Today we are going to discuss the May Gardening Tip and this will be the 1st. one of several. It is impossible to cover everything in one discussion. So with this discussion, we will focus on Sulfur. I have mentioned Sulfur a number of times and just how important it really is, may have fallen through the cracks. As anyone that knows anything about soil and feeding the plants, there are several plant foods that are just the main go-to ones, and unfortunately, many people do not know much beyond these 3 main ones, the NPK ones. They stand for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potash. People that are working in-depth with soil and plants are starting to warm up to the idea that another letter should be added and that is S. S stands for Sulfur. Many feel like it is of vital importance and in light of the deficiencies found of Sulfur, perhaps it should become standard fare in the normal formula and that formula should read, NPKS. Yes, many other minerals are just as important, but in this discussion, we are focusing on Sulfur.
First to clear up the bad of what you might hear of Sulfur. Back a number of decades ago the big drama going on was Acid Rain. Sulfur has a role in Acid Rain. However, the idea was that Lead was a major factor so the push to get the Lead out of Gasoline and Sulfur as well. This happens when Sulfur is burned within the fuel sources and then the gases go into the air and are combined with other sources of gases to create "acid rain". This basically means that these gases will eventually create an acidic environment and then return back in the form of acidic atmospheric water and causes all sorts of corrosive and life-altering situations to occur that in effect harms rather than helps. Although great efforts have been made to cut down on man-made acid rain, it is still there in some areas. Those areas are the areas that were already a bad situation in this respect before man came along and after the man-made contribution was greatly diminished. There is a lot of acid rain that is caused by naturally occurring sources that man can do nothing about. However, in many areas, this lack of "cutting back" has brought about more harm than good. Since the removal of a lot of the Sulfur from man-made sources, a number of issues have been created in our soil and that is where we will be focused on in this discussion. However. the earlier mentioned acid rain is not only Sulfur but a number of other minerals that have been essentially "gasified", let into the atmosphere basically uncontrolled. Presently, acid rain has become less of a problem as they do a much better job of scrubbing the harmful particulates from the gasses. But let us now move past the negative aspects and look at the more applied aspects of Sulfur to our biological life forms.
In times bast, a natural replenishment took place of pretty much any and all minerals necessary for plant life to thrive and it was done naturally. Basically Sulfur would get into the air from naturally occurring fires, volcanoes, lightning storms, sulfur-containing water vapors, and the list goes on. Then along came man, he contributed to the Sulfur going into the air by his various activities. Then along comes more people and they get ideas from studying these acid rain situations and as what usually happens, they draw some erroneous conclusions. Then new activities take place, The removal of Sulfur as much as possible. Before this "removal" process took place, the idea of Sulfur deficiencies in the soil was almost a concept that was never really considered. When the Sulfur was greatly diminished from the air, then the rain was no longer carrying enough Sulfur for a natural replenishment to take place. Then we start seeing all sorts of issues appear and then when those deficiencies were studied it was discovered that low or no Sulfur was at the root of the problem. Do you know what is really sad on one hand and sick on the other hand and that is this, the very same people that forced the Sulfur from the air eventually brought about and was the direct reason for the proliferation of GMOs and Glysophate. Yes, they are, and later on, I will explain why and walk you through the process.
