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Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest fertilizer

Posted by Strawberryhill 5a IL (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 11, 14 at 15:22

I posted several links to identify nutrients deficiencies in plants, but they are scattered all over this forum, so I organize them in this thread.

Balanced & low-dose fertilizer is the best approach to prevent nutrients deficiencies. Tomato Tone NPK 3-4-6 is sold out at Walmart, but they still have Plant tone NPK 5-3-3, big bag for $10 each. I'll go ahead and order Tomato Tone from Amazon, $8.47 per bag, but free shipping for orders over $35. Good deal with 4 bags with free shipping.

I checked my tomatoes in front: 100% healthy, no yellow leaves. I fixed that soil with lots of gypsum, plus 1 cup of tomato tone ... I don't water that bed. The tomatoes in my back yard have yellow-margins on lowest leaves, typical of potassium deficiency. I used Jobes NPK 2-7-4, and NOT enough gypsum. I should had used Tomato-Tone with NPK 3-4-6 instead.

Below link is excellent, it identifies what becomes deficient when a particular nutrient is supplied in excess. When calcium is used in excess, will induce deficiencies in potassium and boron. Here's my experiment of throwing gritty lime on one tomato plant, it immediately shows potassium deficiency: lower leaves have yellowish margins, from excess calcium and raising the pH:

Here is a link that might be useful: What's in excess can produce deficiencies

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Fri, Jul 11, 14 at 17:08

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RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest ferti

Below link has very accurate pictures of tomato's leaves, showing boron deficiency where leaves curl up. My tomato plant with too much gypsum (calcium sulfate) has that problem: excess calcium induce boron-deficiency, and excess calcium, plus high pH also induce potassium deficiency.

Below is boron-deficiency in the tomato plant which I put too much gypsum to break-up the rock-hard clay. Notice the leaves are curled up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Idenfiy nutrient-deficiency in tomato's leaves

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Fri, Jul 11, 14 at 17:10

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest fertilize

  • Posted by jim1961 6a Central Pa. (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 11, 14 at 16:24

Thanks for the info Strawbhill!

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest ferti

I put cracked corn, $2.99 for 10 lbs. from the feed store into the hole of Le Nia Rias rose, with equal amount of red lava rock and gypsum. Crack corn is VERY ACIDIC, pH around 3.5, and sprout corn-seedlings all over. My zone 5a winter will kill them, but that will be a nuisance in a warm zone. I use cracked corn, since my soil is rock-hard clay, at pH 7.7, and my water is hard well alkaline, pH 8.3 to 8.5.

In the lawn forum Morpheus from PA diagnosed soil report. He also cited corn as a fungicide for lawn .. he wrote the below:

pH: Psychotically high. No liming! .. you'll fight for dark green color because iron isn't available much above a pH of 7.

K, or potassium: Low. High-K starter won't cut it here, so find potassium sulfate (sulfate of potash) and apply at 2 pounds per thousand. Iron of 90 is very low for any pH, and exceptionally low for a pH that high. Apply Milorganite.

Corn/cracked corn/corn meal: About 1.65% nitrogen, so you need close to 60 pounds per K (potassium). 20 per K is sufficient for some fungal protection.

Alfalfa: Nice at 20 pounds per thousand per month. It's about 2% nitrogen, but contains growth hormones so you don't want to overdo it. Soy: Very nice at 7% nitrogen.

Sawdust/leaves: Essentially 0% nitrogen, good for increase OM of soil. Other stuff, animal feeds, random grains: Take the protein percentage and divide by 7 to determine the amount of nitrogen". Morpheus from PA in lawn forum.

**** From Straw: below is a healthy tomato plant, planted late mid-June. I used TomatoTone NPK 3-4-6 in the planting hole, plus tea made from Pennington Alaska NPK 4-6-6 with kelp meal, thus the dark-green color of leaves:

Here is a link that might be useful: soy bean & alfalfa pellets & cracked corn

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 15:50

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest ferti

Alkaline soil produce pale roses, but healthy. Acidic soil produce dark-green leaves, but more prone to black spots. When I checked the document on black spots, the ideal pH if neutral to slightly acidic for blackspot growth.

