There is a lot of talk about which vegetables have the most nutrition and how the soil they are cooked in, the types of fertilizers used, and many other components factor into how many nutrients are in those vegetables. To get a good understanding on how nutrients get into your vegetables, you need to understand the process responsiblie for nutrients going from the soil to the plant.
Like all living organisms, vegetables need nutrients for their proper growth and development. But where do they get their mineral nutrients from? Sustainable, Secure Food Blog explains how nutrients get into your vegetables.
According to blogger Carlos B. Pires, “The answer is from the soil. The three processes responsible for nutrients from the soil reach the plant are diffusion, mass transport, and root interception.”
When the concentration of nutrients is higher in the soil than in the plant root, then the nutrients in the soil will move from a region of higher concentration (soil) to a region of lower concentration (vegetable). Potassium and phosphorus are examples of nutrients that get into the vegetables by diffusion.
Nutrients move to the roots via water. As plants transpire water, it draws water and nutrients from the soil up through the root system. Mass transport accounts for nutrient acquisition of mobile nutrients, such as nitrogen and sulfur.
Vegetable roots grow through the soil to meet nutrients. As the root grows through the soil it generally only comes in contact with about 1% of soil volume. Good soil structure is essential in the process of root interception. Soil compaction can significantly limit root growth and interception with nutrients throughout the soil. Some important macro and micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, and zinc are absorbed by root interception.
Of course, some nutrients are absorbed in more than one way. For example, iron and zinc can be absorbed by three different methods. As you can see, there are a lot of variables that may impact how vegetable acquire their nutrients.
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