Dr. Cho is of the view that providing nutrients in excess to plants is not needed as it will only bring disease. Natural Farming follows the scientific approach of correctly using the right material at the right amount and at the right stage. So that crops or livestock can reach their optimum growth. To do this NF relies on the Nutritive Cycle Theory.
The Nutritive Cycle Theory states that plants and livestock need different nutrients during different stages of growth. Like humans, plants also need different kinds of food at different stages. Just as a baby can only eat baby food, young plants or animals can only be fed with nutrients that are appropriate for their age. The Nutritive Cycle guides farmers in obtaining the best results from their crops and avoiding disease to their crops through proper nutrient management.
The Growth and development of a plant takes a certain course along with the passage of time. All crops go through the stages of growth according to the qualitative changes that occur and mature with flowering and fruiting.
The vegetative growth stage is the period when plants develop their roots and shoots through time till they mature. It is when plants consume Carbohydrates (C) and convert them to Nitrogen (N), which is their main growth requirement at this stage.
This is the stage in which the plants begin flowering in preparation for reproduction. The term "Morning Sickness" is used to liken the state of plants in the cross-over period to pregnant women who crave for "Sour Foods" during pregnancy. Plants also undergo a similar phase in which they need "Sour Nutrients" which come in the form of Phosphoric (P) compounds.
Reproductive growth is the period from flowering to ripening of the fruits when the plant begins storing Carbohydrates in fruits or other storage organs (accumulative growth). For proper color development of fruits, Potassium (K) is also needed.
The same argument holds good to the fertility of soils. Even though soils are proper in one growth stage, the degree of fertility may change in the next.
This means the crops are generally deprived of the same qualitative and physiological requirements for their growth stages namely Young, Adult and Old.
Current agricultural commonsense and cultivation methods unilaterally emphasize only the external conditions and underestimate the inner conditions intrinsic factors (IF) of plants. We cannot expect the best harvest when we only emphasize the external conditions (extrinsic factors) that constantly change every year.
What is more important for the farmers is to understand the exact growth physiology of each stage and to encourage plants to fully take advantage of the most proper conditions.