Win a copy of Grocery Story this week in the City Repair forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • James Freyr
  • Greg Martin
  • Dave Burton
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Dan Boone

How to tell whether corn has iron or zinc deficiency?

 
Posts: 22
Location: Wisconsin
monies urban homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have had terrible luck growing corn. In my first garden, only one corn plant seems to have sprouted, in my second, less than half sprouted. Each garden has a different variety of sweet corn.

My first garden has two feet of soil purchased from a garden center. I believe it is made from local soil. My second garden has had the top 6 inches of soil removed and replaced with the same garden soil. Both my natural soil and this garden soil are sandy-loam soils.

Onions, turnips, pole green beans, bush black beans, potatoes, bell peppers, and tomatoes have had no trouble growing as long as I remembered to water them daily. I had no luck germinating spinach, but I chalked that up to a late planting in warm weather.

I returned from a trip yesterday, and I have been unable to water my gardens for five days.

All of the corn that sprouted has at least one white stripe down the center of each leaf. One corn plant in the second garden is particularly stunted and has several white stripes across two of it's leaves. Before I left it only had one leaf with multiple white stripes.  When it sprouted all it's leaves were completely white. I didn't even think it was corn, but I let it grow because I wanted to see what it became.

Before I left all the corn plants in the second garden had small parts of the bottom of their stalks that were red. Now a few no longer have that.

Here is a picture of that corn plant, along with a neighbor that features the more-typical single-white-stripe.



I read that this is caused by either iron or zinc deficiency. However, I am not sure how to tell the difference. Is there some way to tell?

I know that sometimes it takes awhile for nutrients to seep into the soil.
How can I amend the soil as quickly as possible?



 
gardener
Posts: 6066
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
929
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You will need some chelated iron and zinc, mix them with water and apply around the plants about 2 inches away from the stalks.
I would also try and add some mycorrhizae so the roots can better take in the iron, zinc, and the other necessary nutrients.

Redhawk
 
master pollinator
Posts: 3478
772
transportation cat duck trees rabbit books chicken woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Treat them for both Iron and Zinc deficiency. I say that because, typically in the soil, iron and zinc run occur together. IF that is not the case for you, it will not kill the plant anyway, so you are only out for the cost of iron or zinc as a supplement.

I cannot really help you on that though because my soil is exceptionally high in iron and zinc, like high enough to literally have a zinc mine.

And while you probably know this already, an inverted yellow vee means a nitrogen defeciency, and a purple tinge means they need phosphorous. I cannot remember what a lack of potash has for an indicator.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1308
Location: RRV of da Nort
138
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just to add that some of the more discrete green/white variegation in the leaves may have a genetic basis while mineral deficiencies may be causing more general chlorosis or the reddening of stress.  As noted it wouldn't hurt to treat for the deficiency.  What was the source of the corn seed that you planted and if you saved seed from the previous year, did it have any white striping in last year's crop?
MaizeMutants.JPG
[Thumbnail for MaizeMutants.JPG]
 
Travis Johnson
master pollinator
Posts: 3478
772
transportation cat duck trees rabbit books chicken woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know I am about state the obvious, but just to make sure we are all on the same page, a person always has to ensure their PH levels are right before supplementing with anything. Proper PH levels unlock everything in the soil, so if your PH is to low or too high, even if your soil does have adequate amounts of iron and zinc, the plant will not up take them.

Always get your PH right first, then fertilize.
 
Phil Patterson
Posts: 22
Location: Wisconsin
monies urban homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John Weiland wrote:Just to add that some of the more discrete green/white variegation in the leaves may have a genetic basis while mineral deficiencies may be causing more general chlorosis or the reddening of stress.  As noted it wouldn't hurt to treat for the deficiency.  What was the source of the corn seed that you planted and if you saved seed from the previous year, did it have any white striping in last year's crop?



I got the seed for the first garden from Shopko, It is Golden Cross Bantam Hybrid corn. I got the seed for the second from Menards, It's Sunny Days Hybrid corn.
 
Phil Patterson
Posts: 22
Location: Wisconsin
monies urban homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Travis Johnson wrote:I know I am about state the obvious, but just to make sure we are all on the same page, a person always has to ensure their PH levels are right before supplementing with anything. Proper PH levels unlock everything in the soil, so if your PH is to low or too high, even if your soil does have adequate amounts of iron and zinc, the plant will not up take them.

Always get your PH right first, then fertilize.



I didn't know that. Thanks!
 
steward
Posts: 4491
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1429
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't see evidence of mineral deficiencies in those corn plants. They look normal to me. I don't expect the ribs on corn leaves to have chlorophyll. The total lack of chlorophyll in one plant is a common occurrence. Something was genetically wrong with the embryo. I tend to attribute the white/green striping to genetic issues, not nutrient deficiency. Purple coloration in corn leaves is common in my garden if the plants get exposed to low temperatures. Some plants have purple leaves as a genetic attribute.  

I live in a low humidity, high-altitude desert. I water once a week, whether the plants need it or not.



 
Happiness is not a goal ... it's a by-product of a life well lived - Eleanor Roosevelt. Tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!