What I do in my rock-hard alkaline clay, pH 7.7 soil and pH 8.3 hard-well water ARE NOT BEST for others. Take crack corn, sold cheap at the feed store for $13 per 25 lb. bag. Corn pH is 3.5, more acidic than peat moss at pH 4. When buried, it decomposes further and become even more acidic, great to break up my hard clay in advance ... but too acidic for someone else's soil.

When I mixed cracked corn into my clay last fall, my zone 5a winter killed the corn plants that sprouted. But it would be a pain for someone in a warm climate with corn plants growing. Cracked corn holds moisture even better than peat moss, if MIXED MONTHS BEFORE PLANTING. Decomposing organic matter like cracked corn gives off acid, will burn if not mixed well with an alkaline medium.

Peat moss, a more stable element, but its fine particles glue into my clay ... I get concrete. Didn't know until I dug that up. When I used too much peat moss, like 1/2 with my 1/2 alkaline clay ... roses became stunt, and didn't flower until months later due to peat moss acidity at pH 4.

For someone else with loamy or sandy soil, peat moss is best because it holds moisture. Its acidity at pH 4 balance out the horse manure (pH 7.5 to 8), or wood-ash in bagged cow manure (pH 8), or lime (pH 9). Columbus Rose Park in Ohio used peat moss to fixed their sandy soil, with tons of blooms on their Graham Thomas.

Pale, or lighter-green OWN-ROOT like Austin Graham Thomas, Jude the Obscure, A.S. Lad, Charles Darwin, Teasing Georgia are known as stingy. They require more acidic soil like England for best blooming. In contrast, dark-green leaves Austins like Sweet Juliet, The Endeavor, Carding Mill, Molineux, Scepter'd Isle, Tess of the D'ubervilles, and Golden Celebration are known to do well in alkaline soil.

If I had known the above, I would had kept my pale-leaves Charles Darwin and fix my alkaline clay with cracked corn. Jude blooms well for me with that approach. Cracked corn, very acidic at pH 3.5, is a cheap & fast way to neutral alkaline tap water.

NPK of corn meal is 1.6 / 0.65 / 0.4 .... that's better than horse manure NPK of 0.44 / 0.17 / 0.35. Biggest drawback of horse manure is the salt-content, plus the de-worming medications given to horse.

Whole-grain corn's profile is impressive, with 39% magnesium, 23% iron, 29% phosphorus, 10% potassium, 30% manganese, 37% selenium, 12% copper, and 15% zinc. The last 3 elements have fungal suppression properties. Dusting leaves with acidic corn meal, at pH 3.5 to zap blackspot fungi is similar to my spraying the black mold on my shower curtain with diluted vinegar, it works well.

Last summer I put 1/4 cup of cracked corn in a 5-gallon bucket of tap water, let it soak for a few days to release the nutrients and to lower pH with its acidity at 3.5. Roses like it better than my hard-well water at pH 8.3. Here's a pic. of Liv Tyler exploded in blooms fertilized with corn soaked in water during last summer when the temp. was over 90 ... the fatty acids in corn made its leaves shinier. That was BEFORE I ordered sulfate of potash. After having tested both, I prefer corn-meal as fertilizer, better bloom-formation with balanced fertilizer.

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 16:57

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest fertilize

Now is 86 degree, tomorrow will be 92 and sunny & hot for the rest of the week. Too risky to use any fertilizer with salt, be it manure or Pennington tea. Crack corn soaked in ALKALINE tap water is best, with balanced nutrients & zero salt. Below is Bolero with shiny leaves last summer fertilized with corn-soaked water, picture was taken at over 80 degree heat.

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest fertilize

I found a picture took last summer of my bouquet entitled "corn meal bouquet" to show the result of bloom-formation fertilized with acidic corn to neutralize my high pH 8.3 tap water. The blooms have excellent form: pink is Sonia Rykiel, white Bolero, orange Summer Samba, and the peachy on top are Evelyn.

