CarbonWorks RSTC 17: The Building Blocks of Life

February 24, 2020

Commercial fertilizers increase yields. But not how most growers think they do. This article sheds light on how commercial fertilizers actually work.

The goal of every organism on Earth is to survive, and plants are no different. The key to their survival is growth. And to grow, every plant must acquire energy.

The Goal of Every Organism: Energy. Growth. Survival. 

This basic idea is the foundation of CarbonWorks RSTC 17®—a revolutionary carbon product designed to provide plants with their most important biological needs. And CarbonWorks RSTC 17 does this without the harmful effects of traditional fertilizers.

Before we discuss CarbonWorks RSTC 17, it will be beneficial to understand the process plants use to gain energy and grow. First, you have to consider a few basic elements. A plant is over 90 percent carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen; 3–6 percent nitrogen; 1–2 percent potassium; and .5–1 percent phosphorus. These and about 10 other minute elements are responsible for a plant’s basic structure.

Basic Building Blocks: Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen

Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are the primary plant components responsible for energy reception, storage, and transmission. Plants acquire hydrogen and oxygen mainly from the water they bring up from their roots. Carbon comes from the soil and carbon dioxide from the air. But there’s another component that’s unique to plants—sunlight.

Through photosynthesis, plants are able to convert sunlight into chemical energy. The plant uses the sun’s energy to energize carbon atoms, bonding them to hydrogen and oxygen to form sugars. Energized carbon is able to hold vast amounts of energy in a usable form. These sugars are the energy source for root formation, nutrient uptake, foliar growth, bloom, and fruit production. The plant’s sugar concentrations determine its overall health and potential during all phases of its life.

Roots: The Key to a Plant’s Potential

The early stages of a plant’s growth are focused on its root system. During this stage, sugar races to the roots to provide the energy that grows the root system and feeds the bacterial population that lives on and around the roots. You can’t overlook the symbiotic role of bacteria in plant development. Through bacterial respiration, the bacteria convert soil nutrients into carbon-rich forms available for absorption by the plant.

Timing is critical at this stage of plant development. More bacterially converted nutrients at this stage result in the plant sending more sugar to its roots. This, in turn, develops a larger and more robust root system. And the root system will determine stem size, the amount of foliage, and overall plant health for the future. A large root system increases nutrient and water uptake, which then increases photosynthesis and energy acquisition. Roots are the foundation for a plant’s entire life cycle.

Bacteria in Balance Means Higher Yields

How vital are soil bacteria to the foundation of a plant’s root system? Recent studies suggest that the bacteria consume as much as 50 percent of all photosynthetic sugar that plants produce. As mentioned above, this symbiotic relationship is vital to the development of the root system, which in turn is vital to the plant’s entire potential. In order for bacteria to break down a beneficial amount of nutrients, the size and activity of the bacterial population must remain in balance.  

While the roots are developing, more bacteria equal more plant potential. However, once a plant’s root system is developed, a large bacterial population becomes less beneficial. During later stages, sugar production and storage become the plant’s focus. An overabundance of bacteria during this time can overfeed on the roots and divert the plant’s energy underground. This means less energy for the plant to produce what we want: roots, leaves, blooms, and fruits. In other words, sugar production (minus bacterial consumption) equals yield.

NPK: Three Elements Don’t Add Up

In 1918, Fitz Haber, a German scientist, put atmospheric air under pressure in the presence of on energy source and was able to synthesize nitrogen from the air into ammonium—otherwise known as anhydrous ammonia. This process has become the basis for all nitrogen fertilizers manufactured since then, it also formed our traditional understanding of a fertilizer’s role: to provide plants with some nutrients the soil lacks—nitrogen(N), phosphate(P), potassium(K), and sulfur(S).

However, this is only half the story. Traditional fertilizers have wide-reaching effects, not all of which are beneficial to you, the grower. These fertilizers work in three ways: First, they supply energy to bacteria in the soil. Second, they become a salt, which actually limits bacterial populations. And third, they supply a small amount of nutrients directly to the plants.

