Out at the farm, it isn't rare for us to come across some problems with our plants. Pest are a huge problem that organic farmers come across because we do not want to put chemicals on our plants to control the insects. Another problem we sometimes come across is our produce get eaten by wildlife like rats, rabbits, and skunks. One constant battle we have to fight out at the farm is working around the extremely high pH soils we have here in College Station.
At the beginning of the semester we noticed one of our small pear trees had developed a yellowing of the leaves. This yellowing is called interveinal chlorosis, and we also noticed that it had only developed on the new leaves. Because the older leaves are not effected, we know that the tree is suffering from an immobile nutrient deficiency. So, we concluded that the pear tree was experiencing an iron deficiency due to the basic soil it is growing in.
In order to help the plant, the alkalinity of the surrounding soil needed to substantially decrease. Danielle and I have applied a soil acidfier containing iron to tree weekly for about the past six weeks. The results (depicted below) were amazing! The leaves greened up nearly right before our eyes. We applied the acidfier similar to how a fertilizer is applied. We used a fertilizer proportioner to distribute the treatment at the right rate while watering the tree each week. It is so great to see the plants appreciate and respond to all the hard work we put into them! This was another great hands on learning experience I gained here at the Howdy Farm!