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You can view How to Take a Plant Sample online or Download our PDF here:
For plant samples coming in from outside the continental USA, please download and inlude the following forms:
Ask The Plant® is TP&S Lab's
By giving the plant what it needs when it needs it, you can see dramatic increases in plant performance and maximum crop yields â€“ together with a dramatic decrease in fertilizer usage and a 40 to 60 percent reduction in water requirements.Â
The Ask The Plant® program allows the grower to take corrective action seven to 10 days before permanent plant damage occurs.
When the plant starts showing visual signs of nutritional deficiency or distress, it is already too late.
Growers who rely upon visual signs of problems before taking corrective measures will never be able to realize the full genetic potential of the plant.
Retardation in development is well underway and the plant will never be able to recover that lost time and reach its full genetic production potential by the end of the growing season â€“ even if corrective measures are immediately undertaken.
Soil test fertilization recommendations provide a foundation and starting-point for the initial nutritional requirements of the crop.Â Note that recommendations are extremely soil and crop dependant.Â Different plants have different nutritional requirements.
Soon after the plants sprout, the soil test data and corrective measures taken start changing.Â The fertilizers and nutrients previously applied may start leaching out or otherwise form water-insoluble (unavailable â€“ â€śtied upâ€ť) compounds.Â The changes depend upon soil type, amount and quality of water, nutrient form, etc.
The plantsâ€™ nutritional needs vary continuously throughout the growing cycle.Â These needs vary according to the type of plant.
In some soils, nutrients (particularly P and Micronutrients) can be quite rapidly depleted within the very immediate root zone.
How Ask The Plant® Works
Petioles are taken at regular intervals throughout the growing season and sent to TP&S Lab.Â The intervals vary with the plant â€“ anywhere from weekly to monthly.Â TP&S Lab will send your report by E-Mail or postal mail (or fax â€“ not recommended) 24 hours after the petioles are received.Â Because time is of the essence to successfully implement the program, and because color is an important part in seeing trends and rapidly interpreting the data, E-Mail is the preferred way of sending you your report.
Corrective measures are taken using foliar feeding.Â Plants readily and directly absorb nutrients by this method.Â It is also usually the easiest, fastest, most economical and accurate way to apply nutrients.
Your Ask The Plant® Report
Your report is a spreadsheet by field and by sample date.Â It includes a field history so you can track the effectiveness of your actions.Â The last report in the series is shown in expanded detail.Â In addition to the actual numbers, the report is also color-coded so that you can see at a glance your plantsâ€™ nutritional condition.Â
See an example
Note that this grower seemed to ignore one of the most often overlooked but essential nutritional requirements:
Micronutrients â€“ Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn) and Boron (B) (there are more).Â
Aside from basic plant nutrition, Micronutrients play an essential role in plant disease resistance.
Have sick plants?Â
Check the Micronutrients!
For a full discourse on the
Ask The Plant® approach, see
AcresUSA for the book of the same
title by Charles Walters and
Esper K. Chandler.
is proud to be the sponsor
of Ask The Plant®
Visit our sister site
nutritional papers & method.
TP&S Lab is proud to be a member of the Texas Ag Industries Association.
TP&S Lab is proud to be a member of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association.
TP&S Lab is proud to be an approved Lab by the U.S. Composting Council for Seal of Testing Assurance.
TP&S Lab is proud to be a member of the American Society for
Enology and Viticulture.
*ASEV and the ASEV Logo are licensed trademarks of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture.
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