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest fertilize

  • Posted by jim1961 6a Central Pa. (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 17:51

That "corn meal bouquet" looks fantastic! All the blooms look show-room new!
Wow those leaves are shiny on Bolero....

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest fertilize

Hi Strawberry, thanks for this post with all of your data available in one place :-)

For the corn "tea" do you throw the solids away or compost them? I'm still having trouble with the chipmunks digging tunnels around my roses, even the used cat litter isn't a deterrent so I can't use the cracked corn in the planting hole. I'm so glad that I can use my 50lb bag of cracked corn now and not have to use it for squirrel food!

The roses are enjoying the cool weather we've been having, we have a high of 83 this week just for one day the rest are high 70's so perfect gardening weather.

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest fertilize

Hi Sharon: I will pH-test 1/4 cup of cracked corn soak in 2-gallon bucket to see if it's too acidic, compared to rain water. Will let you know later. Birds like to eat the solids .. I dump them in a reserved spot, so even if they sprout, it's easy to pull them up.

Chipmunks caused trouble here for the past years: They dug into my pots. This year they leave my pots alone, because I put red-lava rocks on top. My neighbor traps them & kill them. He taught me a trick: Use 5-gallon bucket, fill 1/2 with water, float some flat-big-black sunflower seeds (bird-feed), put a shovel up as a ladder leaning against the top of the bucket. Lots of chipmunks drowned when they jumped down to get the seeds.

Cracked corn in a 5-gallon might work to trap chipmunks, but I still have a bag of black-sunflower seeds to use. Acidic cracked corn is the best moisture-retention I have seen, if mixed in planting hole in LATE FALL & neutralized with something alkaline. I dug those holes up this summer, and they are very moist, compared to my heavy clay.

Second best moisture-retention is leaves, and last is peat moss. Leaves are initially acidic, I already tested that in red-cabbage juice, the pH is around 4. However, once organic matter like leaves and cracked corn become fully decomposed, the pH becomes neutral.

In this hot weather, I notice how the roses without gypsum in the planting hole are wilting. Gypsum in the planting helps with drought ... calcium helps plant to retain water better. Calcium increases nitrogen-absorption .. so I remind myself to throw some granular gypsum when I apply Milorganite.

My open compost of kitchen scraps help to keep animals away from my roses. Previous years with deer eating my roses: Hubby bought me a huge container of curry powder, less than $3 from the Mexican store, plus a $2 bottle of ground clove. Works great if kept away from leaves ... curry powder burns. I sprinkled that on the ground, and deer & rabbits left my roses alone.

The raw eggs & fish sauce bottle is to make it super stinky for deer. For rabbits, curry powder and clove work well. I already tested garlic powder and cayenne pepper, plus Irish Spring Soap ... none were effective !!!

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest fertilize

Hi Strawberry, thanks.
We don't seem to have much of a problem with deer or rabbits. We live in a very rural farm area. Our street is 1/2 mile long with only 11 houses. We are surrounded by swamps, fields and woods so I think the deer and rabbits can find enough to eat. The chipmunks are lazy though, they much prefer the cracked corn and bird seed as do the squirrels. We are not really overrun with them, I think there might be 3 or 4, but they do love that cracked corn!! I'll try your spice deterrents or lava rocks to see if this helps.

What are you using for gypsum? Do you also top dress with it once the rose is planted? I assume that you don't dig your roses up every year to refertilize? The Epsoma is pretty pricey.

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest fertilize

hi Strawberry, i tried finding info on the ph of various mulches and found this article on organic mulches and their benefits. We have lots of oak leaves which are slightly acidic when fresh but alkaline when decomposed. The author states that the best mulch by far is homemade compost.

I'm hoping to start a compost pile soon, I just need to find a suitable place for it.

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest fertilize

Hi Sharon: Thank you very much for that link. Predfern in my Chicagoland sent me a link to U. of. Illinois which documented that the final pH of fully decomposed leaves is slightly alkaline. I lost that link, and I'm glad that your link also states that once organic matter decomposes fully, it's alkaline. An excerpt from the link you provided:

"Bark (Hardwood):Shredded hardwood bark is one of the most popular mulches used in landscape plantings. It is a byproduct of the paper and lumber industries that can be recycled as a mulch. Its pH is slightly alkaline ... Bark (Softwood):Chunk pine, fir, and redwood barks are the most popular types. This material is acidic."

