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Old 05-30-2008, 12:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
CEMaine:

I have consulted the county extension and I do plan to drop off the requisite sample for an actual lab analysis. Trouble is, it takes 2 weeks for them to return the results.
That is okay. Patience is the guiding factor in the garden, at least for me.

It sure looks like a nutrient deficiency to me. If you have a good nursery around, take some of those leaves and drop by. Ask them what they think.

What was your pH? An acidic soil can reduce the availability of nutrients to the plants. Even when they are there in sufficient quantities. Occasionally, we will have to apply lime to 'Acid loving' plants like Rhoddies and Azaleas to make the nutrients more available to them. This without fail will lead to more and better blooms.
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Old 05-30-2008, 12:39 PM   #12
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Gila, is the problem isolated to one bed or is it in all of your hops?

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Old 05-30-2008, 01:18 PM   #13
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Soil pH=7.

Only some of my plants are showing these effects. And some of the photo's are taken from the same plants. 5 out of 13 plants are having this effect and it is isolated to the older growth on each of them. All of the new growth looks pristine. All of the effected plants are also putting on sideshoots.

I tried a foliar feeding, just to try.

I am stumped on what to do from here, if anything. If the affected plants were all of European origin I might consider that it's a climate problem and the plants don't like the surroundings but, one is a Brewers Gold and another is a Nugget and another is CHinook........

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Old 05-30-2008, 02:42 PM   #14
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One thing to keep in mind is that these older damaged leaves well never get "better". In fact, the main plant will probably declare them a lost cause and pull what nutrients out of them that it can (making it look even worse) before the leaf falls off.

With a fresh bed with fresh soil I would really be surprised if it were a deficiency symptom. The brown margins could be salt/fertilizer burn. Weather conditions, like hot and dry can make it worse - not because the plant is thirsty, but becuase if the air is very dry the plants will transpire like crazy and this can bring in too much minerals too fast. That very first photo looks a lot like spider mite damage, but you say you haven't seen any of the little critters. I'd also consider some disease problems.

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Old 05-30-2008, 03:49 PM   #15
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Okay, so a master grower at the county extension also hypothesizes that I have a salinity issue causing the marginal burning effect.

So, how to correct this?

edit: I have read that the only way to correct (without replacing the soil completely) is to flood the area with water (over several days, allowing drainiage between) to leech the salts out of the soil.

So, after leeching. The soil would have to be re-aerated for certain but, is it possible to leech too much salt from the soil thus causing a similar issue?

I have checked with the county extension and they can/will test for this but, there is an additional fee and it still takes 2 weeks from sample submittal date. The MG also suggested I submit a leaf for pathology review. Again a fee and time span of 2 weeks for the results.

edit: I contacted my soil supplier and I am told that they do regularly have tests done on their soil batches. So, there is a good possibility that I may be able to get "some" useful information from that. For example, salinity.

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Old 05-30-2008, 04:16 PM   #16
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Well, if you are buying that soil this could entitle you to see the test results. If it is indeed a salt issue, I am guessing something got fouled up in their process somehow. Could be where they are getting their raw materials. But that's just a guess. Spent Mushroom Substrate is known to be a likely candidate.

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Old 05-30-2008, 09:01 PM   #17
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I'm finding that figuring out what deficiency or disease looks like what to be quite a guessing game, with so many overlapping symptoms. I've been doing a bit of reading, but I'm brand new to the whole gardening thing, so take whatever I offer for what it's worth.

My hallertauers have spots similar to what your first picture shows, though mine are larger and not as plentiful. With their irregular shape, I'm a little worried it could be a viral issue, but the plants seem to be thriving otherwise, so I dunno. I read somewhere that a nutrient deficiency could cause something like that, but I forget which one. Manganese perhaps?

Anyway, in your other pictures it looks like it could be a Potassium problem. Some information I found is that excessive amounts of Potassium can induce high-salts type damage to plants. However, one thing I don't think anybody has brought up is Magnesium. The symptoms of Magnesium deficiency can look quite similar to what you're dealing with.
Look here:
http://www.hbci.com/~wenonah/min-def/hops.htm
and here:
http://www.hbci.com/~wenonah/min-def/part4.htm


Also, looking at this page http://www.hbci.com/~wenonah/min-def/part2.htm (go about 2/3 of the way down), Magnesium can be locked out by an overabundance of potassium (which your test would seem to indicate). Of course, the information is rather old, but much of it is still viable and very well might apply in your case. I don't know what kinds of soil tests are available for Magnesium, but if you sent it to a lab, I imagine they'll check it out.

Don't hold me responsible if something goes wrong , but you might want to try giving the plants some foliar feedings with a mix of a half tablespoon of Epsom Salts in a gallon of water, and see how they respond. Most of what I've read says one whole tablespoon per gallon, but when testing with fertilizers, I figure cutting the concentrations in half to be a little safer. You can also water normally with it, but it probably won't be as quick or effective, and if it's getting locked out by the potassium, might not do much good at all. For a large-scale adjustment, you'd probably want to make some sort of amendment to the soil.

