Overfertilization?

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Stout Man

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Does anyone know what an overfertilized plant looks like? All of my plants look very healthy its just that the one that is the tallest and most vigorous grower of the nugget has some suspicious leaves at the bottom. The plant is 5 1/2 feet tall now. It looks like potassium deficiency except no downward curl of the leaf. The leaf is still green and just has brown edges. I just doubt that its a nutrient deficiency because I used a good mix of horse compost/native soil and soil/vigoro garden soil in layers and added a handfull of 16-16-16 fertilizer to each hill then have mulched it twice so far. I use a drip irrigation system that seems to be working well.

I've been meaning to post pics of all my plants.
 

Waylit

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Usually the leaves will curl under when they're over fertilized.
 
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Stout Man

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K. I posted some pics of my hops in my "Hops" gallery. I hate how the photos won't come up on the members gallery thing.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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Overfertilization has the same chracteristics in hops as does under fertilization as does overwatering and underwatering.

I know, confusing huh.

By what you describe your plant should be happy with the food levels. Of course a soils test through your county extension would prove it. Of course, you could also be lacking in micronutrients.
 

zoebisch01

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I looked at the photos. They look pretty healthy to me? When I was thinking brown edges, I imagined a serious brown edge which is often indicative of over fertilization.
 

Mutilated1

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Generally a mild overfertilization will result in the leaves, especially the tips and edges being discolored. You may see brown, white, yellow or even red. If the leaves get pale or yellow with darker green veins, then you're looking at Magnesium deficency which is most commonly caused by over fertilization. If the plant appears wilted, but the soil is no absolutely dry you are most definitely looking a overfertilization, most likely a severe case.

If you've fertilizaed the plant at all, then you can rule out a Potassium deficiency.

I would expect that if you added a handful of triple 16 to each hill then you've probably overdone it, thats a lot of fertilzer.
 
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Stout Man

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The only browning edges were on the very bottom 2 levels of leaves on the largest nugget plant. Otherwise I thought the plants looked good.
 

Old_Brewer

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Also keep in mind that you can over fertilize with nitrogen and under fertilize with phosphorus. This would favor stem growth, and affect poor flowering. I'm not sure how sensitive hops are to the nitrogen/phosphorus ratio. I know that tomatoes are. My cousin used a 21-5-5 fertilizer on his tomato plants and got 6 foot plants & no flowers/fruit. This was in the same garden that in previous years produced good tomatoes.

Edit: a handfull of 16-16-16 fertilizer to each hill, seems like a bit much to me.
 

cuinrearview

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Your leaves look just like mine here in MI. My four year cascade is about two feet out of the ground, and the lower tiers of leaves are browning but not curling. They have done this every year but have yet to produce anything less than a sufficient crop despite my lack of care and fertilization. The only time that it scares me is in late July/early August when the bottom three feet seems to die off. It really looks sickly. I'm always happy to get what harvest I can despite my lack of fertilization. I literally live in the middle of a lake, about two feet off of the water table, so obviously irrigation is not an issue.
 

morrighu

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Curinrearview - If you're two feet off the water table, you might be seeing the results of root rot. I'd try very gradually building up a mound around them and seeing if that doesn't help your problem. No more than 1/2" a year of good compost would be my recommendation. I'd also make it a good diameter so that those roots get some room to breathe.

As for the Magnesium deficiency, you can test that theory by adding a spoonful of epsom salt to the water when you water your hops. If this corrects the problem, it is Magnesium. Another thing that makes plants yellow with deep green veins is an iron deficiency which can be corrected with a bit of ironite.

You should probably get a soil analysis done before adding fertilizers or chemicals. If you want to add compost, that should be fine. Mother nature usually takes care of balancing out the heap. Most county extension offices will do one for about $15 (at least here in Texas). Many times an overabundance of a nutrient will mimic the symptoms of a deficiency. Add more of the wrong thing can be worse than adding nothing.

2 cents,

M.
 
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