The soil research, entitled, "Contrasting soil pH effects on fungal and bacterial growth" is right about "The growth-based measurements revealed a fivefold DECREASE in bacterial growth and a fivefold INCREASE in fungal growth with lower pH." In our month-long rain & humid weather, I notice that mushrooms grow everywhere: on the lawn, on the $$$ dark mulch, on cypress mulch .... but NO mushroom on the red-dyed hardwood mulch, since the pH is alkaline.

Recently I got some old grapefruit, so I squeezed that to lower my high pH water .... some roses immediately broke out in black spots. I don't mind a bit of BS, if my roses bloom better and stay compact. That's much better than previous years of 100% clean roses, very few blooms, and vigorous growth which I had to trim & bagged them. When the pH is high, only nitrogen gets through, but phosphorus and potassium are bound up with calcium hydroxide in tap.

Below USAgypsum link sells gypsum at 10 lb. for $11.35 (shipping included). Also 40 lbs. for $6.99, but shipping cost will be added. It's 1/2 the price of Kelp4Less at $12 per 5 lb. I use granular gypsum sold cheap at Menards, it's slower-release & safe to apply 1/4 cup on top around roses, if balanced with equal ratio of potassium. The red-lava rocks I put on top supply plenty of potassium, so I don't even bother with sulfate of potash.

For the planting hole of Annie L. McDowell rose, which prefers acidic, I used 3 cups of GRANULAR gypsum to lower my clay pH. Annie can take lots of acid without breaking in black spots. When I first got Annie, she was wilting in hot sun, or blooms balled in the rain. I fixed both problems through gypsum application. Below is Annie, taken today, hot & humid, still clean after I gave grapefruit & tap water. It's right next to my limestone-based patio.

Here is a link that might be useful: USAgypsum: buy gypsum in bulk

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest ferti

The rose park nearby uses lots of chemical fertilizer, but they have alkaline tap-water, so their grafted Austin roses get huge & stingy when there's no rain. pH of rain is slightly acidic in my Chicagoland, but more acidic in the East Coast at 5.6.

Last summer I used few tablespoons of gypsum per 5-gallon bucket to lower the pH of my tap. But I had to stir the bucket to dissolve, used-citrus fruits is faster to lower the pH of my tap water at 8.3. Next time I use less grapefruit, spread some Milorganite for more leaves, plus gypsum (calcium sulfate) to buffer the acidity of grapefruit.

Here's the result of lowering my tap water pH with grapefruit. Citrus fruits have vitamin C, which is essential for plant's growth (see link below). Wise Portia broke out with black spots on lowest leaves, but I get tons of blooms, thanks to lowering the pH of my alkaline tap from 8.3 to slightly acidic, so potassium and phosphorus can be released.

Here is a link that might be useful: Effects of vitamins on plant growth

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 9:53

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest ferti

Christopher Marlowe next to it, didn't get grapefruit, thus less blooms, more pale, clean and bushier with more leaves. I put lots of red-lava rocks at the bottom. Without high-potassium rocks, Christopher is stingy at such high soil pH. In my experiments in lowering my tap water, I like the result of soaking cracked-corn in water the most, resulting in the best health and best blooms. Will try "corn-tea" on Christopher next, once I test the pH with red-cabbage juice.

Picture taken today July 22, hot & humid, only red-lava rocks, and chicken manure early summer. Picture is the end of is very long 1st flush:

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 12:36

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest ferti

I look through pics. of my roses for the past years, best health was with PLANT-BASED SOLUBLE fertilizer such as alfalfa tea and corn-tea. I marveled at my neighbor's tomato plants, fertilized with soy-based, low-salt Daniels liquid fertilizer.

