Explanation of Mineral Interaction Dynamics

by Gary Kline

The Mineral Wheel below illustrates possible interactions between certain mineral nutrient elements in soil, and possibly in the digestive and metabolic systems of plants and animals. Not all the known nutrient minerals are shown. Twelve are shown but at least twice that many are needed by humans. A mineral in comparative excess suppresses or ties up one (at the arrow point) that is at or below sufficiency.

A glance at the wheel suggests mind-boggling complexity with no hope of ever bringing all the minerals into an optimally balanced relationship. Thankfully, however,  this complexity can be disregarded when the soil nutrients are each brought into correct levels and the ABC s of full fertility (i.e., ample amount, balanced proportions, and complete array) are in place. Note: Excesses can be hard to correct.

The existing collection of elements can be seen as a large quarrelsome family of sibling rivals. If any one is big or powerful enough (excessive) to bully others, it throws off the whole family dynamics (dysfunctional?). But if each can be given its rightful position and role, the fighting stops and harmony reigns. There is an essentially universal soil nutrient balance. When achieved, nearly any plant or crop will do well in that soil. This balance is represented (crudely) in the Nutrient Balance Diagram I developed. Bottom line: Get a Professional Soil Test.



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