Potassium is also a cation and plays a role in cation exchange capacity and helps protect anion and cation balance while directly affecting important variables in root zone management, such as pH, osmotic pressure, and electrical conductivity.
The Importance of Balanced Potassium Levels
Balanced Potassium levels are important. Higher Potassium levels than required negatively affect the uptake of nutrients like Calcium and Magnesium, and lead to several other nutrient deficiencies. Lower Potassium levels than required will begin to show a general decrease in dry matter in leaves, stems and roots, and there will be less uptake of passive nutrients. Less growth means less leaf area for photosynthesis to occur.
Plant reproduction also relies on Potassium for fruit size, appearance, acidity, taste, shelf life, color, soluble solids, and vitamin content. Potassium is also involved in the generative phase of all crops; for example, in flowers Potassium is used to effectively run processes like pollen germination. Without a successful pollen germination, flower formation and yield are directly affected. An increase in Potassium is generally required when crops move from the vegetative stage to the generative phase.
Fruits and vegetables high in carbohydrates such as tomatoes and potatoes, require high amounts of potassium to fill the fruit/vegetable. Potassium is generally easily absorbed by plants; Manganese can aid in the plant’s ability to absorb Potassium.
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