The years with horse manure plus alfalfa produced shiny leaves & health. The horse manure made the surface dry and alkaline, and the alfalfa gave vitamins besides NPK 2-1-2. My 3rd year I kept the horse manure, but replaced alfalfa, pH 5.7 with cocoa mulch, pH 5.4.

Both are slightly acidic, but cocoa mulch induced black spots. For mg per 100 mg, cocoa much has high potassium 3251, decent phosphorus 1000, but VERY LOW fungal suppression nutrients with 11 zinc, and 3.5 copper.

Alfalfa has more nutrients, here's an excerpt from below link: "Alfalfa contains protein and vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. Nutrient analysis demonstrates the presence of calcium, potassium, iron, and zinc."

However, the year which I topped Comte de Chambord with lots of alfalfa meal (pH 5.7), it broke out in the worst BS ever. Why? Comte was in a pot, so I could not top-dress with alkaline horse manure. The potting soil was acidic, at pH 6.5, plus lots of rain at slightly acidic pH. Perfect pH for black spot germination with sticky and wet alfafa on top.

Below is own-root Scepter'd Isle, 100% clean, with alfalfa in the planting hole in my alkaline clay, pH 7.7. NO horse manure mulch. It's clean for 2 years until I dug it up to give to a friend.

Here is a link that might be useful: nutritional value of alfalfa

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 19:19

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest ferti

Found why roses broke out in black spots when I used MiracleGro SOLUBLE for roses NPK 18-24-16. It's high in Ammonium sulfate (fast lowering of pH), high salt with urea, and high phosphorus. High phosphorus is known to induce zinc-deficiency, and zinc is the strongest anti fungal agent. From below link of U. of Colorado:

"Soils deficient in zinc are low in organic matter, are sandy and/or have an alkaline pH (pH greater than 7.0).

High available soil phosphorus levels produced by fertilization or native in the soil may induce a more severe zinc deficiency on soils low in available zinc.

Zinc deficiency is much more severe in years with cold, wet springs than in years of warm, dry springs."

See below for Sweet Promise rose, 100% clean with shiny leaves, it has alfalfa meal in the planting hole, and topped with horse manure & alfalfa in that picture. Ever since I stopped alfalfa, less leaves, more bare, and less shine. Will get horse-feed alfalfa pellets (no salt), rather than alfalfa meal since its fine particles glue up with my clay.

Here is a link that might be useful: High phophorus induce zinc deficiency

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 11:17

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest ferti

Roses are different from each other, one size doesn't fit all. With hybrid teas like Sweet Promise, or sparse Austin like Wise Portia, alfalfa makes them more lush & fuller in leaves ... otherwise they get that "bare and leggy" look.

Alfalfa meal promoted too much growth for vigorous Austins like Scepter'd Isle, Radio Times, Evelyn, and Christopher Marlow. I like them WITHOUT alfalfa: more compact and less pruning for me.

There's a 3rd group that DISLIKE alfalfa with its high nitrogen and acidity at pH 5.7. Paul Neyron with huge blooms & many petals LIKE gypsum & potassium but HATE alfalfa. When I put too much alfalfa in the planting hole, Paul balled up with black spots. I realize that he prefers alkaline, so I moved him to my alkaline clay, and topped with gypsum and sulfate of potash. Below is Paul Neyron, clean leaves, and good blooming, less than 4 hours of sun. From that time I put gypsum in the planting hole for roses with zillion petals, or pale roses that need the 17% sulfur in gypsum to green up:

A few hydroponics experiment showed how calcium and potassium help with root growth. Paul Neyron has wimpy roots and known as disease-prone. I have 4 pots with rose cuttings. The pot with the healthiest cuttings have gypsum added. The other pots with only 1/2 perlite and 1/2 potting soil have cuttings that turned yellowish. The below link showed how gypsum helps with soil compaction (break up heavy clay), thus less fertilizer is needed. The article is dated March 24, 2014:

Here is a link that might be useful: Farmers use gypsum to improve soil, yields

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 12:13

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest fertilize

Here's an excellent link on nutritional deficiencies in tomato plants, which lists boron deficiency as "Small leaves; heart rot (corkiness); multiple buds." Other sites described boron deficiency as leaves curling upward.

