If you need to have a better understanding of how plants grow, perhaps I can explain. First of all your soil may have good structure and also good drainage and be in good physical condition, but still might not be productive as it must contain a sufficient amount of the chemical elements that plants require to manufacture their food.
Basically the plant takes mineral elements and water from the soil, carbon dioxide from the air, and energy from the sun and then builds extremely complicated products that are used for plant food which in turn makes your plants grown. If the soil is missing one of these catalysts then it will not function and the plants won’t grow.
The elements essential to plant growth are divided into two groups, the major and the minor or trace. The major group contains the elements generally supplied by lime, fertilizer, and manure. These elements are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, chlorine, aluminum and silicon.
Of the minor group, the following elements are among those believed to be important to plant growth: iron, manganese, zinc, boron, copper, barium, iodine, selenium, tellurium, lithium and others.
The others consist of vanadium, cobalt, fluorine, bromine, chromium, lead, molybdenum, antimony, tungsten, and cadmium. Still included in the minor groups of elements are rubidium, cesium, arsenic, nickel, titanium, strontium, bismuth, silver, gallium, thallium, indium, and germanium.
We are very fortunate as these trace elements are found in the average soil, althought remember that no two soils are in the same in any of these nutrients. When a deficiency occures it can be in any one or several of the essential elements.
I do hope this information will be of help to you in knowing that there are many major and minor elements that help our plants to grow.