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Saturday, July 15, 2023 Matt D. Connecticut

Entry 52 of 100  
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Leaf Margin Burn Issue: Diagnosis = Nutrient (Salt) Toxicity

While this marginal burn can look like potassium deficiency (and most of time this is the issue) other environmental factors must be taken into consideration. This is why is important to ask questions and not jump to a quick diagnosis. In this case, the reason for leaf marginal burn is Nutrient Salt Toxicity. Mainly due to excessive Nitrogen and Potassium due to the combination of the following three main factors…

-Plant was being grown in a covered structure. (This prevented natural rain and the washing of the leaves, which allowed the build-up of salts on the leaves to occur in particular the margins.)

-Sunlight was filtered for most of the time due to clouds and/or wildfire smoke. (This reduced photosynthesis not allowing the plant to fully use the nutrients (salts) the roots were translocating. This is also why the shaded leaves showed more advanced symptoms.)

-Tissue Tests Confirmed High Potassium and Nitrogen. (These were present in high amounts and essentially forced out of the leaf at the edges (margins) through the process of guttation and these salts were left behind when the water evaporated in the morning resulting in a marginal burning of the leaves.)

The process of problem solving can be quite challenging, but it can also be rewarding when a probably cause is diagnosed.

If you want the scientific articles to support the above diagnosis…

Bian Z, Wang Y, Zhang X, Li T, Grundy S, Yang Q, Cheng R. A Review of Environment Effects on Nitrate Accumulation in Leafy Vegetables Grown in Controlled Environments. Foods. 2020; 9(6):732. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9060732

Marginal Chlorosis on Cantaloupe Leaves https://sites.udel.edu/weeklycropupdate/?p=4562

Guttation Explanations: https://www.snexplores.org/article/scientists-say-guttation

Thanks to all of the growers that have provided insight and information it is great to be part of such a supportive community!

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