Interaction between nutrient and plant diseases

Interactions between plants, nutrients, and disease pathogens are very complex and not completely understood. Nutrition, although frequently unrecognized, has always been a primary component of disease control. Plants suffering a nutrient stress will be less vigorous and more susceptible to a variety of diseases. The severity of most diseases can be reduced and the chemical, biological or genetic control of many plant pathogens can be enhanced by proper nutrition.
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Elements Relation with diseases
Nitrogen Excessive N enhanced tissue susceptibility to blast disease N suppresses fungal disease and feeding intensity of sucking insects.
P lowers the susceptibility to fungal attacks because it is a component of phospholipids in cellular membranes.
Potassium K application reduces insect attacks and fungal and nematode infections, because is has a role in cellular functions and thick- cuticle development.
Calcium Ca as a component of calcium pectate in the middle lamella, its levels were related to lower susceptibility of leaves to fungus.
Sulphur S used as fungicide to control and suppress fungal diseases 
Accumulation of S in xylem vessel invading fungal pathogen.
Zinc Zn prevents leakage of sugar onto the plant surfaces, which can enhance the invasion of fungus and bacteria.
Copper Cu fertilization decreases the severity of the Pyricularia oryzae on rice due to its role as a component of polyphenol oxidase Copper has the ability to denature the spores and conidia of fungus.
Silicon Diseases such as blast, brown spot and sheath blight can be ex- tremely threatening to rice cultivation if Si is deficient in soil. Silicon has physiological roles in disease resistance.

Essential nutrient elements besides their growth enhancing and yield maximizing roles may also have secondary effect on survival and virulence of pathogens or the tolerance of the host plant to the disease. Deficiency of nutrients has often been regarded as predisposing factors in plant susceptibility to many plant diseases. Application of nutrient elements has shown reduction in disease incidence in rice plant.

Element Diseases Causal organism
K Leaf spot Helminthosporium spp.
Brown spot Cochliobolus miyabeanus
Sheath blight Rhizoctonia solani
Stem rot Sclerotium oryzae
Brown spot Ophiobolus miyabeanus
Blast Pyricularia grisea
Stem rot Sclerotium oryzae
Bacterial leaf blight Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae
Blast Pyricularia grisea
Blast Pyricularia grisea
Leaf spot Alternaria spp.
Leaf spot Cochliobolus miyabeanus
Stem/sheath blight Rhizoctonia solani
Blast Pyricularia grisea
Brown spot Cochliobolus miyabeanus

Functions of essential nutrient elements

Elements Functions
Nitrogen (N) It is integral part of chlorophyll. It promotes rapid growth, increase plant height and tiller number. It plays an impor tant role in synthesis of proteins, enzymes, hormones, vita mins, alkaloids, nucleic acids (DNA, RNA) etc.
Phosphorus (P) It plays central role in energy transfer and protein metabo- lism. It is a constituent of sugar phosphates, nucleotides, nucleic acids, co-enzymes and phospho-lipids.
Potassium (K) It helps in osmotic and ionic regulation and is required as a co-factor or activator for 40 or more enzymes. It imparts disease and drought resistance.
Calcium (Ca) It is involved in cell division and plays a major role in the maintenance of membrane integrity. It is a constituent of cell wall as calcium pectate.
Magnesium (Mg) It is central part of chlorophyll and it is required in several enzymes involved in phosphate transfer. It is structural com- ponent of ribosomes.
Sulfur (S) Somewhat like phosphorus, it is involved in plant cell en- ergetics. It plays an important role in plant lipid synthesis and amino acids.
Zinc (Zn) It is an essential component of several enzyme systems (de- hydrogenases, proteinases and peptidases including carbonic anhydrase and alcohol dehydrogenase).
Iron  (Fe) As a constituent of various enzymes (cytochrome, catalase, dipeptides etc.), iron plays the part of a vital catalyst in the plant. It is a key element in various redox reaction of respi- ration and  photosynthesis.
Manganese (Mn) It is involved in the O  evolving system of photosynthesis
and it is a constituent of decarboxylases, kinases, oxidases etc. and hence, essential for respiration, formation of chlo- rophyll and reduction in nitrates.
Copper (Cu) Acting as a component of metalloenzymes, regulating some enzymatic actions, and catalyzing oxidation reactions; Play ing a role in: i) nitrogen, protein and hormone metabolism; ii) photosynthesis and respiration.
Elements Functions
Boron (B) It is essential for development and growth of new cells in plant meristem. It is necessary for the germination of pol- len, formation of flowers and for the absorption of cations.
Molybdenum (Mo) It’s function in rice plants is limited to the reduction of nitrate to nitrite. It is a component of nitrogenase, nitrate reductase, sulphate oxidase and xanthine hydrogenase en- zymes .
Chlorine (Cl) Essential for photosynthesis and as an activator of enzymes involved in splitting of water. Associated with osmo-regula- tion of plants growing in saline soils.