When I set up my hop beds I used 1/2 a bag of compost/manure per hill. It might be a great planting medium, but I'm not sure how great it is for nutrients. My hops were growing kinda slow and looked a little sickly compared to everything else in my yard. I did a soil test, and Nitrogen didn't even register, but that's kinda hard to believe. Maybe I scewed up the test somehow. Phosphorous was low-medium, and Potassium was inconclusive as the bottle never cleared, but I think there was some color in there. Going half by that and half by my gut, I mixed up a gallon of 1/2 strength Miracle Grow and watered my plants with it. I swear that, within a few hours, the plants looked more lively, and over the next couple of days they finally began to take off. Maybe it was just the good weather, but the fertilizer sure didn't hurt them. I think I'm going to give the plants another shot this weekend. If you think your plants could use some nitrogen, you could try some fish emulsion. It's something like 5-1-1 and is supposed to be a relatively safe way to give plants a nitrogen boost. I was originally going to use it rather than the Miracle Grow but, strangely, the store I went to didn't have any.

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Old 06-08-2008, 01:07 AM   #18
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Chris, magnesium deficiency is very VERY difficult to have. Most public/well water supplies have ample amounts, as do the surrounding soils in most areas. Both magnesium and calcium are probably the 2 most abundant minerals in the soil/water plants need. Rarely are they a problem in all but the craziest circumstances.

I vote for the over salination. It takes a TON of potassium to cause a toxicity issue.

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Old 06-10-2008, 06:40 PM   #19
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Maybe you're right. At first I thought Magnesium because of spotting chlorosis and such on lower leaves but, at least in my my case, it might be due to a fungal issue with all the moisture we've had.

As far as tests go, I wonder if it's worth it to send some samples to a lab. I wanted to get a good home test that covered more than PH and NPK, but all I've been able to find locally are the same cheapie kits. I've done 3 seperate tests from various spots and they've all been somewhat inconclusive. I have a hard time making out the PH and K within the amount of time they say I should be able to as the tests remain really murky. Phosphorous, however, clears up pretty quickly and seems really high. I wonder if that's how the tips of some of my leaves turned black and shriveled up. I had planned on using fish emulsion, but the store didn't have any so I went with some Miracle Gro. I did a test before I fertilized and it said I had low to mid P so I figured I was safe. I don't know if letting them sit for too long skews the tests, but a day later the PH test is clear and looks like it's coming in at around 7.0. Potassium is still cloudy, but maybe it's normal-high? The strange thing is that, in all 3 tests, Nitrogen hasn't even shown up. That might account for the yellowing leaves, but it would be really odd because I have fertilized (see above about black leaf tips). I have to think the test should be registering at least some sort of Nitrogen.

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Old 06-10-2008, 08:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisS68 View Post
Maybe you're right. At first I thought Magnesium because of spotting chlorosis and such on lower leaves but, at least in my my case, it might be due to a fungal issue with all the moisture we've had.

As far as tests go, I wonder if it's worth it to send some samples to a lab. I wanted to get a good home test that covered more than PH and NPK, but all I've been able to find locally are the same cheapie kits. I've done 3 seperate tests from various spots and they've all been somewhat inconclusive. I have a hard time making out the PH and K within the amount of time they say I should be able to as the tests remain really murky. Phosphorous, however, clears up pretty quickly and seems really high. I wonder if that's how the tips of some of my leaves turned black and shriveled up. I had planned on using fish emulsion, but the store didn't have any so I went with some Miracle Gro. I did a test before I fertilized and it said I had low to mid P so I figured I was safe. I don't know if letting them sit for too long skews the tests, but a day later the PH test is clear and looks like it's coming in at around 7.0. Potassium is still cloudy, but maybe it's normal-high? The strange thing is that, in all 3 tests, Nitrogen hasn't even shown up. That might account for the yellowing leaves, but it would be really odd because I have fertilized (see above about black leaf tips). I have to think the test should be registering at least some sort of Nitrogen.
I do not think sending samples to the lab would be very beneficial. Most labs charge extra and piece-meal you to death if you want all the soil info. And as previously mentioned it's not necessarily that the soil doesn't have a particular nutrient, it's that the small root system doesn't have access to it. I would instead get the area soaked to help leech out any possible salt/over fertilization. Then see where you are at.

The one great thing about fast growing plants is they are indicator species of nutrient issues in the soil. Typically slower growers are MUCH more difficult to diagnose because it could have been something you did 2 weeks ago. With such a fast grower as hops, it's more likely what you did that morning or the night before.

From the aquarium trade I can tell you there is no reliable inexpensive measure for potassium. In the fish world, you just make sure you never get deficient, it's near impossible to have too much. pH is impossible to measure with soil samples using a colorametric kit because the soil itself turns the liquid a brown mess. You need a pH probe; I think they sell them in home and garden shops for under $30. Oh and you need to read the test at the specified time. After that time is over it is no longer accurate (next day you might as well guess at the pH).

For a first year plant you could do worse than a phosphate overdose. Phosphate is one of the primary drivers of root growth and so while you can have too much which causes small curled new leaves, and early maturation (could be why some people are already getting hop buds so quickly), it's probably not going to kill the plant. If anything, it's like steroids for your plant's roots.

I would hesitate to add any nitrogen source right now. Nitrogen is the #1 cause of people burning their lawns/plants/food crops. It's very potent in chemical form and you can definitely overdose easily compared to just about any other nutrient.

One thing I never thought to add (seems one of my hops out back has classic iron deficiency) is a very good iron suppliment for your lawn is sold as GreenSand. It's a form of iron that first needs to be broken down by microbes in the soil before being available to the plant so it's a nice slow release. It's also dirt cheap if you can find it (I think I got 40lbs for $3-5). I'll be applying it in the late fall (after harvest) and then early next year (say Feb) before the hops sprout to be sure there's ample amount in the ground. I have not, however, checked to see whether it's safe for food crops.

OK, that's it for now!

HTH
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