Iron deficiency as "Yellow leaves; veins remain green." This occurs in young new leaves, versus nitrogen deficiency: yellowing older leaves.

Manganese deficiency as "Leaves mottled with yellow and white; growth stunted." I have plenty of manganese deficiency in my pH 7.7 clay. Other site described purplish spots, which I see in my rhododendrons.

Zinc deficiency as "Small, thin, and yellow leaves, low yield."

Other sites described Copper deficiency as soft, and weak branches. Zinc, copper, and calcium are the 3 antifungal trio which help to make leaves thick & strong.

Magnesium deficiency as "Yield down; old leaves white or yellow." Magnesium deficiency is rare, only in sandy soil. My heavy clay is tested exceedingly high in magnesium.

Calcium deficiency as "Growing points of plants damaged". Haifa site listed calcium deficiency as wilting of leaves' tip: "Plants under chronic calcium deficiency have a much greater tendency to wilt than non-stressed plants.

Sulfur deficiency as "Light green to yellow leaves; growth stunted." Haifa site stated "The veins and petioles exhibit a very distinct reddish color." Correction with rain water or gypsum.

Potassium deficiency is described by Haifa as "marginal chlorosis, progressing into a dry leathery tan scorch on recently matured leaves. ... increasing interveinal scorching progressing from the leaf edge to the midrib as the stress increases ... most of the interveinal area becomes necrotic, the veins remain green and the leaves tend to curl and crinkle."

Here is a link that might be useful: Vegatable garden & nutrients deficiencies

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest ferti

The previous link described phosphorus deficiency as: "thin, few stems, and shedding of older leaves." My use of high-phosphorus fertilizer in Sonia Rykiel rose backfired: induced more phosphorus deficiency, as the chemical zapped mycorrhyzal fungi, which helped roots with phosphorus-uptake.

My recent experiment of spreading gritty lime to counter-act month-long rain back-fired in pale own-roots which can't acid-phosphatase: high pH and high calcium induced phosphorus deficiency: thin & fewer stems, and shedding of lowest leaves. But the gritty lime helped with roses that prefer alkaline: Radio times doubled in height & healthier, same with French roses.

For Sharon: I just did pH-test of 1/2 cup cracked-corn soaked in 2 gallons of tap-water for 24-hours. NOT ENOUGH cracked corn to change my alkaline tap, still dark blue, pH 8.3, compared to the control in distilled water. My previous test of 2 part cracked corn with 1 part distilled water in red-cabbage yielded very acidic at pH 3.5. I tested 1/4 cup cracked corn to 1 cup of my alkaline tap: still slightly blue compared to red-cabbage in distilled.

It's SAFE to use 1/4 cup cracked corn per 1 cup tap-water, the result: slightly alkaline. Haifa site has an excellent page which shows phosphorus deficiency in various plants, see link below:

Here is a link that might be useful: Phosphorus deficiency in various plants

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 15:23

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest ferti

I was googling for zinc content of alfalfa and found this link on proper diet for horse. Zinc, copper, and selenium have antifungal properties. Didn't know that those elements are added to a horse's diet, until I read the below:

"The trace mineral profile (copper, zinc and selenium) of alfalfa is marginal when compared to the trace mineral requirements for growing and performance horses. It is generally recommended that horses being fed strictly alfalfa hay diets be supplemented with additional trace minerals. This trace mineral fortification typically comes in the form of pelleted grain concentrates or low intake mineral supplements."

"Feeding strictly alfalfa hay, it is not uncommon to have large amounts of calcium with marginal amounts of phosphorus. In addition, the ratio of calcium to phosphorus in some alfalfa hays approaches 15 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus. It is recommended that young, growing horses receive supplemental phosphorus in the form of alfalfa cubes fortified with phosphorus."

*** From Straw: the above explains why some horse manure is good to prevent fungal growth in roses. It also depends on the stable if they fortify their horse diets with zinc, copper, selenium .... or extra phosphorus.

