Introduction to plant growth, plant nutrition and soils.

This module combines foundation level topics from the modules Plant growth and nutrition and Soils and plant growth. It serves as a convenient introduction to plant nutrition, plant growth, healthy soil concepts, soil processes that supply nutrients, fertilisers and the connections between soil factors and plant health. It is a recommended foundation subject for the Module Introduction to healthy soils.

Outcomes: Collect resource material from the module on the range of plant nutrients, options for fertilisers, characteristics of healthy growth and deficiency symptoms for some selected plants or crops. Choose a crop or plant species of interest and summarize cultivation preferences including soil properties and nutrients. Make a nutrient plan that integrates supply of nutrients from difference sources.

Cost $220. Allow 20 hrs study time. Aim to complete the module within 6 weeks. Tutor Dr Tim Apps

Topics.

1. Nutrients needed by plants. Major nutrients, minor nutrients and trace elements.

2. Where do plant get nutrients? From the soil, manures, fertilisers and green manures.

3. Plant growth. Normal growth, Life cycle and seasonal growth. Difference between species.

4. Function of different nutrients in plants.

5. Using deficiency symptoms to help solve plant growth problems.

6. Diagnosis of plant growth problems. The main factors to look for in investigating growth and nutritional problems.

7. Making observations and interpreting these in terms of the plant’s environment.

8. Sources of plant nutrients. Covers types of nutrients from soil minerals, range of organic fertilisers, artificial fertilisers and nitrogen from N fixation. Also examines role of green manures and conserved feeds.

9. Time based aspects of how plants take up nutrients including seasonal factors and life cycle stages. Rate of uptake. How soil supply of nutrients matches plant uptake patterns.

10. Role of manures and organic matter in soils. Nutrient content of manures. Introduction to composts. Other benefits in soil, application of organic amendments to soil.

Outcomes: Collect resource material from the module on the range of plant nutrients, options for fertilisers, characteristics of healthy growth and deficiency symptoms for some selected plants or crops. Choose a crop or plant species of interest and summarise cultivation preferences including soil properties and nutrients. Make a nutrient plan that integrates supply of nutrients from difference sources.