Monday, June 15, 2015

Brix Testing of Garden Plants Sap

In addition to the EC testing I started doing this year, I am also now doing a brix testing.  This is kind of new to me so I'll let you know what I find as the season goes on.  There is a gardening expert that I talked with that said he typically see brix go down as EC numbers drop.  I'm hoping that a combination of EC testing with brix testing will give me a combination of telling me not only what is happening in the soil, but what is happening in the plant.  With that information I can make adjustments in how and when I fertilize the plant.

Brix basically looks at the thickness of the sap of the pumpkin plant.  It doesn't tell you what is in the sap and what needs to be added, but the assumption is that thicker sap means more nutrients are in the sap and as a result a healthier plant.  By no means is brix testing completely scientific in its measurement, but frankly there are problems with many of the different types of tests that we do.  As long as you understand the variances and weaknesses then you can make adjustments accordingly. 

Today is the first time I've tried doing brix testing.  My hope is that over time and enough testing that I can start to see patterns in the results which will tell me how what I'm doing is effecting the plant.  For example, if I fertilize, will I see an increase in the brix in the few days following?  Also, when I see the EC readings go up and down will the brix follow the same or similar pattern.  If I can find the patterns then I should be better able to refine my fertilizer program and hopefully that will translate to a bigger pumpkin later in the year.

Gave the plants some compost tea in the morning and then then some foliar fish this evening.

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