Recognition of nature of nutrients deficiency symptoms

The symptoms can be of chlorotic, necrotic or deformed one. Chlorosis is characterized by yellowing: generalized over whole plant (uniform yellowing- N and S); localized over individual leaves or isolated between some leaf veins (interveinal chlorosis). Necrosis is characterized by death of plant tissue sometimes in spots (dead spots). The dead spots appear particularly on margins and tips

Garden Compost Making Process, Steps, and Guide

Garden Compost Making Process, Steps, and Guide

Homemade Garden Compost Making Process

Today, let us discuss about Garden Compost Making Process at home.

Healthy garden soil will give you amazing results. Adding compost to the garden soil will make it more productive. Adding a commercial compost is  a bit expensive, so why don’t you do it yourself.

Making homemade compost is quite easy, Homemade compost is done by natural decomposition to transform landscapes and kitchen waste into a rich soil compost. Home-made compost done using some Decomposers, like bacteria, fungi, insects, nematodes, earthworms and other composting critters.

What is a Compost?

The Compost is decomposed matter of organic material which can be produced by bacteria in the soil, by breaking down garbage and biodegradable trash, which results in a product rich in minerals that is best for ideal garden or landscaping amendment.

Benefits of Homemade Compost: 

  • No extra cost, it is made of kitchen waste, lawn clippings, leaves and other vegetation.
  • Potting mixes and soils with compost can produce vigorously regardless of growing vegetables, growing herbs or organic rose gardening.
  • Boosts up the garden soil structure, texture and aeration.
  • Adding compost will improves soil fertility and stimulates healthy root development in plants.
  • The organic matter provided in compost increases the microorganisms, which keeps the soil in a healthy, balanced condition.
  • Compost will loosen clay soils and makes sandy soils retain water.
  • When you use homemade organic compost, there will be no need for the additional fertilizer
  • Home made composts are good sources of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium which promotes the optimal growth of the plants. Composts are the best source of micronutrients like boron, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc.

How docomposts work?

  • Composts helps the bacteria and fungi in recycling the waste material into fertilizer.
  • Composts are mixed into the garden soil or this homemade compost is also used as mulch.

How to make the Momemade Compost?

  • Choose a best place for your pile or compost bin. So that it cannot create problems for your neighbors, choose a discreet location. The location you choose should have good airflow, access to water and partial shade in the summer to protect bin or pile from getting too hot), but good sun in the winter keeps it warm in winter.
  • How to choose bin for making compost?

For this work, composter can be ideal one, or you can make your own. Rotating bins are the best, easy and keeps animals out, but it is easy to make a workable bin on your own.  Simple compostercan be constructed by, tracking down shipping pallets. Keep on for the bottom. Bound them with metal support poles and add pallets by slipping them over the support poles for making bin walls.

The bin should be of 3x3x3 feet, it is the minimum size to create its own heat, but small enough to turn if you are opting commercial composter, you can an optimal size.

  • What are the materials needed?

To add materials, don’t add everything into the compost bin; we have listed the things that should be added and things that should be avoided.

Greens for Composting: Green leaves, Garden Waste, Flowers, Vegetables, Fruit peels, Scraps, Coffee Grounds, Tea leaves or bags, Eggshells, etc.

Browns for Composting: Evergreen needles, Dried leaves, Paper egg cartons, paper towels, Dried grass clippings, shredded newsprints, Barks, straw, sawdust, vacuum lint, small cardboard pieces, dead house plants, shredded brown paper bags etc.

