Main advantages are:
• Fast acting correction of deficiencies. EASY TO USE.
• Rapid leaf uptake and utilisation
• Compatible with most fertilizers and pesticides. ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE.
• Non-phytotoxic to plants AND NOT CORROSIVE TO EQUIPMENTS.
Calcium’s Role in Plant nutrition
symbol: Ca; available to plants as the ion Ca2+
- Ca has a major role in the formation of the cell wall membrane and its plasticity, affecting normal cell division by maintaining cell integrity and membrane permeability.
- Ca is an activator of several enzyme systems in protein synthesis and carbohydrate transfer.
- Ca combines with anions including organic acids, sulfates, and phosphates. It acts as a detoxifying agent by neutralizing organic acids in plants.
- Ca is essential for seed production in peanuts.
- Ca indirectly assists in improving crop yields by reducing soil acidity when soils are limed.
Calcium is a central regulator of plant growth and development.
Calcium: is a multifunctional nutrient in the physiology of crop plants and in the soluble form influences availability and uptake. Nitrogen-use efficiency is also increased with soluble calcium sources.
Classical visual symptoms in calcium deficient plants include 1) death of growing points, 2) abnormally dark green foliage, 3) premature shedding of blossoms and buds, and 4) weakened stems.
Cell wall strength and thickness are increased by calcium addition. Calcium is a critical part of the cell wall that produces strong structural rigidity by forming cross-links within the pectin polysaccharide matrix. With rapid plant growth, the structural integrity of stems that hold flowers and fruit, as well as the quality of the fruit produced, is strongly coupled to calcium availability.
Many fungi and bacteria invade and infect plant tissue by producing enzymes that dissolve the middle lamella. Enzymes responsible for dissolving the middle lamella include Polygalacturonase and pectolytic enzymes such as pectate transaminase.
Increasing tissue calcium content astonishingly lowers polyglacturonase and pectolytic enzyme activity from Erwinia carotovora. For example, Erwinia bacteria infect many vegetable crops and are also responsible for storage rot in potato tubers.
Increasing bean tissue calcium content from l.6 to 3.4 percent greatly reduced Erwinia carotovora infection. In many studies, plants containing 1.6 percent calcium were completely destroyed within six days. Plants containing 3.4 percent calcium were healthy and possessed no symptoms of infection.
Fungal pathogenic infection is also reduced with increased calcium uptake by plants.
A steady supply of available calcium delivered during fertigation reduces Fusarium oxysporum activity, the fungal pathogen that causes wilt and crown rot in tomatoes.
Research indicates that tomato plants receiving low rates of calcium fertilization were severely infected with Fusarium oxysporum, compared to healthy plants receiving higher calcium rates. Calcium fertilization also reduces Pythium blight and root rot of turf grass and citrus.
How effective is calcium fertilization in comparison to other nutrients? Research indicates that calcium uptake in plant tissue is superior to potassium in reducing the infection of the fungal pathogen Botrytis in lettuce
Increasing potassium concentration in lettuce from 1.44 to 4.89 percent did not deter Botrytis infection. However, decreasing tissue calcium concentration by half from 1.06 to 0.54 percent increased infection from a slight to moderate rating. A further decrease in calcium by one-half in the tissue (0.54 to 0.22%) resulted in severe Botrytis infection. Lesson to be learned: enhanced cell wall structural integrity supplied by calcium fertilization is important for plant health.
Boron’s Role in Plant nutrition
symbol: B. Available to plants as borate, H3BO3
- B is necessary in the synthesis of one of the bases for RNA formation and in cellular activities.
- B has been shown to promote root growth.
- B is essential for pollen germination and growth of the pollen tube.
- B has been associated with lignin synthesis, activities of certain enzymes, seed and cell wall formation, and sugar transport.
Boron is essential for plant growth and development
Adequate boron nutrition of cultivated plants can be of great economic importance. Boron affects the yield of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains as well as the quality of harvested crops.
Increased boron applications may promote root elongation in acidic, high-aluminum soils.
Adequate boron nutrition is critical not only for high yields but also for high quality of crops. Boron deficiency causes many anatomical, physiological, and biochemical changes, most of which represent secondary effects.
In vascular plants, boron moves from the roots with the transpiration stream and accumulates in growing points of leaves and stems.
Boron was found essential for nitrogen fixation
Role for Boron in Cell Wall Structure
The primary cell wall of higher plants is an important factor determining cell size and shape during plant development.
The first symptoms of boron deprivation include abnormalities in cell wall and middle lamella organization.
Boron protects Ca in the cell wall.
Membranes and Membrane-Associated Reactions
Some studies observed that several enzymes, normally bound to membranes or walls in a latent form, become active when released under boron deficient conditions. These enzymes include ribonuclease, glucose-6- phosphate dehydrogenase, phenylalanine ammonia lyase, b–glucosidase and polyphenoloxidase. Release of these enzymes under boron-insufficient conditions could severely alter plant metabolism, deplete RNA, and increase phenolic synthesis. Many of the phenolics are potent growth inhibitors, the same phenolics also inhibit ion uptake and thus retard membrane function.
Reproduction, Pollen Tube Growth and Pollen Germination
Based on the latest research, cell wall composition may be of primary importance in determining the quantity of boron required for growth. However, it has been observed that in most plant species the boron requirement for reproductive growth is much higher than for vegetative growth. Boron beneficial effects on pollen germination, on flowering and fruiting of plants, have long been recognized. Boron deficiency causes sterility in maize and flower malformations in a wide variety of both monocots and dicots.