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Iron deficiency?

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Iron deficiency?

Post  mageice3 on 3/22/2012, 12:04 pm

So I have a blend of composts however as I've mentioned a few times my tomatoes are yellowing, now I had a friend check them (he has a lot of experience with tomato and potato blight) and he said its not blight. So after doing some research I think iron or iron absorption is the issue, my best guess since I didn't add any calcium rich components that there wasn't enough iron in my blend, SO I was wondering if anyone knew what type of compost is iron rich and should be added to my blend.

my compost sources are from the following industries:
Lawn services
mushroom farm
plantation waste
salad bar waste
lumber mill waste (heavily composted this is one of my fav's as it has no signs of sticks or bark or sawdust)


I'm guessing some kind of animal manure is the direction I need to head but I'm not totally sure any help would be wonderful!

James

PS Would love to get my hands on the kelp and lobster compost someone mentioned it sounds wonderful!!
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Re: Iron deficiency?

Post  curio on 3/22/2012, 12:52 pm

Is there an extension office you can contact? They might have some input as to what a good iron supplement would be, or if that's the issue at all.
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Re: Iron deficiency?

Post  mageice3 on 3/22/2012, 1:06 pm

@curio wrote:Is there an extension office you can contact? They might have some input as to what a good iron supplement would be, or if that's the issue at all.

Yes, however I'm conduction small scale experiments right now and about to make a full scale bed. So my question was aimed at fixing the compost for the full scale so I don't have to use any additive fertilizers... I've already added a fertilizer containing iron to the tomatoes and should see them perk up by the end of the day if that was the issue (it also contains copper and magnesium) but when I plant my full size garden I want my plants to have everything they need without having to add more stuff too it. Honestly that's one of the things that drew me to Mel's method, once you get the compost right nothing more is needed.

James
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Re: Iron deficiency?

Post  camprn on 3/22/2012, 2:56 pm

Check the soil pH. If that is off, nutrient absorption is diminished.

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Re: Iron deficiency?

Post  boffer on 3/22/2012, 3:21 pm

James, yellow leaves can be caused by a number of things. The only way to know for sure is to send it out for analysis. At Umass, it costs $10.

At near the end of my fifth year of SFG by the book and with good results, I sent my MM to two different labs, just for grins. And the results made me grin: no improvements necessary.
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Re: Iron deficiency?

Post  camprn on 3/22/2012, 3:31 pm

@boffer wrote:James, yellow leaves can be caused by a number of things. The only way to know for sure is to send it out for analysis. At Umass, it costs $10.

At near the end of my fifth year of SFG by the book and with good results, I sent my MM to two different labs, just for grins. And the results made me grin: no improvements necessary.
What a Face

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Re: Iron deficiency?

Post  littlejo on 3/22/2012, 4:05 pm

James,

In my first yr, I dashed out and got 5 composts. I knew nothing about composts, and 1 smelled of Jack Daniels and I thought that was neat, but, it was not finished composting.

You can get your mix tested, or you can see if you can find out about the ind. composts, if the folks you got it from can tell you about the nutrient content.

I cheated last yr. My tomato plants looked yellowed and weak, and I knew my compost was not exactly right, so I got some miracle grow for tomatoes and gave them 1 feeding. I didn't have to give them anymore and they absolutly were the biggest tomato plants I've ever grown in my life.

My whole garden did great without fertilizer.
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Re: Iron deficiency?

Post  mageice3 on 4/3/2012, 3:59 pm

Well after putting one of my plants into straight compost (mixed compost) and one into the mix I had made up, the one in the compost exploded and is now 4 inches taller then the other one, so I had the pH tested in the mix and it was 8.4 (alkaline) so the tomatoes weren't liking it, does that mean I added too much Vermiculite or Peat Moss? Or did I somehow get a alkaline compost?

Ps the Tomatoes are fine and have resumed growing after correcting the issue in the ones with the mix, am hoping to find out how to prevent this in future mix batches... any tips?

James
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Re: Iron deficiency?

Post  plantoid on 4/3/2012, 4:25 pm

James ,

Did you add any mushroom compost , crushed lime stone or wood ash or was that the majority addative to the base content of the purchased mixes as this wouild tend to make for the high alkaline content .

Lots of these purchased composts are mean on the manures and heavy on the basic material , some to such an extent that five different purchased manures can all have a high level of lime ( mushroom compost or wood ashes ), which in their own right is perhaps OK for a single brand type to be used as a one off in a normal mother earth based soil garden but not worth a light in MM .



Just had a re read of the whole thread to see if I got it right in my head... there is very little animal manure in your original mix so they will be defficient of all sorts of things as most of your mix will have been almost neutral in food & ph values.

You have three likely wood sources from lawn services, the palantation and the saw mill
wood takes several years to lose it's nitrogen robbing content and start providing it back into the compost.
Mushroom compost has lime or gypsum added in it to cause the compost to heat up & to adjust the pH to that for Mushrooms , it also brings out the nutrients in the rest of the mushroom compost.

So looking at the initial formula you have given , the resultant mix it would be non acidic ... like yours proved to be.
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Re: Iron deficiency?

Post  mageice3 on 4/3/2012, 4:48 pm

@plantoid wrote:James ,

Did you add any mushroom compost , crushed lime stone or wood ash or was that the majority addative to the base content of the purchased mixes as this wouild tend to make for the high alkaline content .

... snip ...

Mushroom compost has lime or gypsum added in it to cause the compost to heat up & to adjust the pH to that for Mushrooms , it also brings out the nutrients in the rest of the mushroom compost.

So looking at the initial formula you have given , the resultant mix it would be non acidic ... like yours proved to be.

Wow, I had no idea that the shoomy compost had added lime, and with what was available at the time it was the best I could do, its nice to know that my mistake was in basic chemistry, not in concept.

I'm working on dropping and reforming my mix of composts, the new mix will not have the plantation mix because after alot of digging its also a mushroom compost with added coco husks. so I was doubling up on mushroom composts.

The new one will include: (I hope)
1. Worm Castings (I just opened a worm hotel/condo)
2. Well Rotted Cow Manure from the Dairy next door
3. Restaurant Compost (refuse from salad bars, made localy)
4. Mushroom Compost (only one part in 5 not 2/5)
5. Landscaping Compost/Nursery Compost (its a two part mixed compost from lawn and garden cleanups and dead plants from the local nursery) (this is also what I listed as lumber mill waste, its 30% composted sawdust, and it is stick free which is nice.)

I hope this adjustment will make a richer compost mix, I'm actually about to walk down to the dairy to see how "well rotted" the manure is and hopefully will come back with a bucket full, I smell the cows year round so I may as well pick up some manure that's been composted since last spring (if I can find two years composted I may choose that instead, let the night-crawlers have their bite and leave a little extra worm tea in it for me.)

Please if you have more tips gimmie gimmie gimmie!
Thanks for all your help and suggestions!! will add some pictures of my bush tomatoes soon so you can see how wild they are getting.

James
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Re: Iron deficiency?

Post  curio on 4/3/2012, 4:56 pm

I would be wary of compost from materials from landscape companies (or county compost facilities) as you don't know if any herbicides and/or pesticides have been used on any or all of the clippings and waste.
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