Material that should be avoided: Meat or animal products (bones, fish, eggs, butter, yogurt, etc.), Coal ash, Weeds or weed seeds, Pet droppings, Synthetic chemicals.

  • Filling the Composting Bin/Pile: Add alternate layer materials, the first layer should be course material like twigs/barks as they promote drainage and aeration. Now cover this layer with leaves, then add alternate layers of green and browns. Green materials are a good source of nitrogen and brown material are a good source of carbon. Add the layers till the bin is full. The bin contents start to shrink when it begins to decompose.
  • Adding kitchen waste to Compost Bin: While adding food scraps or yard waste to the bin/pile, add a layer browns over the kitchen waste. If you don’t add the browns the compost will be wet and break down process becomes slow.
  • Temperature: the best and easiest way to test your compost’s temperature is by dipping your hand into the center of the compost bin. The composter temperature should be warm or hot, it is at a good temperature. If the bin temperature is same as the ambient temperature. This indicates that the microbes have slowed down — and has been slowed down.

Use a compost thermometer to for checking bin temperature. An ideal compost pile will heat up to temperatures of 60-80°C. At these temperatures most pathogens and weed seeds disposed completely.  When your pile/bin is really doing its composting process, then its temperature reaches up to 70°C. If the temperature of your pile reaches to peak and then starts to drop, then it’s time to turn the pile.

  • Moisture: Compost should be moist, but not soaking wet. Composting works well with 40-60% moisture content.
  • Aeration: the compost bin should have a good amount of oxygen, as every tiny microorganism needs oxygen to survive, so make sure enough oxygen is getting into your pile by turning your compost regularly. You use a compost aerator or pitchfork to mix your pile. If you are using a compost tumbler, it can be recommended option.
  • Maintain the Bin/Pile: for a quick composting process, check your compost bin regularly and follow the tips below:

When never you add fresh material, mix it in with the lower layers thoroughly.

Materials you add should be as wet as a wrung-out sponge. Add dry materials or water – as per the requirement to maintain adequate moisture levels.

Mix or turn the compost once a week to fasten the breakdown process and eliminate odor.

The finished compost will stay at the top of the bin. Remove all the finished compost from the bin, leave the unfinished materials in the bin to continue decomposing. Make sure that the decomposition process is done completely  before you use; otherwise, microbes in the compost could take nitrogen from the soil and harm plant growth.

Tips and Techniques for Composting:

  • Adding blood meal, cottonseed meal, well-aged manure or compost starter will fasten the breaking process of organic matter into compost. These materials are rich in nitrogen.
  • Chopping the material into smaller pieces will also fasten the breakdown process.
  • Plants that are treated with pesticides and/or herbicides should be avoided.
  • Add a lot to your pile of time will provide enough heat to the pile.
  • Turning compost regularly will increase the oxygen supply to the material and speeds up the composting process.
  • A Warm climate will keep the microbes more active, so keep your pile or bin in the sun.
  • The compost that smell like rich, dark soil will indicate the completion of the composting process.
  • Apply finished compost to the garden soil about 2-4 weeks before you plant, giving the compost time to integrate and stabilize within the soil.

Avoid Common Mistakes in Composting Process:

  • Don’t start too small. The breakdown process enough in order to do its job. Some composting bins work well for small amounts of material, so choose a product as per your requirements.
  • Maintain the good moisture level. Check the composting bin regularly, mainly during hot, dry weather conditions.
  • A compost made of different textures and nutrients is made of disintegration of many different plants will give your garden soil a perfect organic nutrient source that helps create disease and pest resistance.

How to use Homemade Garden Compost:

  • Sprinkle the compost in your garden twice of thrice in a year.
  • Use can use the compost as top dressing for flower beds and at the base of trees and shrubs.
  • You can mix compost in with garden and flower bed soil.
  • You can the homemade compost as a soil conditioner when planting or transplanting trees, flowers and shrubs.

Main functions of plant nutrients



Nitrogen (N)

Synthesis of proteins (growth and yield).

Phosphorus (P)

Cellular division and formation of energetic structures.

Potassium (K)

Transport of sugars, stomata control, cofactor of many enzymes, reduces susceptibility to plant diseases.

