STRAWBERRY PLANT TISSUE ANALYSIS
Plant tissue testing can determine if soil nutrients are being taken up in adequate amounts by the strawberry plant. Even when nutrients are in adequate supply, a plant's ability to use available nutrients can be affected by several factors, including soil temperature, root development, drought, high temperatures, soil saturation with water, fertilizer application methods and timing.
Tissue testing results can help growers avoid long term nutrient problems. Occasionally, severe nutrient problems are encountered early in the growth of a crop. A tissue analysis may allow time for corrective measures to be taken in the same season, thereby reducing the potential loss.
Normal nutrient levels in strawberry tissue vary with plant growth stages such as flowering, fruiting and after fruiting. Tissue values may also be affected by time of sampling, the age of the leaves and the cultivars sampled. However, deficiency levels are reliable indicators that nutrients must be added.
Plant tissue analysis measures nutrient concentrations within growing plants.
Testing of strawberry leaves provides information on whether or not nutrients are sufficient for optimum crop development. Not only does it identify and verify observed nutrient deficiencies and/or toxicities, but it can also identify nutrient shortages before symptoms appear.
Plant tissue samples can be predictive or diagnostic.Routine samples are predictive: that is, they identify nutrient levels within the crop and predict an appropriate approach to fertilization. Diagnostic samples are submitted to identify apparent nutrient problems.
Routine (predictive) analysis measures levels of nutrients present: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, manganese, copper, zinc, iron, boron and sodium. Results indicate whether plants are absorbing adequate amounts of the nutrients needed for optimum growth. Plant analysis reports give growers the information they need to evaluate the effectiveness of their current fertilization program.
Problem (diagnostic) analysis measures the same nutrients as routine analysis. However, the main goal of the analysis is to identify observed nutrient problems accurately. The best way to do this is to submit samples from "good" areas (normal looking plants) and from "bad" areas (discolored, stunted or misshapen plants) and compare the results. Matching soil samples from the two areas can also provide useful information.
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