Correcting nitrogen deficiency

Correcting nitrogen deficiency in beans

Recently we found ourselves correcting a nitrogen deficiency in our green beans.  They were beginning to turn yellow throughout the entire plant, meaning we have a nutritional deficiency.

To ensure we correctly identified the deficiency and made the right correction, we went to the MGC book.  On page 147 of the Mittleider Gardening Course shows us a general yellowing of the entire plant is a nitrogen deficiency.  It calls for a correction of 1/4 ounce per linear foot of nitrogen to be added.  The nitrogen should be worked into the soil and watered into the soil.

Urea is available locally, 46-0-0, so we will use it as our form of nitrogen.

Correcting nitrogen deficiency in green beans
correcting a nitrogen defeciency
urea was used to correct a nitrogen deficiency
urea was used to correct a nitrogen deficiency

What caused the deficiency?

It is normal to see deficiencies in your garden.  Some plants use more nitrogen than others, making them more susceptible to some form of nutrient deficiency .

In our case these beans were started in some recently mixed sand and sawdust in a grow box.  The natural decomposition  of that sawdust used up the available nitrogen.  One application of the urea 46-0-0 was enough to bring the beans green color back.

Recovery time

It may take a week or two for plants to recover if you have correctly identified the problem.  If after one week no improvement is seen then look for other possible causes.  As always, it would behoove the gardener to refer to the Mittleider Gardening Course book.

Automated watering system for our grown boxes

With the grow boxes filled with medium and seedlings transplanted our next project was the completion of the automated watering system.  Lesson 16 in the MGC book, page 125, covers the construction details of the automated watering system.  Three holes were drilled every 4 inches of the 3/4 inch schedule 30 pvc pipe to water our grow box.  The holes are small, we ordered the number 57 drill bit from Amazon as our local stores don’t carry anything so small.

The holes are positioned to get a stream of water to squirt straight down into the bed and the other two at an angle towards the outside of the box.    Our system will be drained in the winter as it turns cold.  For all the piping that is below ground we elected to go with schedule 40 to help ensure we don’t have to dig up a broken pipe. 
Currently we water by connecting a garden hose to the system. At some point we may go high tech and use a truly automated system.