NPK is ‘Not Plant Komplete’

NPK = Not Plant Komplete

NPK = ‘Not Plant Komplete’

Do you spell arithmetic using a memory assist — “A Rat In Tom’s House Might Eat Tom’s Ice Cream?” Do you sing the ABCs while alphabetizing your music files? Dr. Sally Brown’s “Connections” column in the January 2012 issue of BioCycle magazine presents a handy recall trick, too.  It focuses on a mnemonic for remembering the full range of macro and micronutrients required for plant health, not just NPK.

Aptly titled “Nutrient Cafe,”  the column offers up “CB HOPKINS CaFe Closed Monday Morning Mgr Cu Zoon.”   It’s a mnemonic for carbon (C), boron (B), hydrogen (H), and a string of other plant-essential elements, ending with zinc (Zn).

You can read the column or google “CB HOPKINS CaFe” for the full nutrient list.  But unless you need to pass a test, you really only have to remember one word — compost.  Unlike synthetic NPK, compost contains them all.

NPK fertilizers are Not Plant Komplete

We put forward NPK as an acronym for “Not Plant Komplete.”  This brain aid can help you remember to use compost.  Add a healthy dollop of compost’s micronutrients to crop, ornamental and turfgrass diets.

Micronutrients aid in the recovery and building of good soil.  Compared to synthetics, compost releases nutrients at a slower rate over months and years, rather than all at once.  Adding micronutrients to soil greatly enhances crop yields and creates a lush lawn.

When you think NPK, think “Not Plant Komplete” and add some compost along with that fertilizer.