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#1: Problems with landscape plants -- help please !!

Posted on 2006-07-23 19:01:55 by James

As this message will demonstrate, I am a "green thumb" about plants, and no
nothing about nutrients, etc. But, I have lived in this same house for
over 30 years, and have simply bought and planted many plants over the years
without the slightest problem.

Around the front perimeter of my house, I have planting areas that are
bordered with brick. Over the years, I have planted plants and shrubbery
such as heather, ilex, shilling, etc. About a year ago, MOST of these
plants and shrubbery started turning yellow, and then eventually all died
out. This happened over the course of about 3 or 4 months. I have tried
planting other replacement plants and they have died within a month or so of
planting. Keep in mind please that this is the same planting area that I
have used without problems for 30 years.

I got one of those soil testing kits to test the soil for nutrients, and I
closely tested the soil. The results were that the ph is "neutral" with a
number 7 result. But, I did find that the Nitrogen level was "low" and
the Phosphorous and Potash are both "very low." So, surely these low
levels of these elements must surely be at least part of my problem.

I have not done an "iron" test, because I don't know how to test for iron.
Does anyone know if they make a test kit for iron levels in soil ?

To help the low levels of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potash, I bought some
fertilizer with good ratios of these nutrients and spread it into this
planting area , and watered it in real good. I repeated this 3 times over
several weeks. I did not "dig" the fertilizer into the soil, as I have this
area mulched, and I would have to remove all of the mulch. But, the
fertilizer was the powdery type, and I assumed the watering would work it
into the soil.

I planted some new heathers. When I planted them, I did mix some of this
fertilizer into the soil, mixing real evenly. I put in a decent amount, but
did not over do it. I watered them in using Miracle-Gro, and fertilzed with
the same each week. Within a week, some of the leaves on the plants
started turning yellow, and within 2 weeks many leaves are brown and are
falling off. These plants will be dead in another two weeks. This is
baffling to me.

From trying to research on the internet, I believe I could be seeing
chlorosis, resulting from iron deficiency. I bought an iron supplement
(can't think of the name, but it was liquid) and poured it into the planted
areas. This hasn't helped yet, but I don't know if I did it right.
Without an iron test, I don't even know if this soil lacks iron.

Any ideas on what I have tried and what I might try now ? Is there a test
for iron ? If my soil is low on iron, what is the best way to add iron ?
I have read of chelated iron, which I assume is more of a slow-release type.
Do you think this would help?

If my soil is indeed "low" on Nitrogen, and "very low" on Phosphorous and
Potash, what is the best way of adding these nutrients? Do I need to
remove the soil, dig up the soil, and mix in the fertilizer ?

Please give me any comments or recommendations that you can think of !! I
really need help on this one.


--James--

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#2: Re: Problems with landscape plants -- help please !!

