P Facts

Plant nutrients are the "foods" which plants require to manufacture (through photosynthesis) the food we eat. Some of the nutrients plants use occur naturally in the soil. However, as the world population grows and more food has to be grown to feed all the people, in many situations the soil cannot supply enough nutrients.

Phosphorus - my chemical symbol is P

Phosphorus, or phosphate, is important as fertilizer. Most phosphate originates in large mines, such as those in Florida and North Carolina. Phosphate deposits were formed centuries ago. Phosphorus is a part of rocks and minerals in the soil. Massive concentrated beds of phosphate rock are found near the earth's surface. The beds were deposited in shallow seas by the accumulation of marine life or produced by volcanic activity and concentrated across geological time.

Phosphorus helps the plant trap and use the sun's energy for photosynthesis and other plant functions. Plants also need P for healthy roots and to help fight off diseases.


Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral nutrient in the human body. Nearly 80 percent of the phosphorus in humans is found in bones and teeth.

Who was the first American farmer to grow tomatoes?

Answer: Thomas Jefferson


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