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Reasons to Test

apply irrigation water to substrate

Optimal levels - Optimal concentrations of nutrients required by the plant are maintained in the container substrate to achieve the desired plant response such as maximum growth, flowering, or fruiting. By testing, one can ensure optimal nutrient concentrations are present in container substrate.


(Click on image to enlarge)

Syringe with small clear tube that traverses black tube. Clear tube extends to bottom of lysimeter

Confirm deficiency - Abnormal color of leaves may be due to a deficient nutrient. In order to determine which nutrient(s) is deficient, the substrate is tested and results compared to that of non-deficient plant or published standards.

Hand pump to create vacuum in lysimeter

Compliance monitoring - monitoring container plant nutrition is required for nursery operators participating in the Interim Measure program. Compliance with program guidelines provides a waiver of state-imposed liability for nitrate contamination of ground water.

Best Management Practices Guide for Producing Container-Grown Plants, Yeager et al., 1997, published by the Southern Nursery Association, Atlanta, Georgia, provided information from which this interim measure was derived.

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