Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Signs Showing Your Plants are Nutrient Deficient

Even with a heavy dose of proper composting, many factors can lead to your plants becoming deficient in valuable nutrients. Too much rain could wash away valuable nitrogen, and not enough rain, well, could lead to a whole lot of other problems.

Here are some popular signs that you should be looking out for in your vegetable garden, their causes, and potential solutions.

Are the leaves on your vegetable plants light green to yellow? Does the growth of your plant seem stunted? Chances are your soil lacks nitrogen and/or sulfur. A good quick fix is adding blood meal or fish emulsion.

Speaking of the leaves, are they red or purple when they are supposed to be green? Looks like your soil is low on Phosphorous. Add some bonemeal or rock phosphate to your soil.

If your vegetable plants are producing fruits have you noticed if they are too small or production seems to be slow? Your soil may lack magnesium or potassium. Greensand, Epsom salt, wood ash or seaweed are all helpful answers.

A lot of the same symptoms noted above will appear for the lack of other nutrients such as iron, copper, and manganese. You should get a soil reading if you starting seeing a lot of issues. Your local co-op can do this for you or they sell home kits where you can test the soil yourself.


  1. I would love to include this information in a book i'm writing for very beginnger gardeners to garden with kids. Would that be okay with you?

  2. Thank you so much! I am a beginning gardener and I have a home day care. I'm gardening with my kids and I'm writing about it to teach other people that they can do it too. I needed some additional information on fertilizing and I know very little about it. The language you use is so easy to understand and follow. I mixed up my epsom salts and water today and the kids sprayed all of our tomatoes and peppers. We are having some of these problems and didn't know what to do. I've learned so much from your blog. Thank you so much!