Fuel Log 4.0 – How soil pH affects availability of plant nutrients

The nutritional requirement for photosynthesis, respiration, and protein production can be intense to say the least. Just like an endurance athlete, the plant needs fuel. What about the soil? It’s true soil tests sometimes show a good deal of nutrient content in the soil but the challenge lies in nutrient availability and potential for root uptake. Most modern golf putting surfaces sit atop a sand based greens mix or a native soil with a cap of years worth of topdressing sand mix covering it. The result is a turf root system surviving in a sand based medium. From a drainage standpoint these soil profiles are wonderful for growth and development. The plant benefits from improved water infiltration rates but is limited by the lack of nutrient holding capacity. In addition to lack of nutrient holding capacity sandy soils typically have a pH greater than 7.0. As the soil pH begins to rise soil chemistry has taught us nutrient availability/solubility begins to suffer drastically. A soil pH between 7.0 and 8.0 shows little availability of several key nutrients. Some of the nutrients most limited in this pH include magnesium, the center of a chlorophyll molecule. Manganese, the nutrient that prepares CO2 for photosynthesis. Iron, powering chlorophyll formation. Boron, necessary for cell division, shoot, and root growth. Zinc, the unsung hero of enzymatic activity and increased energy production. Thus, monitoring pH and nutrient uptake presents an additional challenge, and show how soil pH affects availability of plant nutrients.

Over the years turf managers have realized even when they apply nutrients into high pH soils, the nutrients are subject to the same lack of availability as nutrients currently in the high pH soil. As such, turf managers have found success in foliar feeding the deficient nutrients. Foliar feeding involves applying a nutrient solution in a even application and allowing the application to dry on the foliage of the target plant. Foliar feeding iron, manganese, magnesium, boron, and zinc creates a great color response without an unacceptable amount of top growth. The end result is a healthier plant better equipped to handle the stress of the growing season.

Minors Fuel from Turf Fuel was specifically designed for high pH soils. Containing 3% iron, 1% manganese, .25% magnesium, 0.8% Zinc, and 0.2% Boron Minors Fuel works to provide the plant with key nutrients for growth, strength, and resilience. The nutrients in Minors Fuel are treated with our Dual Nutrient Complexing Technology for superior foliar uptake and spray tank compatibility. Minors Fuel is formulated to compliment any foliar spray program.