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Diagnosing plant nutritional deficiencies

Jan 21, 2011

I've just learned much about diagnosing plant nutritional deficiencies in the master gardener course that I am taking. I wrote a series about it on my personal blog. Here is the first part of the series. 

 ’ve just started getting into the subject of diagnosing fertilizer or nutrient problems in plants in the master gardener course that I am taking. The subject is very complicated and not easy to figure out.

In addition, if you are lacking in one fertilizer, it is likely that you are lacking in other fertilizers, so many of these diagnoses might not be exclusive.

The very first thing you should do is ask yourself the following questions if you think you have a nutritional deficiency in your soil.

Is your pH optimal? For a vegetable garden, the optimal pH range is 6.2-6.8 for most vegetables. If your pH is outside of this range, many plant nutrients will  not be available to plants. In this case, you should focus your effort on altering your pH.

Is your soil wet and compacted? If so, the roots cannot grow enough to reach the nutrients that they need.

Is it late in the season? If so, the nutrients are likely transferring to the roots in preparation for dormancy. In this case, yellowing is normal.

Part 2–are the symptoms in old leaves or new leaves?

Part 3–symptoms that show in old leaves

Part 4–symptoms that show in new leaves

Part 5–symptoms that show in terminal buds


Thank you for this blog & links.

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