March 2014 Newsletter (vol.27)   >>   Diagnosing Signs of High and Low pH



Diagnosing Signs of High and Low pH

Taken from the Volume 3, Number 5 issue of e-Gro Alert
by Brian E. Whipker

The Greenhouse production in the Southeastern U.S. offers a unique situation of experiencing both high and low pH induced plant disorders. The coastal portion of North Carolina has high levels of alkalinity which can lead to iron deficiency induced by elevate sub¬strate pHs. Production there necessitates acid injection similar to the Midwest and Great Plains. When moving away from the coast, one enters new territory with drastically different management requirements. This area has pure irrigation water with low alkalinity levels and low content of min¬eral salts (low electrical conductivity). The water quality is excellent and many Midwestern green¬houses would love to have it! Low alkalinity water requires a change in man¬agement strategy. There is no buffering in the wa¬ter because of the lack of alkalinity so fertilizer type can impact the substrate pH and cause it to quickly drift upward with basic types of fertilizer or down¬ward with acidic fertilizer types.


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About e-Gro:


On January 22nd, the third year of e-GRO Alert was launched. The overwhelming positive response to the update has been wonderful. For our start, the e-GRO website contains new 2014 articles and six new videos (under the video tab).


To expand our coverage, we have added Dr. Kristin Getter from Michigan State University. So now there are eight contributors from seven states. We would like to thank the American Floral Endowment for providing funding again for this year’s newsletter.


The goal of the newsletter is to inform growers know of insect, disease, nutritional, or physiological growth situations that are occurring in production greenhouses. So then you know what to be on the look out for.  


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