View Full Version : Strawberry leaves going white?
17th September 2011, 12:08
I am currently trying many different types of gardening, from soil beds to self watering hydroton, drippers etc etc etc.
One of the things I am trying is a soil-less organic style. I've got a large pot full of vermiculture & perlite with a bit of peat moss mixed in. For a few months I'd place hay and grass clippings on the top of the mixture and let it decompose a bit before i planted my strawberry.
For the first few weeks it's grown beautifully, bright green and spreading well.
However the past few days the larger outter leaves that tend to control the direction of outwards growth are going white? Like bleeched....
I'm thinking its a nitrogen deff. I've added some fresh cut grass which i wet with some waste water from my yabby tank. And that seems to have helped. But I am wondering if anybody knows any other ways I could naturally increase the Nitrogen without using things like Urea or anything? Oh i am also erm, adding human liquid waste (Thats a nice way to put it) that usually gos to the lemons. But I think i need a more constant and stable source???
17th September 2011, 14:03
I'm thinking its a nitrogen deff. I've added some fresh cut grass which i wet with some waste water from my yabby tank.
The grass clippings, or any organic matter, will probably drag any remaining Nitrogen out of the growing media as it breaks down. You should only add pre-composted material or maybe some manure. If you have access to fresh chicken poop, dry it out, crumble it up, and mix a small amount into the surface of the growing media. Even the droppings from the bottom of a bird cage would be fine.
Alternatively you could sprinkle some worm castings or good compost around the surface and water it in, if possible with worm juice waterered down 1:10
What's the problem with dissolving a little urea in some well aerated (to remove chlorine) water?
You may not have a Nitrogen deficiency, the pH of the media may be too high and you have an Iron deficiency, easily fixed by addressing the pH issue and also watering in some chelated Iron. Strawbs like a low pH around 5.5-6.0, and Iron starts to become far less available above 6.5, and totally unavailable at about 7.5
The pics below are Iron deficiency. Iron def' tends to start as yellow patches between the veins, extreme Iron deficiency tends to show as leaf whitening/bleaching. Nitrogen def' tends to show as even yellowing across the leaf.
17th September 2011, 14:10
Cheers mate! Now im thinking it might be the pH. It's sitting at around 7.0 for some reason I thought they liked a more mutual level. Appreciate the reply. Will adjust it down to around 5.5 - 6.0 and update. Thanks again.
Anything I can do in the short term for the iron thats also organic? The reason I don't want to use urea or other chemicals and fertlizers is because I wanna challenge. It keeps me entertained and thinking :D
17th September 2011, 14:29
From what I've been led to believe, quality vermi castings tend to have a neutral pH of about 6.8 (yes, 6.8 is actually neutral, not 7.0), so I would imagine the worm "tea" (the leachate from the bottom of your worm farm, would have a similar pH)
6.8 is still a little high for strawberries, but I think worm castings and a dose of worm tea would be about the only "organic" way of getting Iron into your strawbs.
I also believe well composted organic material tends to be slightly acidic, around 6.5-6.8, but this can very depending upon on what material was composted. But when added to an alkaline soil organic compost does help bring the pH down.
I would try sprinkling a some compost around the surface of the media and watering it in with the 1:10 worm tea mentioned before.
Please be aware, if you think the problem is Iron def' and not Nitrogen, and your pH is already 7.0... DO NOT add chicken or bird manure as suggetsed in my last post, it is very alkaline.
12th October 2011, 22:56
Can nitrogen be harvested from Algae yabby? Setting up a symbiotic compost where I am thinking about adding algae. Also I mix small amounts of worm poo juice in my fish water to boost nutes been doing this for years will this harm the fish they seem fine also grow my strawberrys in soil and recirculate the water that comes out straight back into my fish water the fish all come to the top and enjoy feeding on the tiny amounts of soil. The water looks great fish are growing and always looking good I have not tested the water in about 2 years and need to get a new test kit asap. Is the recirculating soil system harming my fish? They do seem to love it! any info will be gladly appreciated.
12th October 2011, 23:29
I'm not too sure about most of the things you've asked Mattick, you should be able to google up the info you require, especially re the Nitrogen, algae etc.
As far as adding worm tea to your system, I can't see that being an an issue, lots of the forum members do just that, as do I. Some even add small amounts of the castings to their GB's, but you would need to ensure it's only well processed castings being added, no unprocessed organic matter.
13th October 2011, 00:25
If they were my plants I would spray with good quality castings brewed for 12-24 hrs
.. every second day...
I had the same problem with these and by spraying undiluted tea on the plant and around the roots
They went from yellow/white to normal over time
Something I tried and tested on most of my problems and seemed to work for me
\ i believe in worm power....
Yust me thinking
18th October 2011, 21:16
Worm power rules has helped out alot! Thanks for the info guys :) Now packing up my system and moving from Brissy to Goonengerry & Nimbin going to check out Urban Ecological Systems and may perhaps do some work for them. I will keep you guys updated once I am setup will add a new Thread in the forums. I have plenty of work to do in the Northern Rivers Area Rainforest regeneration and also designing and setting up a permaculture garden at the Rainforest Retreat in Nimbin. Keen to get some decent biodynamic strawberry seeds to grow while I am their.
If anyone has info on UES that would be great send me a pm.
Will start a new thread in the next few days with my new setup in the Northern Rivers.
Talk soon Ap enthusiasts.
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