As the fertilizer feeds the bacteria, this allows the bacteria to continue aiding the plant in the uptake of nutrients through the roots. So, supplying energy to the bacteria ultimately results in an energy increase within the plant. However, when the bacteria strip energy from traditional fertilizers, what remains from the process is a salt. Within the soil, this salt kills bacteria and limits bacterial respiration and the consumption of plant sugars. This effect may account for much of the positive growth effects we associate with traditional fertilizers.

As you may remember, a plant is over 90 percent carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The nutrients traditional fertilizers provide make up only 10 percent of the plant’s mass. Therefore, the positive effect this direct nutrient delivery has on a plant is actually very limited.

Losing Control: The Traditional Approach to Fertilizer

Growers have been using traditional fertilizers because they do result in a positive response. However, as we’ve discovered, these fertilizers come with a hefty price tag in more ways than one. Our main concern is the salt to which a fertilizer converts in the soil. From season to season, these salts accumulate in the soil, which can inhibit water uptake and damage bacterial populations. When you need these bacteria the most—during root system development—they won’t be present to maximize the potential of each plant. We call this problem “fertilizer burn.”

Salt and energy are both useful at the appropriate time. The problem (with traditional fertilizers) lies in not separating the two. Only when carefully timed (and with the luck of perfect weather and growing conditions) does adding both salt and energy at the same time work without negative consequences.

If the fertilizer converts to a salt before root systems develop, or if the salt has accumulated in the soil from previous growing seasons, plant potential and response is affected. The end result is reduced yield and disease. In other words: you, as the grower, have very little control  when applying traditional fertilizers and are partially indebted to luck to have a successful growing season!

Good Stewardship: Good for Your Business, Good for the Environment

Growers have always been interested in soil health. Why? Because soil is the basic building block of every farming operation—it’s the key to profits today and years into the future.  Although traditional NPK fertilizers have harmed our soils, it’s not that growers have done this on purpose. Until now, we haven’t completely understood the delicate balance between soil microbes and plant health during all growth stages. Both growers and governments have now begun to take notice of traditional fertilizer’s negative effects. For example, Florida has restricted the use of fertilizer by urban homeowners. People now see the need to prevent the nitrates and phosphates found in traditional fertilizers from leaching into streams, rivers, and aquifers—polluting the very water we need to drink.

CarbonWorks RSTC 17: A Nutritional Program That Puts You in Control

With our new understanding of traditional fertilizers, CarbonWorks has created a program that delivers beneficial energy to support bacterial populations without the harmful salt that can damage these populations.

CarbonWorks RSTC 17 is an energized liquid carbon product. Carbon, being the basis of life, carries energy to the plant and feeds the bacterial population in the soil. CarbonWorks RSTC 17 also supplies oxygen to the soil bacteria, which is necessary for the aerobic respiration (eating) of carbon. CarbonWorks RSTC 17 boosts the plant’s water and nutrient uptake by strengthening its root system, which in turn increases plant health and production.

At the same time, CarbonWorks RSTC 17 does not convert to a salt. Therefore, you don’t experience the negative effects of traditional fertilizers. When applying CarbonWorks RSTC 17, bacterial populations remain robust during root growth, which promotes healthy nutrient uptake and balance within the soil ecosystem.

Without the harmful salt effects (soil sterilization), you, the grower, are once again in control of your fields’ health. The nutritional support CarbonWorks RSTC 17 provides both plants and soil bacteria is the miracle of CarbonWorks’ system. As a grower, you are free to control soil bacteria through shading, plant spacing, mulch, and ground covers. You can use fungicides at certain times for additional bacteria control. When using CarbonWorks RSTC 17, you can even apply traditional fertilizers, though only in a proper amount at the proper time.

A Solution for Both Your Productivity and the Planet

Most important—CarbonWorks RSTC 17 is safe for our environment. We manufacture CarbonWorks RSTC 17 from food-grade ingredients that contain no hazardous materials. While traditional fertilizers focus on providing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, CarbonWorks RSTC 17 delivers hydrogen and oxygen through carbon. It is these elements—the true building blocks of life—that possess the power to boost early plant development. And by boosting development early in the plant’s life cycle, you are building a strong foundation to support increased plant health, bigger yields, and more productivity for your farm today and for future generations.

George Sims