Silicon is the second most abundant mineral on earth, and is found in many forms in the soil, but only the monosilicic acid form is available to the plants. In nature microbial activity decomposes organic matter to form humic substances and causes reactions with Silicon to form monosilicic Acid which can be translocated to the plant and absorbed by the roots. Absorption of Monosilicic Acid by plants is equivalent or superior to essential elements such as nitrogen and potassium and its accumulation in plants is similar to essential micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur.
As far back as the 1800s, scientists have studied the reasons behind the decline of successful crops. And after years of independent research around the world, one conclusion that the majority have come to is that, over time, a lack of monosilicic acid and activated humic compounds is directly related the decrease in quality and overall yield of crops. The rate at which silicon naturally becomes activated and available to plants after farming stops and land is left to fallow is around 20 years.
So, in its most common forms silicon is not readily absorbed into biological tissues. Take potassium silicates as an example. Its molecules are too large to penetrate our plant’s cell walls. Microbes will have to convert it into silicic acid before the roots can take up the silicon. This process is called silicification, and it can take weeks or months before it occurs in any meaningful amount.
WHAT MAKES SILICON SPECIAL?
Activated silicon, or monosilicic acid in particular, is essential to healthy crops. It’s a mineral that allows for phosphates and other growth factors to be absorbed by root systems. And when combined with humic substances, the result is soil that’s able to speed up growth and decrease the amount of water required to achieve optimal yield.
Once it’s absorbed by plants, the presence of active silica strengthens cell walls and forms a protective epidermal layer. This in itself is strong enough to combat a number of diseases, infections and insects – reducing the reliance on other pesticides and fungicides.
KEY BENEFITS OF MONOSILICIC ACID
Improves Nitrogen fixation
A recent study was done on the effects of plant available silica and Azotobacter. Azotobacter is a bacteria that binds atmospheric Nitrogen and releases it in the soil as plant available Nitrogen. Depending on the environment, Azotobacter can supply the plant with 10-50% of its Nitrogen needs. This becomes cumulative with annual applications of silica and the percentages increase.
Improves availability of Phosphorous
Without soluble silica, Phosphorous is not available. If plants are showing a Phosphorous deficiency, the lack of available Silicon may be the reason.
Strengthens cell walls, thereby building resilience
The cell wall of a plant is a barrier that must be breached to get to what is located within. If the plant has stronger cell walls, pathogens are unable to gain a food source thereby stopping them from spreading. Silicon forms a protective armour plating on the plant leaf and gives the leaf a shiny surface that repels some insects. The leaf is also able to resist fungal spore germination and establishment. When disease begins, a plant will direct all available Silicon to the affected site to strengthen the cell walls.
The leaves of a plant are responsible for taking energy from the sun and converting it into plant sugars. During warmer conditions, the plant is less likely to droop, therefore maximizing photosynthesis. Silicon is also a very important part of the structures within a plant that transport minerals. If Silicon is not present, the minerals are not effectively moved throughout the plant, resulting in pale spots and other discolouration.
Buffers the plant from stress
Silicon can buffer a plant from stresses from the environment and from pests and disease. Environmental stresses include extreme weather, drought, cold, heavy metals and salt. Silicon immobilizes heavy metals in the soil.
Boosts Plant Immunity
Studies have shown that silicon alters plants defense signalling, thereby increasing disease resistance as well as resistance to insect pests. Plants move extra monosilicic acid to points of attack and stress such as insects, fungi or breakage. This is much like when we get a cut and platelets in our blood rush to the cut to create a clot while the wound heals. The additional silicon deposits create even stronger tissue.
Increases the sugar content and quality in plants
Monosilicic Acid in the soil makes other minerals available to the plant, and makes the carbon cycle more efficient which increases the Brix in the plant.
CONCLUSIONS ON USING MONOSILICIC ACID
Plants treated with Monosilicic Acid
- Have stronger and thicker branches
- Carry sturdier fruits with higher nutritional value and a longer shelf-life
- Are much less vulnerable to attacks by pests or fungi
- Are more resistant to high/low temperatures
- Are more resistant to stress caused by high concentrations of salts in the substrate (high EC)
- Have a higher Brix-level and higher mineral content
- Are better and more equally mineralized, which minimizes the chance of plant deficiencies
- Give a higher yield
Foliar: 0.5-1ml/L (4ml/Gal) Used in conjunction with other foliar feedings.
Soil/Root Drench:0.5-1ml/L (4ml/Gal)
CLICK THIS LINK TO SHOP FOR MONOSILICIC ACID
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