28

While in the roots we find low contents of nutrients in general, in the seeds mainly nitrogen, phosphorus and magnesium accumulate.

Some types of crops are characterized by higher demands on nutrients, and therefore we find higher contents in them, such as legumes, which have relatively more calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), boron (B) but little sulfur (S) in the dry matter. Chestnuts contain relatively a lot of sulfur. Salting-tolerant plants have more sodium (Na), magnesium (Mg) and chlorine (CI) in addition to sulfur. Plants that grow well on acidic soils have relatively higher concentrations of iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and aluminum (AI).

Medium concentration of nutrients of the main types of garden crops

working on it….

9. Amount of nutrients depleted by garden plants

An exhaustive answer to the question of how many nutrients the cultivated plants deplete would be very extensive, because:

a) there are many garden crops and each of them (but also of individual varieties) has different demands;

(b) the conditions under which horticultural crops are grown are very diverse, from sandy to clayey soils in warm, drier lowland areas to cold, wetter foothills;

c) fertilization, and thus the nutritional status, is not always optimal, so that there is sometimes a luxurious consumption of certain nutrients;

However, optimal nutrient uptake is an important guide for fertilization, and therefore we find sufficient data in the literature on which the recommended doses of fertilizers are based in professional manuals for nutrition of garden crops.

To illustrate, at a yield of 5 kg of cauliflower per 1 m2, a medium of 20 g N, 3.5 g P, 21 g K, 4.6 g Ca and 0.5 g Mg is pumped out, while red cabbage takes 30 g at the same yield. g N, 3.7 g P, 29 g K, 25 g Ca and 4.2 g Mg. However, there are also some crops that take far less nutrients from m2 at medium yields. For example, 0.4 kg of asparagus removes only moderately 8 g of N, 1.8 g of P, 8.4 g of K, 3.9 g of Ca and 0.9 g of Mg.

Of course, it also depends on the method of cultivation. Cucumbers grown in a greenhouse at a harvest of 25 kg per m2 draw an average of 45 g N, 11 g P, 58 g K, 17 g Ca and 6 g Mg. In a free bed with a yield of 4 kg per m2, cucumbers consume only 15 g N, 4 g P, 21 g K, 43 g Ca and 15 g Mg.

At the so-called nutrient balance, that is, considering how many nutrients we need to supplement with fertilization, we must take into account that from the harvest part of the nutrients (in waste non-consumable parts of plants) is returned via compost to the garden. We must also include the supply of nutrients in the soil in the calculations. If it is insufficient, we must increase the need for nutrients, if it is excessive, then we will save some nutrients.

Manifestations of deficiencies in plant nutrition

Manifestations of deficiencies in plant nutrition


  Individual types of garden crops, as well as their varieties, have specific, genetically determined requirements for nutrients.  Plants respond to any deviation from this biological rule  negatively by slowing down growth, reducing yield, deteriorating quality, reducing resistance to diseases and pests, diseases and, in extreme cases, dying. A smaller or larger deficiency or excess in the intake of a single nutrient is enough and the plant is already limited in its performance. 
  Fortunately, plants on fertile soils can “repair” minor “defects” in nutrient intake. A slight surplus or shortage will lead to good soil, which is in the so-called. old power of nutrients, face. However, once this ability is exhausted, plant nutrition disorders occur. 
  The greater the errors in nutrition, the more pronounced the consequences. Minor deficiencies on plants usually do not show more pronounced symptoms to the human eye during vegetation. However, they can be very well determined by chemical manorganic analysis of plants  or parts thereof (eg leaves).
Greater shortcomings are reflected in the external appearance of plants with changes that do not escape the eye of the gardener.

1. Symptoms of nutrient deficiencies

An important sign of a deeper lack of nutrients in the visual assessment (so-called visual diagnostic methods) is the place of occurrence of symptoms on the outside of the plant.

If symptoms of deficiency occur in the initial period:
(a) on younger leaves, the plant lacks iron or zinc, copper or boron;
(b) on older leaves, the plant lacks either nitrogen or phosphorus, potassium or

At nitrogen deficiency (N) plants grow poorly, remain small and mature earlier, fruits are small and few. At first the leaves are light green, later even yellow, or even reddish, older leaves often fall off prematurely.

Also at phosphorus deficiency (P) plants lag behind in growth, are small and stunted. The flowers are poorly fertilized, the fruits are difficult to ripen and are acidic. Older leaves are gray-green, partly reddish and fall off prematurely. If the plants suffer from a lack of potassium (K), the water regime is disturbed, so that the leaves, or. whole plants have a withered appearance. The edges of the leaves fade to brown (first in the older ones), the leaf tips sometimes twist inwards. The shoots of the branches near the trees dry out, the fruits are small, do not taste good and are not durable.

At calcium deficiency (Ca) ceases to form root hairs and old roots turn brown, later rotting and dying. The edges of the younger leaves are faded, the older ones are dark green. In particular, stone fruits and shells suffer from glucose and cancer.

Symptoms magnesium deficiency (Mg) are very typical. First, on the older leaves, yellow spots appear between the green veins of the blade next to the dark green ones. Clusters of green chlorophyll resemble beads strung on a string. This mosaic later turns into continuous striped chlorosis (up to necrosis) in monocots and spotted in dicotyledons. In case of severe deficiency, the symptoms also appear on younger leaves.

Sulfur deficiencies (S) are similar to nitrogen. However, light green to yellow are younger leaves at first.

A typical manifestation iron deficiency (Fe) is the so-called chlorosis, ie the leaves are light green to bright yellow at the end of the shoots.

In manganese (Mn) in its absence, light yellow to dark brown spots form between the veins of the blade of the middle to upper leaves. Root growth also lags far behind. These symptoms are especially pronounced in cucumbers.