Calcium (Ca)

A major building block in cell walls, and reduces susceptibility to diseases.

Sulphur (S)

Synthesis of essential amino acids cystin and methionine.

Magnesium (Mg)

Central part of chlorophyll molecule.

Iron (Fe)

Chlorophyll synthesis.

Manganese (Mn)

Necessary in the photosynthesis process.

Boron (B)

Formation of cell wall. Germination and elongation of pollen tube.
Participates in the metabolism and transport of sugars.

Zinc (Zn)

Auxins synthesis.

Copper (Cu)

Influences in the metabolism of nitrogen and carbohydrates.

Molybdenum (Mo)

Component of nitrate-reductase and nitrogenase enzymes.

Go bananas with banana nutrition facts

Banana saw its origin in Malaysia. The fruit is believed to be conceived for the first time in the country. It made its way to the Indian subcontinent with the help of numerous visitors. It took several years to become popular all across the world. Today, banana stands as one of the most loved fruits. Its sweet flavor is considered to be one of the best flavors offered by any fruit. In many countries, leaves of banana are used in the making of plates. Bananas are easy to peel as well. They are immensely fleshy in the inside. This makes it easily consumable. Apart from its delectable taste, there are numerous health benefits of bananas too, which have been listed here as banana nutrition facts.

Go bananas with banana nutrition factsThe deliciously sweet fruit is loved by people of all age groups. Bananas act as a perfect smoothie material too. They blend in with other fruits easily and enhance their flavor. If bananas are prepared without addition of another fruit, the prepared beverage is known as a banana smoothie or a banana-shake. This is generally prepared by adding milk or yoghurt with the mixture. Numerous banana dishes are also widely popular amongst the masses. Banana splits are loved by children. Banana is also used in the preparation of pies and cakes. So, why do people consume bananas and go bananas at the sight of bananas? The answer to that is, naturally, its delectable taste. However, there are several banana nutrition facts too that bears testimony to their popularity.

Banana nutrition facts expound the presence of several essential elements and constituents in the fruit. Banana retains Vitamin C which helps in defending the body against diseases like scurvy. It also helps in improving the immune system of the body thereby helping the body to develop resistance against infectious agents. The vitamin is also essential for the synthesis of connective tissues. It also assists in the absorption of iron, thereby helping in the formation of blood. Banana also contains potassium which helps in speeding up the process of protein synthesis. Potassium is also beneficial in muscle-building. Potassium assists in the stimulation of nerve impulses, which are necessary for muscle contraction. Hypertension and stroke could also be eschewed, with the aid of potassium in bananas. Bananas also do not retain sodium hence could be easily included in one’s diet to mitigate the effect of high blood pressure.

Some of the banana nutrition facts explain, how bananas impart a boost in the energy level of a person. No wonder players and athletes prefer munching a piece of banana to improve their performance. Bananas contain sugars like fructose, sucrose and glucose which are available naturally. It also contains fiber. It retains Vitamin B6, which is also known as pyridoxine. It helps in the synthesis of antibodies, thereby improving the immune system. Pyridoxine also helps in the formation of red blood cells. One of the

banana nutrition facts elucidates how bananas contain extremely digestible carbohydrates. A banana also assists in carrying out various metabolic activities in the body.

Source: Mango Nutrition Facts

Role of Potassium in Crop Yield

Potassium is vital to many plant processes. A review of its role involves under-standing the basic biochemical and physiological systems of plants. While K does not become a part of the chemical structure of plants, it plays many important regulatory roles in development.

Enzyme Activation

Enzymes serve as catalysts for chemical reactions, being utilized but not consumed in the process. They bring together other molecules in such a way that the chemical reaction can take place.

ROLE OF POTASSIUM IN PLANTSPotassium “activates” at least 60 different enzymes involved in plant growth. The K changes the physical shape of the enzyme molecule, exposing the appropriate chemically active sites for reaction. Potassium also neutralizes various organic anions and other compounds within the plant, helping to stabilize pH between 7 and 8…optimum for most enzyme reactions.

The amount of K present in the cell deter-mines how many of the enzymes can be activated and the rates at which chemical reactions can proceed. Thus, the rate of a given reaction is controlled by the rate at which K enters the cell.