Posted on 2006-07-24 00:14:41 by I Love Lucy

&quot;James&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:jnipperxxx&#64;nospamfdn.com" target="_blank">jnipperxxx&#64;nospamfdn.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
news:<a href="mailto:R-2dnbORC5ccNl7ZnZ2dnUVZ_qCdnZ2d&#64;comcast.com..." target="_blank">R-2dnbORC5ccNl7ZnZ2dnUVZ_qCdnZ2d&#64;comcast.com...</a>
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; As this message will demonstrate, I am a &quot;green thumb&quot; about plants,
&gt; and no
&gt; nothing about nutrients, etc. But, I have lived in this same house
&gt; for
&gt; over 30 years, and have simply bought and planted many plants over the
&gt; years
&gt; without the slightest problem.
&gt;
&gt; Around the front perimeter of my house, I have planting areas that are
&gt; bordered with brick. Over the years, I have planted plants and
&gt; shrubbery
&gt; such as heather, ilex, shilling, etc. About a year ago, MOST of
&gt; these
&gt; plants and shrubbery started turning yellow, and then eventually all
&gt; died
&gt; out. This happened over the course of about 3 or 4 months. I have
&gt; tried
&gt; planting other replacement plants and they have died within a month or
&gt; so of
&gt; planting. Keep in mind please that this is the same planting area
&gt; that I
&gt; have used without problems for 30 years.
&gt;
&gt; I got one of those soil testing kits to test the soil for nutrients,
&gt; and I
&gt; closely tested the soil. The results were that the ph is &quot;neutral&quot;
&gt; with a
&gt; number 7 result. But, I did find that the Nitrogen level was &quot;low&quot;
&gt; and
&gt; the Phosphorous and Potash are both &quot;very low.&quot; So, surely these
&gt; low
&gt; levels of these elements must surely be at least part of my problem.
&gt;
&gt; I have not done an &quot;iron&quot; test, because I don't know how to test for
&gt; iron.
&gt; Does anyone know if they make a test kit for iron levels in soil ?
&gt;
&gt; To help the low levels of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potash, I bought
&gt; some
&gt; fertilizer with good ratios of these nutrients and spread it into this
&gt; planting area , and watered it in real good. I repeated this 3 times
&gt; over
&gt; several weeks. I did not &quot;dig&quot; the fertilizer into the soil, as I have
&gt; this
&gt; area mulched, and I would have to remove all of the mulch. But, the
&gt; fertilizer was the powdery type, and I assumed the watering would work
&gt; it
&gt; into the soil.
&gt;
&gt; I planted some new heathers. When I planted them, I did mix some of
&gt; this
&gt; fertilizer into the soil, mixing real evenly. I put in a decent
&gt; amount, but
&gt; did not over do it. I watered them in using Miracle-Gro, and
&gt; fertilzed with
&gt; the same each week. Within a week, some of the leaves on the plants
&gt; started turning yellow, and within 2 weeks many leaves are brown and
&gt; are
&gt; falling off. These plants will be dead in another two weeks. This is
&gt; baffling to me.
&gt;
&gt; From trying to research on the internet, I believe I could be seeing
&gt; chlorosis, resulting from iron deficiency. I bought an iron
&gt; supplement
&gt; (can't think of the name, but it was liquid) and poured it into the
&gt; planted
&gt; areas. This hasn't helped yet, but I don't know if I did it right.
&gt; Without an iron test, I don't even know if this soil lacks iron.
&gt;
&gt; Any ideas on what I have tried and what I might try now ? Is there a
&gt; test
&gt; for iron ? If my soil is low on iron, what is the best way to add
&gt; iron ?
&gt; I have read of chelated iron, which I assume is more of a slow-release
&gt; type.
&gt; Do you think this would help?
&gt;
&gt; If my soil is indeed &quot;low&quot; on Nitrogen, and &quot;very low&quot; on
&gt; Phosphorous and
&gt; Potash, what is the best way of adding these nutrients? Do I need to
&gt; remove the soil, dig up the soil, and mix in the fertilizer ?
&gt;
&gt; Please give me any comments or recommendations that you can think of
&gt; !! I
&gt; really need help on this one.

I have a soil sample kit in front of me as I haven't had the tests made.
These are options at my state university where they are to be sent.

1. Regular series (pH, lime, P, K) $7
2. Regular series + O.M $10
3. Regular + Zinc $11
4. Regular + O.M + zinc $11
5, pH and lime only $4

Above it says &quot;$7 per sample to test for lime requirement, phosphorous,
and potash)&quot;., so that must be #1, nothing about iron. Can't find what
O.M is.

I would call my local extension service or the place in your state that
does the testing and ask if there is a test for iron.

This probably isn't the case with you, but I'm not sure some
highly-concentrated chemical wasn't spilled in one of my spots that
would cause trouble for an indefinite period, and it doesn't say
anything about testing for that.

You can buy liquid nutrients to replenish your soil so you don't have to
dig them in. While I was waiting, I'd maybe stick in some beans and see
what happens because they grow fast, also they are legumes and have that
nitrogen-fixing bacteria. I wouldn't put any more fertilizers or
additives into the soil until you get it figured out.

Sorry I can't be more help. I need to call and ask about chemical and
iron, too, before I go to all the trouble to do the samples and pay for
them.

&gt;
&gt;
&gt; --James--
&gt;
&gt;

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