At boron deficiency (B) the tops of young shoots die off, the young leaves are often curled and brittle. At first they have a dark green to blue-green color, later they fade and die. The flowers do not form or develop. The fruit shows screaming and freckles.

Up to whitish coloring and bottling, or the curvature of the youngest leaves is a manifestation copper deficiency (Cu). Flower formation is also limited. Withering is a common symptom.

Zinc deficiency (Zn) is manifested by the lightening of the leaves (fading) between the veins on the blade of the young leaves, which remain small and twisted. It can result in infertility in trees.

Symptoms molybdenum deficiency (Mo) are similar to nitrogen. The older and middle leaves are initially blue-green, later light green to yellow. They die by browning. The plants do not bloom and stop growing. In the case of cauliflower, the so-called “Blindness” – no flower rosette is formed.

2. Symptoms of nutrient excess

Not only insufficient intake of nutrients, but also their excessive accumulation in plants (called luxury consumption), has a negative impact on plants.
The cause is usually the mistakes we made during fertilization. Excessive intake of one or more nutrients often leads to reduced intake of others
nutrients (consequence of antagonism).

With a luxurious intake of nutrients, not only does the intensity of growth and product formation decrease, but their quality also deteriorates. Symptoms of excess nutrients on plants are manifestations of already toxic effects, which variously damage plant organs and their function.

In the gardens of small growers, the “overdose” can most easily occur excessive nitrogen intake (N). Although the symptoms are not as pronounced as with a lack of nitrogen, its excess is manifested by too lush growth of dark green leaf mass and limited formation of flowers and fruits. The quality of harvested products is reduced mainly due to the high content of nitrates (nitrates).

WITH excess phosphorus (P) We rarely meet. Symptoms may be deficient in iron (Fe) or zinc (Zn) deficiency, which suppresses intake.
Excess potassium (K) is usually manifested in rotlins by limiting the intake of magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca). Direct excess calcium (Ca) is not known in plants. “However, calcification is reflected in reduced iron intake and plants suffer from chlorosis. Excess magnesium (Mg) is usually accompanied by a lack of calcium, which is manifested by the described symptoms on shoots and roots. Symptoms excess sulfur (S) are most often known in conifers as air pollution damage from atmospheric fallout near sources of combustion of products with higher sulfur content.

In microelements (trace elements), where the range between deficiency, optimum and excess in plant nutrition is very narrow, “overdose can easily cause noticeable damage to plants. In the body (B) is, for example, characterized by the yellowing of the leaf tips, which later spreads and turns into a browning of the entire leaf. Excess copper (Cu) usually shows symptoms of iron deficiency. On excess manganese (Mn) are sensitive cherries and in cucumbers the veins of older leaves turn reddish brown and dark red. Golden and orange-yellow chlorosis in tomatoes is a symptom excess molybdenum (Mo). Symptoms excess zinc (Zn) correspond to symptoms of either iron or manganese deficiency. In contrast, chlorosis of the leaf edges, browning and death, for example in currants, are a symptom excess chlorine (WHOSE).

3. Other negative effects of defects in the nutrition of garden crops

Proper balanced nutrition of plants increases their resistance (resistance) to diseases, pests and extreme climatic fluctuations. Plants that suffer from a deficiency or excess of certain nutrients have less resistance to attack at the same infection pressure. For example, an excess of nitrogen (N) in plants allows stronger infestation of plants by powdery mildew, a lack of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) results in less resistance to rust. In the absence of potassium, the sugar content of the leaves increases, which promotes aphid infestation. In crops exposed to frost, insufficient potassium content results in less resistance. Plants that have not been sufficiently fed with phosphorus in their youth are less tolerant of cold. Nutritional deficiencies that result in insufficient root development (such as calcium) increase the risk of drying out because the plant has not grown into deeper, moist soil layers. Also the lack of potassium in the tissues of plants results in a deterioration of water management, ie. less resistance to drought.

Deficiencies in the quality of garden crop products have their origin very often in unbalanced plant nutrition. Today, the most frequently discussed problem among growers is the excessive content of nitrates in garden products. The following are the maximum permissible values for the nitrate content of vegetables under the current guidelines of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture. These values will be gradually refined in the coming years, and we therefore recommend following the relevant updated guidelines. Harmful accumulation of nitrates in plants occurs if the nitrogen intake is not balanced by the intake of other nutrients (or even light, heat, water). In this so-called Due to the luxury consumption of nitrogen, its nitrate (nitrate) form cannot be processed into desirable and useful nitrogenous substances (proteins, etc.), so nitrate nitrogen is actually unprocessed and unincorporated due to nutritional defects. Therefore, the principle is that the better we can feed plants (so that they do not suffer from a lack of any of the nutrients), the more nitrogen the plant can absorb without accumulating nitrates, and the higher and better yield we can achieve.

Excess nitrogen and especially lack of potassium, but also an excess of chlorine or calcium, worsen the consumption quality, but also the storability of potatoes. Sufficient phosphorus guarantees the maturity of tubers. Lack of calcium worsens the quality of apples (horseradish). There are a number of other more or less adverse impacts caused by a lack or excess of nutrients, and therefore the growing interest of gardeners in the proper nutrition of garden crops is entirely appropriate.

Maximum permissible nitrate contents in mg NaNO3 per 1 kg

Morning salad


Field salad, spinach


Carrot bunch


Carrots field


Parsley, celery


Early radish


Radish field




Early cabbage, field brussels sprouts


Cabbage early, late




Kohlrabi early


Kohlrabi field


Peas, beans


Peppers, tomatoes


Early cucumbers


Late cucumbers


Garlic with topping, dry


Green onions, dry, leeks