Some plants suffer if they can’t take up the right mix of chemicals from your soil. Some soils do not have enough of the right chemicals to sustain certain plants. These situations call for the judicious use of plant health chemicals that either free up the plants ability to draw sustenance from the soil or add the chemical to the soil to improve the plants health.
Many useful plant heath additives are available as ‘mix them your self’chemicals like those sold under the brand Chempak.
Key Plant Health Chemicals
- Magnesium is a trace element that helps the uptake of nutrients. Useful for improving the colour and vigour of Chrysanthemums and greening up yellow leaves. Try it on your tomatoes to correct magnesium deficiency. Epsom salts are a useful way of improving the magnesium content to soil.
- Sulphur has a couple of garden uses including reducing the soils ph for the health of ericaceous plants. It can also stop some bacterial rots.
- Sequestered Iron or Chelated Iron is used as a tonic for ericaceous plants.
- Calcium is a basic building block and helps prevent many disorders. Lime is often used to add calcium to the veg garden or to prevent other soils becoming sour and too acidic.
Soil Health Chemicals
- The health of plants and the health of soil go hand in hand. It is very hard to have one without the other.
- Chemical assitance for soil health comes in improving the constituents of the soil by fertilisers or correcting deficiencies (as above) and by improving the structure of the soil (below).
- Clay breaker is designed to stop the very fine particles of soil sticking together in wet weather and baking rock hard in the sun. The addition of grit and humus will do a similar job.
- Humus in the form of spent mushroom compost, peat or manure are basic garden chemical additions to improve soil condition.
- Potting base is not added to your soil but to peat to make your own seed or potting compost. It usually contains a wetting agent, chalk and trace elements and the resulting mixture is fine for growing your own seedlings or cuttings.
- Soil improvers like Forti8 or seaweed extract claim to add minerals and trace elements to your soil. They do not do anything for the soil consistency or structure.
Here’s to Good Health