Ed Rosenthal’s Guide To Understanding Nutrients • High Times

When plants cannot get the nutrients they need, they do not function properly, adversely affecting growth and yield. This can occur in any growing medium, while using any planting mix or technique—coir, rockwool, soil, soilless, hydroponic or aeroponic. Plant disorders are characterized by their symptoms, which appear more quickly in hydroponic gardens than in planting mixes or soil. An overabundance of nutrients can result in nutrient burn or toxicity and can also lock out other ingredients. Unless the damage is slight, individual leaves do not recover from nutrient deficiencies. Some nutrients are mobile and are translocated from older to new growth, so the damage is seen in older leaves, not in new growth. Other nutrients are not mobile. Their deficiencies are apparent in new growth. All fertilizer packages list three numbers that identify the N-P-K ratio. They usually appear as three numbers with dashes between them such as 25-10-10. The first number represents nitrogen (N), which is responsible for foliage or leaf development. Fertilizers that promote heavy leaf growth have a higher first number (N) than the other two. The second number represents phosphorus (P), which is i...

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When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small commission. Outside does not accept money for editorial gear reviews. Read more about our policy. According to the food pyramid of our elementary school days, protein is red, brown, and beige: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts. But peas, in all their bright-green glory, may have been misplaced the whole time. Peas are legumes, like lentils and chickpeas, and they’re a standout source of protein. Lately, they’ve trickled into the protein supplement aisle and popped up in everything from vegan cheeses and meat substitutes to shakes, yogurt, milk, and bars. “Pea protein offers a good profile of micronutrients like manganese, folate, copper, phosphorus, vitamins B6 and B2, niacin, and molybdenum,” says Liz Fusco, sports dietitian for the U.S. Olympic Committee and U.S. Rowing. They’re also high in fiber, which can aid in digestion and enhance fullness, she says. Pea protein comes from yellow split peas, and unlike some other plant proteins, such as rice or beans, it’s a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. Pea protein is a good option if you’re allergic or sensitive to ...