The tissue test is critically important when taken in conjunction with our other tests. Here we are not looking at growth media or inputs. We are evaluating your product to complete the circle from healthy growing to healthy plants. Our tissue test takes a “snapshot” of the composition of the content in the leaf. Without this final step, your picture is incomplete.
Sustainable Plant Solutions brings you two levels of evaluation:
1. Soil, water, amendments: what goes into healthy growth.
2. The plant as seen in its tissue: its intricate components coming together.
This test consists of mineral composition analysis. It evaluates mineral and nutrient levels: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, nitrogen, sulfur, sodium, boron, copper, iron, manganese and zinc.
We recommend one tissue test per strain or row of plants. We offer price breaks for three or more tests. Our recommendations are made based on the analysis. This test provides greatest accuracy when used in combination with a soil/media test.
Sampling Tissue: How to Do It
Just as in soil testing, reliable plant tissue data starts with proper sampling.
- Collecting the best “indicator” samples and consistency in sampling makes results more reliable. The best time to collect samples is between mid-morning and mid-afternoon, avoiding rain events.
- Keep the samples as free from soil contamination as possible. Distilled water can be used to rinse the sample if any contamination is noticed.
- Best “indicator” samples: Collecting a tissue sample depends on the crop, stage of growth, uniformity of growth, and the purpose of sampling. The most recent mature leaf is usually the best indicator of nutritional status. This is the first fully expanded leaf back from the growing point. It is not shiny green from maturity or dull from age.
- When symptoms appear in different zones on a plant, take a separate sample of the affected area in addition to the “indicator” sample. In this case, comparative samples of the same tissue from symptom-free plants help in isolating differences. Comparing healthy to non-healthy plants is recommended.
- Avoid sampling young, emerging leaves; old, mature leaves; seeds; diseased or dead plants; and plants that have insect or mechanical damage.
- The sample should contain enough plant tissue to represent the average condition of the crop. 10-15 leaves is adequate for most crops.
- For large leaved crops, 4-5 leaves are adequate. Small leaved plants will require a 25-30 leaf sample.
- Before the bloom, take the uppermost fully developed leaf, fourth leaf from top of a plant with 8 to 12.
Packaging the sample: Paper containers are best for packaging and shipping plant tissue samples. Never place the samples in plastic bags. Placing the sample in plastic will accelerate deterioration of the sample.