Have you ever had a deficiency that can’t be explained? Have you given your plants everything they need in order to thrive, but are looking worse for wear? If you have answered yes to either of the above questions, it may be time to take into consideration nutrient interactions by utilising Mulder’s Chart. As we now have a solid understanding of how to mix our nutrients correctly, the next step is understanding element interactions and how this can affect our plants based on soil pH.
To maintain healthy uniform growth, you must ensure that your soil is maintained within optimal pH range. Food present in soil is found in the form of cations and anions. These ions attach themselves to water molecules and are then absorbed by the root zone in order to feed the plant. If your pH is not within optimal range, you may find that your plants start displaying deficiencies or in some cases a complete nutrient lockout. Whilst plants can survive in acidic soil, research has shown that plants thrive best when the soil pH is between 6.0 and 7.0, the reason for this is that the key essential elements are best absorbed within this range.
What is Mulder's Chart?
Mulder’s Chart shows the interaction between 11 of the elements that are considered as essential for plant growth. There are two types of reactions, synergistic and antagonistic. Synergistic interactions are positive and antagonistic are negative.
Simplified, a synergistic interaction refers to a relationship whereby one element aids the uptake of another. On the contrary, antagonistic relationships refer to interactions where certain elements may hinder or slow down the uptake of another element.
How do you read Mulder's Chart?
As an example, the chart below shows us that having high levels of Manganese in your soil will result in your plant needing additional potassium. With this in mind, it is possible to correct deficiencies by altering the quantity of macro and microelements in your soil.
To conclude, it’s important that the pH of your soil is within optimal range. This can be achieved by implementing a premium soil substrate like Biogreen Totall Mix. As this is a top-quality soil, you can expect that the pH will be stable throughout your grow cycle. Now that we understand how antagonistic and synergistic relationships work between elements in our substrate, we are now more equipped to dealing with any potential deficiencies that may occur by simply increasing the presence of the element that works symbiotically with the other. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive explanation of how to utilise and understand Mulder’s Chart, we’ll be covering nutrient ratios in a future post!