Zinc sulfate is used as fungicide in peach spray. It's sold at Alpha Chemicals for $3.50 a lb. "Zinc sulfate has many uses including fungicide, water treatment, fertilizer, along with a wide range of other uses". Corn has the greatest need for zinc in their cultivation. Copper sulfate is also used as fungicide in preventing algae growth in ponds. Someone in HMF mentioned using copper soluble to successfully combat rust in a rose.

Here is a link that might be useful: EquiNews: Alfalfa hay in horse diet

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 19:30

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest fertilize

The evidence speak for the fact, that you are so good at it, i.e., raising the healthy plant with your hard work and wise choice of essential elements added to the plant. We are lucky to follow your example and helpful for our garden at home. Thank you very much!!!

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest fertilize

  • Posted by jim1961 6a Central Pa. (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 11:09

Yes I'll be trying some things to see if I can achieve better disease resistance here...
Thanks for the ideas Strawbhill! Much appreciated!

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest fertilize

Zinc is the strongest anti-fungal agent (see anti-fungal nutrients for roses thread). Below link from U. of Colorado best describes zinc deficiency:

"Plants tend to be stunted due to a shortening of the internodes. Leaves show a general yellowing of the upper foliage with a browning or bronzing of the older or lower leaves. The leaves of zinc-deficient typically have a crinkled appearance. A general downward curl of the leaves also will occur and flowering will be poor."

That's in contrast to iron deficiency: "Iron-deficient fields, when viewed from a distance, exhibit irregularly-shaped yellow areas. Because iron is not translocate in the plant, deficiency symptoms appear on the new growth first. Iron deficiency on individual plants is characterized by yellow leaves with dark green veins (interveinal chlorosis)."

*** From Straw: The site recommends manure as the best source for chelated zinc and iron. That is IF THE MANURE IS AT NEUTRAL pH for nutrients to be released. The bagged cow manure I got from Menards have quick-lime added. That type of lime (calcium hydroxide) binds trace elements up, thus they can't be released. My Frederic Mistral is VERY PALE after I mulched it with bagged cow manure, pH near 8.

Here is a link that might be useful: Zinc deficiency versus iron deficiency

RE: Links to identify nutrients deficiencies & cheapest fertilize

Copper is the second strongest antifungal agent, after zinc (see the thread "Anti-fungal nutrients for roses"). eHow describes copper deficiency as:

"Leaves may become pale or yellowish -- a condition known as chlorosis. They may become curled or twisted, especially at the leaf tips. The upper portion of cereal grain leaves may die and drop off. The leaves of newest growth may droop."

"The stems become flaccid, and many tillers will die. The stems will not grow as fast, and their final length will be shorter than usual. Lacking their usual firmness, the stems may bend and break ... Copper deficiency may impart a sickly, stunted appearance to the plant. Dark spots indicating tissue death may appear in various places."

*** From Straw: copper sulfate is a fungicide, used to control algae growth in ponds. I'm looking out my window at Comte de Chambord rose after it's done with its 2nd heavy blooming. Copper is depleted in that rose, with all the symptoms described above. According to Wikipedia, Bordeaux mixture is a mixture of copper sulfate and slaked lime. It is used in vineyards, fruit-farms and gardens to prevent infestations of downy mildew, powdery mildew and other fungi.

Dave and Deb, zone 5a Montana, did a fantastic job in HMF where they documented which one of their roses have a higher need for iron, such as Double Delight and Oklahoma. I suspect Comte de Chambord as a higher need for copper, in its heavy-bloom production, thus become depleted and prone to black spots, after its flowering.

In crops, corn has a higher need for zinc, versus much less for wheat. Roses are all different from each other, some require more of a particular trace elements than others.

My Comte is severely affected after I moved it from my clay at pH 7.7, into 100% MG potting soil, and put too much gypsum which lowered the pH below neutral. MG potting soil DOES NOT have trace elements like my heavy clay to prevent fungal diseases. Comte was previously 100% clean in my heavy clay for 2 years, before I moved it: Picture below taken late fall:

Here is a link that might be useful: eHow on copper deficiency in plants

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