Nutrient Deficiencies & Our Recommended Solutions

Nutrient Deficiencies

from the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension

Plants need the right combination of nutrients to live, grow and reproduce. When plants suffer from malnutrition, they show symptoms of being unhealthy.

Macronutrients are elements that are needed in relatively large amounts. They include nitrogen, potassium, sulfur, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Micronutrients are elements that plants need in small amounts like iron, boron, manganese, zinc, copper, chlorine and molybdenum.

Both macro- and micronutrients are naturally obtained by the roots from the soil

MACRONUTRIENTS Replace macronutrients regularly (at least 1x per growing season)
(N) Nitrogen – General yellowing of older leaves (bottom of plant). The rest of the plant is often light green. Most plants absorb nitrogen in the form of ammonium or nitrate. These forms readily dissolve in water and leach away. Anything with the words “ammonium,” “nitrate,” or “urea.” Also manures.
(P) Phosphorus – Leaf tips look burnt, followed by older leaves turning a dark green or reddish-purple. Plants absorb phosphorus in the form of phosphate. This form dissolves only slightly in water, but pH strongly affects uptake. Anything with the words “phosphate” or “bone.” Also greensand.
(K) Potassium – Older leaves may wilt, look scorched. Interveinal chlorosis begins at the base, scorching inward from leaf margins. Plants absorb potassium as an ion, which can be readily leached from soil. Anything with the words “potassium” or “potash.”
(Ca) Calcium – New leaves (top of plant) are distorted or irregularly shaped. Causes blossom-end rot. Excessive calcium can limit the availability of other nutrients. Anything with the word “calcium”; also gypsum.
(Mg) Magnesium – Older leaves turn yellow at edge leaving a green arrowhead shape in the center of the leaf. Plants absorb magnesium as an ion (charged particle), which can be readily leached from soil. May be readily leached from soil if calcium is not present. Anything with the word “magnesium”; also Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate).
(S) Sulfur – Younger leaves turn yellow first, sometimes followed by older leaves. Plants absorb sulfur in the form of sulfate. This readily leaches from the soil. Sulfur may acidify the soil (lower the pH). Anything with the word “sulfate.”

MICRONUTRIENTS Replace when deficiency symptoms are evident.
(B) Boron – Terminal buds die, witches’ brooms form. Plants absorb boron in the form of borate. Problems are seen in intensely cropped areas. Anything with the words “borax” or “borate.”
(Cu) Copper – Leaves are dark green, plant is stunted. Plants absorb copper as an ion. Anything with the words “copper,” “cupric,” or “cuprous.”
(Fe) Iron – Yellowing occurs between the veins of young leaves. Plants absorb iron as an ion through their foliage as well as their roots. Uptake is strongly affected by pH. Chelated iron is readily available for use by the plant, other forms of iron may be tied up in the soil. Anything with the word “iron chelate.”
(Mn) Manganese – Yellowing occurs between the veins of young leaves. Pattern is not as distinct as with iron. Reduction in size of plant parts (leaves, shoots, fruit) generally. Dead spots or patches. Plants absorb manganese as an ion through their foliage as well as their roots. Anything with the words “manganese” or “manganous.” Often required with zinc application.
(Mo) Molybdenum – General yellowing of older leaves (bottom of plant). The rest of the plant is often light green. Plants absorb molybdenum in the form of molybdate. Anything with the words “molybdate” or “molybdic.”
(Zn) Zinc – Terminal leaves may be rosetted, and yellowing occurs between the veins of the new leaves. Plants absorb zinc as an ion through their foliage as well as their roots. High pH may limit availability. Anything with the word “zinc.”

StarDust Organic Plant Food
Osage Gardens

One of the best ways to feed your plants (and one of our main fertilizers) is StarDust Organic Plant Food. This is made locally by Osage Gardens. StarDust is made of USDA Organic mineral ingredients and Alpha One The mineral components are Mother Natures time released fertilizer. They come from the Earth and are released slowly back into your garden.
Rock Phosphate – (P) Phosphorous
Greensand – (P) Phosphorous
K-Mag – (K) Potassium and (Mg) Magnesium
Oyster Shell – (Ca) Calcium
Kelp Meal – Small amounts of N, P, and K (highest in K) but adds micronutrients, growth hormones (natural), and vitamins that help increase yields, improve soil structure, reduce plant stress from drought, and increase frost tolerance.
AZOMITEĀ® – (K) Potassium, (Ca) Calcium, (Mg) Magnesium
Alpha-One – (N) Nitrogen, (P) Phosphate, (K) Potassium, Organic Matter, Humic Acid, pH 6.2. Manufactured in Colo for Colo soils.

MAXI-CAL 10-0-0
Calcium Deficiency Mix

Now is the time to add much needed Calcium and micronutrients to your quickly growing produce.
Maxi-Cal liquid provides excellent absorption and prevention or correction of calcium and micronutrients deficiencies in fruit, vegetables, nut and vine crops.
Calcium Deficiency Symptoms
Blossom End Rot – Tomatoes, peppers and melon occur when plant is under stress or rapid growth.
Hollow Heart – Potatoes and brussel sprouts can develop internal brown spots during growing season or after harvest in storage.
Tip Burn – Cabbage and lettuce exhibit deficiency at growing tips of newly formed leaves.

Monterey Dr. Iron

Monterey Dr. Iron is an OMRI listed granular fertilizer that is environmentally friendly and non-staining. Dr. Iron helps to improve iron deficiency and bring back that beautiful green color to your plants and lawn. Made from 22% iron, it won’t burn foliage, and reduces soil pH while also boosting sulfur levels.
Dr. Iron Liquid 15-0-0 also available

Natural and Organic Fertilizers

Feed your plants and they will feed you! The fertilizers above are elemental. You will need to add in living fungi, bacteria, and soil organisms with our wide variety of amendments to create Living Organic Soils.

Natural and Organic Pesticides

In addition to feeding your plants, you have to keep the insects, pests, and diseases at bay. We have plenty of products in stock to fight whatever is eating or harming your plants.

Nolo Bait
Organic Grasshopper Control

We’re betting your grasshoppers are as bad as ours. Nolo bait is Colorado made (grown) and is safe for kids and pets. It will only kill grasshoppers and Mormon crickets.

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