Stomatal Activity (Water Use)

Plants depend upon K to regulate the opening and closing of stomates…the pores through which leaves exchange carbon diox-ide (CO 2), water vapor, and oxygen (O2) with the atmosphere. Proper functioning of stomates is essential for photosynthesis, water and nutrient transport, and plant cooling. When K moves into the guard cells around the stomates, the cells accumulate water and swell, causing the pores to open and allowing gases to move freely in and out.

When water supply is short, K is pumped out of the guard cells. The pores close tightly to prevent loss of water and minimize drought stress to the plant. If K supply is inadequate, the stomates become sluggish – slow to respond – and water vapor is lost. Closure may take hours rather than minutes and is incomplete. As a result, plants with an insufficient supply of K are much more susceptible to water stress.

Accumulation of K in plant roots produces a gradient of osmotic pressure that draws water into the roots. Plants deficient in K are thus less able to absorb water and are more subject to stress when water is in short supply.


The role of K in photosynthesis is complex. The activation of enzymes by K and its involvement in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production is probably more important in regulating the rate of photosynthesis than is the role of K in stomatal activity.

When the sun’s energy is used to combine CO2and water to form sugars, the initial high-energy product is ATP. The ATP is then used as the energy source for many other chemical reactions. The electrical charge bal-ance at the site of ATP production is maintained with K ions. When plants are K deficient, the rate of photosynthesis and the rate of ATP production are reduced, and all of the processes dependent on ATP are slowed down. Conversely, plant respiration increases which also contributes to slower growth and development.

In some plants, leaf blades re-orient toward light sources to increase light interception or away to avoid damage by excess light, in effect assisting to regulate the rate of photosynthesis. These movements of leaves are brought about by reversible changes in turgor pressure through movement of K into and out of specialized tissues similar to that described above for stomata.

Transport of Sugars

Role of Potassium in Crop YieldSugars produced in photo-synthesis must be transported through the phloem to other parts of the plant for utilization and storage. The plant’s transport system uses energy in the form of ATP. If K is inadequate, less ATP is available, and the transport system breaks down. This causes photosynthates to build up in the leaves, and the rate of photosynthesis is reduced. Normal development of energy storage organs, such as grain, is retarded as a result. An adequate supply of K helps to keep all of these processes and transportation systems functioning normally.

Water and Nutrient Transport

Potassium also plays a major role in the transport of water and nutrients throughout the plant in the xylem. When K supply is reduced, translocation of nitrates, phosphates, calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and amino acids is de-pressed. As with phloem transport systems, the role of K in xylem transport is often in con-junction with specific enzymes and plant growth hormones. An ample supply of K is essential to efficient operation of these systems.

Protein Synthesis

Potassium is required for every major step of protein synthesis. The “reading” of the genetic code in plant cells to produce proteins and enzymes that regulate all growth processes would be impossible without adequate K. When plants are deficient in K, proteins are not synthesized despite an abundance of avail-able nitrogen (N). Instead, protein “raw materials” (precursors) such as amino acids, amides and nitrate accumulate. The enzyme nitrate reductase catalyzes the formation of proteins, and K is likely responsible for its activation and synthesis.

Starch Synthesis

The enzyme responsible for synthesis of starch (starch synthetase) is activated by K. Thus, with inadequate K, the level of starch declines while soluble carbohydrates and N compounds accumulate. Photosynthetic activity also affects the rate of sugar formation for ultimate starch production. Under high K levels, starch is efficiently moved from sites of production to storage organs.

Crop Quality

Potassium plays significant roles in enhancing crop quality. High levels of avail-able K improve the physical quality, disease resistance, and shelf life of fruits and vegetables used for human consumption and the feeding value of grain and forage crops. Fiber quality of cotton is improved. Quality can also be affected in the field before harvesting such as when K reduces lodging of grains or enhances winter hardiness of many crops. The effects of K deficiency can cause reduced yield potential and quality long before visible symptoms appear. This “hidden hunger” robs profits from the farmer who fails to keep soil K levels in the range high enough to supply adequate K at all times during the growing season. Even short periods of deficiency, especially during critical developmental stages, can cause serious losses.