I decided to not be cruel and give you the skinny on this deal in this paragraph. All life forms require Nitrogen in order to grow and even function. Sulfur has a direct effect on the use of Nitrogen by the plant. Sulfur works in the conversion of the Nitrates into useable forms of Nitrogen. Also, the Sulfur plays a role, it has to be there for the rhizobia on the roots of legumes in order for them to fixate nitrogen from the air. Since these legumes, such as beans and alfalfa, will fix a large portion of their nitrogen needs from the air, at least enough for them to produce at appreciatable levels, they do need supplemental nitrogen to thrive. They will only thrive if adequate levels of Sulfur are present. So you end up with a vicious circle of dependency going on, with Sulfur being at the center of control. Now stay with me, OK? We aren't quite there yet. Remember that we have a situation of Sulfur being in a deficient condition in present-day soil growing situations in almost all soils. Also, keep in mind that Sulfur does not store well in the soil, so a continual replenishment has to be applied. Then along comes this deficiency in many of these growing conditions, if there is only a limited amount of Sulfur, then certain plants will manifest a more aggressive stance and those are grasses and weeds. So when you have a field of Legumes growing, on one hand, in this case, soybeans, and say alfalfa, and then, on the other hand, you have grasses and weeds present. They are almost always there and if you do the conventional present-day of normal farming, then yes, weeds and grasses will be there. In this competitive environment, the grasses and weeds will win out every time. So here we go with a Sulfur deficiency, weeds and grasses are growing at least enough to harm production to a high degree because of the grasses and weeds being more aggressive as compared to the Legumes, so they win out and also crowd out the Legumes. We are no longer getting enough Sulfur from natural conditions, ie; for the most part, pollution for a lack of a better description. So along comes some concern that claims, hey, we can chemically correct the problem of grasses and weeds growing in you soybeans, corn, and alfalfa. Since corn is a grass, the chemical would kill it, and it would also kill the soybeans and alfalfa, we will modify the DNA within these plants to be resistant to the chemical. Bravo! We now have GMO's. They totally fail to address the Sulfur deficiency, basically covering up the source of the problem, but focusing on the symptoms. Then we have the Glysophate. They had to come up with the chemical to do the job and that is the chemical known as Glyspohate. With this chemical, it targets specific processes of the plant's growth cycle, among other things too, but most importantly it blocks photosynthesis, which the plant is already under assault from a Sulfur deficiency anyway, which Sulfur is necessary for photosynthesis anyway, so the cycle is deadly.
In real simple terms, we have GMO's and Glysophate because of a Sulfur deficiency in the soil. We have a lack of natural Sulfur fertilizing going on because of a lack of certain types of pollution, so to speak, because of people with political pull erroneously making policy and laws based on a complete lack of understanding of reality and the laws of nature. According to many natural type farmers and growers of various crops, it is claimed that if you have a weed or grass problem, it is an indication of a failure to properly manage the soil. The weeds are there for a reason and set there by nature itself. Weeds are the first step in soil rehabilitation. So in reality when it comes to a pinnacle of the perspective, the GMO's and the various herbicides are here to make up for man's inability to properly work with nature, whatever the claimed reason might be. When it comes to Glysophate specifically, it is because of a Sulfur deficiency. Then that is carried further by a different herbicide for a different mineral deficiency. Those ideas are another story for a different day.
Overall Sulfur is known as a healing mineral. It is involved in a wide range of healing functions. Sulfur is directly involved in the neurological process of both development and day to day functioning. Did you know that we need chorine in our body functioning? Yes we do but we aren't going to go into it right now, but it is involved with the liver in producing chlorine. This is an often overlooked aspect of our needs. From here the Sulfur is needed for everything from energy production to brain and heart function to healthy skin, nails, hair, elevated cholesterol to cracking joints, and even collagen synthesis and elevated triglycerides. Just a sample of what the Sulfur affects in an animal/human. But perhaps the most important aspect of this Sulfur thing is the effect it has on the Nitrates found in the body. Essentially as they elevate the nitrates, then they block out the oxygen from the blood. Oxygen is needed to make proper nitrogen protein which leads to the development of the proper amino acids for a healthy growth process. Then when we have the lack of oxygen-nitrogen proteins, we have "asphyxiation protein" nitrogen or ie; non-protein nitrates or nitrites. These are directly caused by a lack of Sulfur. This results in poor growth or health and if the toxic levels are high enough, death, of both plant or animal. occurs.
Some more important aspects to Sulfur are that it is used to convert nitrogen into amino acids and most importantly the amino acids, cysteine, and methionine. These 2 elements are vitally important when it comes right down to the actual nutritive values of the food/crop. If you don't have decent levels of these 2 amino acids food/crop then supplementation has to take place when the food/crop is utilized. Also, as I mentioned earlier, Sulfur is vitally necessary for chlorophyll to take place and for proper rates of photosynthesis needed for each particular plant.
