Thursday, February 24, 2011

green finger tips - phosphorus deficiency


Phosphorus (P) deficiency

A Phosphorous deficiency in plants is noticeable when the leaves of the plants become a red or pinkish color around the edges. Plants which lack Phosphorus grow very slowly even when lots of compost is applied. When you see the pinkish tinge appear on your plants you can remedy it by adding a variety of Phosphorous–rich materials to the soil.

Phosphorous is found in urine, bones, hair, feathers and blood. You may not be able to get hold of bones, hair, feathers and blood, but remember to take regular bush pees, especially in areas of your garden where you see symptoms of Phosphorous deficiency. You can use bone meal of natural rock phosphate as an alternative source of Phosphorous. These can be obtained from an agricultural supply store. Add these Phosphorous rich materials to your compost or sprinkle the powders over the garden.

Comfrey, lupins and valerian are phosphorous rich plants. You should always add a few layers of comfrey and valerian leaves to your compost pile. You can grow lupins as a green manure plant. Use comfrey leaves to mulch areas that need a Phosphorous boost. Always add comfrey to your compost heap.

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