Many people argue whether an natural fertilizer or an chemical fertilizer helps plant growth. There are many differences between the two fertilizers as far as how much nutrients are found in it and the long term effect of the plants. The question is how do gardeners decided which fertilizer will benefit their plants the most? There are many advantages to using a more natural fertilizer. This fertilizer has a more long term effect, the fertilizer improves the structure of the soil which makes it easier to hold water and the nutrients it needs to be a long lasting plant(A comparison between).
2.3.5 Soil Nitrogen Soil nitrogen is a vital nutrient compound for plant growth. The primary source of soil nitrogen is gaseous N2 in atmosphere; however a few bacteria can use this directly. The other plants and organisms can use nitrogen unless it is chemically bound to oxygen, hydrogen or carbon. About 99% of combined nitrogen is present in the organic matter fraction of soil, and can be converted to plant available nitrogen due to various biochemical reactions, that naturally take place in soil. The amount of nitrogen utilized by crops is large; however, the available amount to crops is small.
Nitrogen is a major component of the atmosphere, but an essential nutrient in short supply to living organisms and is often the most limiting nutrient for plant growth but can also be found in organic matter in soil and the oceans. It is used to make organic molecules such as amino acids (and thus proteins and nucleic acids) for living organisms. Animals require nitrogen for metabolism, growth, and reproduction and get it by consuming nitrogen-containing molecules in organic matter of both living and dead sources. (Pidwirny 2008) The nitrogen cycle can be summarized as follows; Nitrogen in the air (70%) gets converted into a useful form by nitrogen-fixing (conversion of nitrogen into nitrates) bacteria in the soil. This is assimilated by plants and animals.
The plants in the rainforest provide fallen leaves and branches to the forest floor which are consumed and broken down by soil organisms and are converted back into nutrients which are consumed by the flora. This is an on-going cycle which allows the flora to receive the vital nutrients they need. The topsoil is the main source of food for the flora. The zonal soil found in the tropical rainforest is mainly composed of tropical red soil (latosols). Latosols are a reddish yellow colour due to the iron oxide and aluminium oxide found in it.
The final stage is for the roots to absorb all the cations that have been released from the bonding of the hydrogen ions and the negatively charged soil2 . These are the stages required for the plants to get nutrients from the soil by the cation exchange. The next cycle that can be very valuable in plants being able to get nutrients within their soil is the nitrogen cycle. The nitrogen cycle is when nitrogen from the atmosphere or from decomposed organic material can be converted into nutrients by nitrogen-fixing bacteria1 . This process can be very successful for both the plants and the bacteria because they both end up giving each other something in return.
Soils contain about 8 to 15 tons of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, earthworms, and arthropods. Bacteria play an important role in decomposition of organic materials, especially in the early stages of decomposition when moisture levels are high (Cullimore, 2000). In the later stages of decomposition, fungi tend to dominate because most are mainly saprophytes (decomposers) (Roberts, 2011). Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas fluorescens are examples of decomposing bacteria. Additions of these bacteria have not been proved to accelerate formation of compost or humus in soil (Lynch, et al 1998).
It is important to say that tobacco stems, wool waste, sugar beet factory waste and flue dust contains potassium but their use as a fertilizer is limited (CFAITC, 2009). Potassium is symbolized as K2) on the fertilizer labels and occupying the third number on the labeled like N: P: K. In most of places, the 95% of the all potassium fertilizers come in the form of murate of potash, which is also known as potassium chloride. In general the crops which are not able to tolerate the chloride in the soil solution, for their other salts of potassium are also available like sulfate and nitrate. The letter K used to symbolize potassium. It comes from the German word Kalium.
Diseases, pests and weeds should be controlled. Proper supply of balanced nutrition. Soil test to be done once in three years. Crop rotation is the best idea to keep up the fertility of the soil. Use of leguminous plants that have nodules in its roots that contain a bacteria Rhizobium that helps fixing atmospheric nitrogen in its root nodules and thus enriching the soil with nitrogen.
Flowers and trees, fruit, vegetables, grains, and other plants, get their minerals and water from the soil. Where would this tree grow if not in the soil? The rock would not give enough water and nutrients that this tree and all the other plants need. Moreover, the uppermost part of the soil is usually the best for growing crops! Crops, when ready, are going to be eaten by people and animals.