Sulfur can be obtained from several sources of food as well as supplements. Usually, for the most part, we will see Ammonium Sulfate and Elemental Sulfur being applied to the soil for the soil's Sulfur needs. For human use, we see a very popular form of Sulfur being used and that is known by the name of Glucosamine Sulfate. Magnesium Sulfate is another popular one, as it is more commonly known as Epsom Salts. Also, may drugs contain sulfur, normally called Sulfate based drugs, of which there are many and they do work effectively. However, one must not confuse the issue with Sulfa drugs as these classes of drugs do not contain Sulfur. Hey, I didn't name them that and I do not know why they are named so closely with Sulfates. When whoever named them didn't consult with me, (you are supposed to laugh at this point). However, as with all aspects of nutritional replenishment food normally contains the most useable form. Since Sulfur is basically a micronutrient, many times it does not affect the appearance of the food product as much as a macro-nutrient might. But it is of a critical enough nature that it doesn't take much of a "lack thereof" to noticeably affect the appearance of the product. Most any food product that concentrates nutrients, such as meat, milk, eggs, fish, etc., will be very good sources. Non-animal types of sources are many vegetables, usually, the type that isn't cool to eat like foods from the cruciferous vegetable category, etc., However, other "kind of cool to eat" foods contain good sources of Sulfur and those are radishes, cucumbers and most notably Onions and many kinds of Garlic. As a general rule any of these that are hot, such as onion, garlic, and radish will be hot if they have decent levels of Sulfur in them. As this idea pertains to me, I have basically totally destroyed knees. If I don't eat a few green onions and a radish or two before I go to bed, I can hardly walk the next day. however, coming in a close second is a toss-up between Glucosamine and or Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom salt). So if I eat a few green onions and a few radishes and then a hand full of Glucosamine while soaking my feet in Magnesium Sulfate before the day is over with, the next day I do pretty well for a few days with eating only the radish and onions.
I guess we can't forget to mention the essential oils in here, so let's do that quickly. In all of these brilliant people that can tell the quality of essential oils just by having a GS/MS report in their hand. Well, to me it is sad. They are missing the most critical parts of the quality aspect, such as the Optics, the Refractive, and the Gravities of the oils. Also, things like the color of the greens for example in what we covered earlier in this discussion, as the Sulfur levels, as the particular dark green color, where applicable, will indicate quality aspects. Where the donor plant is grown tells a lot. One of the most sought after sources of oils for most people are the wildcrafted ones. This is the hardest to determine the quality aspects because you have all most no ability to ascertain the growing conditions. If you do know the conditions, then fantastic, a great tool to determine quality. A little secret here is that even though a number might indicate a certain level of a component, it does not indicate the amount of that component that is available for absorption to the user. So you have to use other indicators to make an educated guess. It is no different than a soil sample report. Those of you that know about this stuff will know what I am talking about. Those who don't, I can't help you to understand in the limited space in this paragraph. Just trust me on this one. I make mention of this because I use Sulfur indicators as a primary indication as to quality.
At this point in this discussion, let's bring this to a close. I had begun this discussion as the May Gardening Tip and it quickly got out of control as the tip was about Sulfur and the application of Sulfur to the garden at the beginning and how to do it throughout the season. I found that I had to build some justification and reasons behind the need to use Sulfur. So in another discussion, I will do the May Gardening Tip. It will be on the use of Sulfur. I will go over some of the material that is here, but also I will mention and talk about several other sources of Sulfur, one of which a few people will know about and another one that is largely unknown to most everyone reading these discussions. I find this one to be exciting to talk about. I will post both on Leiann's web site under the free blog section.
Anyway, thank you for your time and I do appreciate our time together. I hope these discussions are of value to you.
End of Discussion.