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Raspberry leaf differences

These two photos of raspberry come from the same variety, planted the same time, about 20 miles apart in similar soils, but with completely different nutrition management.

It is interesting to observe how plants express themselves differently in different environments. When we learn what to look for, it is possible to identify some of the subtle indicators of plant health and yield potential.

When you compare these two photos, note the differences in the definition of the leaf edges, how the leaf shoulder is shaped where it is attached to the petiole, leaf flatness, and length to width ratio.

It is worth noting that the nitrogen content in these leaves is practically identical, yet one has much higher chlorophyll concentrations.

What else can you observe that I missed pointing out?

2020-07-20T08:07:00-05:00July 20th, 2020|Tags: , |

Bent growing tips as indicator of calcium deficiency

The tips of growing vines should be vertical and point almost straight upward, particularly in the morning. During the day, in high-temperature conditions, they might move to a slight angle, but should still be mostly upright.

When a growing tip is bent over sideways, as this one is, it is an indicator of a calcium deficiency. It can also be an expression of dry soils and not enough water. Since the plant needs to absorb calcium from the roots each 24-hour photoperiod, which is then transferred through the xylem directly to the new growth, saying that a bent tip is the result of not enough water is just a different way of saying that it doesn’t have enough calcium.

Observing the growing tips on cucumber vines is an easy assessment that can indicate whether the plant has enough energy to fill multiple fruit on each node and continue setting new fruit.

2020-06-23T11:44:07-05:00June 29th, 2020|Tags: , , |

Visual indicators of calcium and boron deficiency in corn

When the soil biology does not provide enough calcium during rapid vegetative growth stages, cell division continues imperfectly, resulting in the common leaf ‘zippers’ on corn and other grass crops.

The location of the zipper can also indicate whether boron is inadequate. Adequate levels of boron produces the effect of moving nutrients and water through the plant and leaf quickly to the outer edges. When the zippering effect occurs at the edge of the leaf, it may indicate there is not enough boron present to move calcium to the leaf edge. When zippering occurs in the middle of the leaf, boron may be adequate, but calcium remains low.

When enough calcium is present to remove the zippering effect, plants get significant growth energy from the abundant calcium, and nitrogen requirements drop. This is one reason some farms grow high yielding, high test weight corn with only .35 – .5 lb of N per bushel measured in the system.

PS. We added a new feature on the blog, all posts are tagged, and you can browse the tag index here.

2020-06-24T07:12:27-05:00May 11th, 2020|Tags: , , , |
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