The Role Of Potassium In The Garden

by Halley -Author at MIGardener
                          The Role Of Potassium In The Garden            
Potassium is used in the garden as the plant soluble form called potash. It Is one the most commonly forgotten nutrients most likely that is because it is used by the symbol K, [caption id="attachment_1121" align="alignright" width="220"]ash Wood burning forming a product called wood ash - rich in potash[/caption]which comes form the Latin name for Kalium. It is found in the ground, and easily leaches into water. The most common cycling of potassium comes form forest fires which are beneficial to the environment although destructive in nature, can unlock tons of locked potassium in the formation of wood ash. Potassium also can be found in items like banana peels.  

    How Potassium Is Used In The Garden   

[caption id="attachment_1120" align="alignright" width="222"]potassiumdef Potassium deficiency on a Raspberry[/caption]

  Potassium (potash) is used in the plant cell to strengthen the cell, increase disease resistance, promote growth, increase vigor, and help cope with environmental stress. It also helps to create healthy viable seeds, and larger fruit set. Potassium is used in the plant soluble form of potassium  - Potash. 

    Signs of a Potassium Deficiency    
Potassium is a rather difficult one to identify due to the fact that it is hidden until almost to late, and the plants reaction sometimes never is shown, it might just catch a disease very easily which is thought to be normal. But one of the tell tail signs is yellowing of the edges, followed by curling downward, then followed by a brown and brittle leaf. In some extreme cases the leaves will also become smaller and stop forming all together. 

[caption id="attachment_1119" align="aligncenter" width="401"]Potassium cycle The Potassium Cycle![/caption]

  4 great forms of Potassium for the garden  

1. Grass clippings - When composted, grass contains about 3% Potassium by weight
2. Wood Ash -  Wood ash is one of the best uses in an organic garden as it contains about 7-8% potassium by weight. *WARNING* use lightly! A little goes a long way, wood ash is very high pH and can make the garden to alkaline, only a light dusting will be fine. 
3. Manure - An excellent and very safe way to get potassium in the garden. When composted manure contains about 5% potassium by weight. 

4.banana peels - A super efficient form of potassium that is both safe, and can be used immediately. Banana peels can also be fed to worms for potassium rich vermicompost OR composted as well. Banana peels contain 3% potassium by weight. 



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