Nutrient Deficiencies Lack of either macro or micro nutrients will impede normal plant growth. Not enough in the soil In the soil, but unavailable Symptoms will appear on different parts of the plant. Interpret these symptoms. Some common nutrient deficiencies and the symptoms:
Nitrogen deficiency Older leaves (bottom of plant) begin to yellow. Remainder of plant generally a lighter green than normal. Nitrogen is mobile in the plant and can be translocated to new, young leaves. Nitrogen can be mobile in the soil.
Phosphorous deficiency Leaves often dark green. Veins, petioles, and lower surfaces may become reddish – purple colored. Sparse, distorted foliage. Phosphorous is mobile in plants. Phosphorous is immobile in the soil.
Potassium deficiency Marginal and interveinal chlorosis followed by scorching moving inward between the main veins. Leaf curling Potassium is highly mobile in plants. Potassium is immobile in the soil.
Iron deficiency Interveinal Chlorosis: Veins stay green, but area between veins turns yellow. Common on pin oak, red maple and river birch. Due to high pH soil. Common problem in Iowa, especially on trees planted where original topsoil has been removed. (New subdivisions) Iron cannot be translocated.
Organic Fertilizer Organic fertilizer Derived from plant and animal products. Blood meal, bone meal, manure & sewage sludge. Organic fert. released slowly – avoids plants from being burned. Generally more expensive than chemical fert. on the basis of amount of nutrients supplied. Organic fert can work as a soil amendment at the same time. Ex. Milorganite
Inorganic Fertilizer Manufactured chemical fertilizer. Much more concentrated than organic. Can burn plants with too much fert, especially if using a fast release form. Less expensive.
Carbon (C) : Nitrogen (N) Ratio The ratio of carbon atoms to nitrogen atoms. Soil microorganisms use nitrogen to metabolize (breakdown) carbon. Certain types of organic matter are very high in carbon:
Sample C:N of various types of organic matter: Sandy loam (fine)7:1 Humus10:1 Food scraps15:1 Alfalfa hay18:1 Grass clippings19:1 Rotted manure20:1 Sandy loam (coarse)25:1 Vegetable trimmings25:1 Oak leaves26:1 Leaves, varies from35:1 to 85:1 Peat moss58:1 Corn stalks60:1 Straw80:1 Pine needles60:1 to 110:1 Farm manure90:1 Alder sawdust134:1 Sawdust weathered 3 years142:1 Newspaper170:1 Douglas fir bark491:1 Sawdust weathered 2 months625:1
Nitrogen Robbing Organic matter with excess C:N ratios (or excessive amounts of organic matter) can create problems. To continue decomposition the soil microorganisms will draw nitrogen out of the soil making it unavailable to plants.
Fertilizer Forms Liquids Easy application (tank mix or hose end sprayer). Potential to burn plants if mixed too strong, or too much applied. Soluble Powder Dissolves readily in water (apply just like liquid). Generally less expensive than liquid.
Fertilizer Forms Granular Most common and widely used form. Slow release forms available. Prolongs release of nutrients Decreases burning potential
Fertilizer Labels Analysis Shows type of nutrients and amount. Nitrogen – Phosphate – Potash N-P-K 10-5-5 Gives the percentage of each in the fertilizer. 10% Nitrogen, 5% Phosphate, 5% Potash Use conversion factors to find % phosphorous and potassium.
Conversion Factors To convert phosphate to phosphorous (P): Multiply %phosphate by.44 To convert potash to potassium (K): Multiply %potash by.83
What percentage of the fertilizer is N? 19% What percentage of the fertilizer is phosphate (P 2 O 5 )? 5% What percentage of the fertilizer is potash (K 2 O)? 8%
What percentage of the fertilizer is actual phosphorous (P)? 5 x.44 = 2.2% What percentage of the fertilizer is actual potassium (K)? 8 x.83 = 6.64%
How long is this fertilizer supposed to last at 70 degrees F.? 8-9 months Does this fertilizer contain any micronutrients? Yes How many forms of N are in the fertilizer? 3 6.60% Ammoniacal Nitrogen 5.70% Nitrate Nitrogen 6.70% Urea Nitrogen
Application Methods Broadcast on the soil surface Most soils supply adequate amounts of nutrients with the exception of N. Effective method for applying N. Placed in holes in the soil P, K and other nutrients of low solubility benefit from incorporation. Core, punch, or drill holes. 6 inches deep, 2-3 feet apart.
Application methods continued Injected into the soil under pressure High pressure hydraulic sprayer. 6 inches deep. 150-200 psi pressure. Sprayed on foliage Placed in holes in tree trunks Micronutrient implants. Placed in xylem. Holes approx. ½ inch in diameter. Plug holes. Injected into the trunk Micronutrients. Mauget, Wedgle.
Fertilizer Math Remember that a 20 -10 -10 fertilizer, for example, contains only 20% actual N on a weight basis. A useful calculation for determining how many pounds of fertilizer to apply is: pounds of fertilizer = application rate of the nutrient in pounds percentage of that nutrient in the analysis
If you want to apply nitrogen at the rate of 2 pounds per 1,000 square feet to an area measuring 300 square feet how many pounds of 20 – 10 – 10 fertilizer should be applied: pounds of fertilizer = application rate of the nutrient in pounds percentage of that nutrient in the analysis pounds of fertilizer = 2 = 10 pounds of fertilizer.20 10 = x 1,000 300 x = 3 pounds