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Plant Testing Insures Proper Nutrition  
TP&S Lab Blog
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Category: Blog
Texas Plant and Soil Lab has been testing soil since 1938, using a superior form of extraction method that mimics the way plant’s roots take up nutrients from the soil. Along the way, prominent TP&S Lab owner K. Chandler set the stage for our plant nutrition monitoring program, “Ask the Plant”. And since the late […]
Mon, 09 Mar 2015 18:43:55 +0000

Category: Blog, Lab News
Another PDF installment of Lab News from Texas Plant and Soil Lab! TPSL LAB NEWS FEBRUARY 2015
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 01:51:16 +0000

Category: Uncategorized, Farm Ranch and Dairy Magazine, Potato, Soil
TP&S Lab’s own Larry Zibilske, Ph.D., and Noel Garcia, C.C.A. penned the lead cover-story in the current edition of Western Farm, Ranch & Dairy Magazine. To order a physical copy you can contact them here: where you can also view all of their periodicals online: including our featured copy here:
Tue, 17 Feb 2015 21:40:34 +0000

Category: Blog, soil lab, soil testing
Texas Plant and Soil Lab has been testing soil for farmers and growers since 1938. And while technology advances and some tools become fancier and quicker, the process of testing soil remains largely the same. And while our nutritional standards are updated and refined each year based off last seasons success and ongoing environmental changes, […]
Thu, 12 Feb 2015 20:42:05 +0000

Plant Testing

Order Plant Testing Online
You can now order Plant Testing online. Ordering your plant test online streamlines the process and provides online order status tracking.

Plant Testing Online Category Page
For the entire Plant Testing Category Page with How-To information, Descriptions and Pricing, Click Here.

Plant Test Direct Links
To Click Through directly to the Plant Test you wish to order, choose from the list below:

Click Here for Grape Specific TestingTo order plant testing offline download & complete this form:
Plant Testing Form
and refer to the:
Testing Catalog & Price List Here

Pathology Test Form for Plants.

Pecan Leaf and Stem Sampling Information

Cotton Petiole Field Sheet

You can view How to Take a Plant Sample online or Download our PDF here:

How To Take a Plant Sample

For plant samples coming in from outside the continental USA, please download and inlude the following forms:

international plant import permit and
plant notice of arrival with instructions.

Ask The Plant® is TP&S Lab's
exclusive crop / plant nutrition program that
allows you to dynamically adjust the plant’s ever-changing nutritional requirements throughout the growing season.

Click Here for our Plant Nutrient Analysis Guide Sheet.

By giving the plant what it needs when it needs it, you can see dramatic increases in plant performance and maximum crop yields – together with a dramatic decrease in fertilizer usage and a 40 to 60 percent reduction in water requirements. 

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 – 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.  Note that recommendations are extremely soil and crop dependant.  Different plants have different nutritional requirements.

Soon after the plants sprout, the soil test data and corrective measures taken start changing.  The fertilizers and nutrients previously applied may start leaching out or otherwise form water-insoluble (unavailable – “tied up”) compounds.  The changes depend upon soil type, amount and quality of water, nutrient form, etc.

The plants’ nutritional needs vary continuously throughout the growing cycle.  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.  The intervals vary with the plant – anywhere from weekly to monthly.  TP&S Lab will send your report by E-Mail or postal mail (or fax – not recommended) 24 hours after the petioles are received.  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.  Plants readily and directly absorb nutrients by this method.  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.  It includes a field history so you can track the effectiveness of your actions.  The last report in the series is shown in expanded detail.  In addition to the actual numbers, the report is also color-coded so that you can see at a glance your plants’ nutritional condition. 
See an example

Note that this grower seemed to ignore one of the most often overlooked but essential nutritional requirements:
Micronutrients – Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn) and Boron (B) (there are more). 

Acres USA | The Voice of Eco-Agriculture
Ask the Plant™
Micronutrients are often the most rapidly absorbed or become otherwise unavailable within the immediate root zone.  The only practical way to provide Micronutrients on an as-needed basis is by drip or by foliar feeding, whether spray rig or pivot.

Aside from basic plant nutrition, Micronutrients play an essential role in plant disease resistance.

Have sick plants? 
Check the Micronutrients!

For a full discourse on the
Ask The Plant® approach, see
for the book of the same
title by Charles Walters and
Esper K. Chandler

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Ask the Plant
TP&S Lab
is proud to be the sponsor
of Ask The Plant®
Visit our sister site for
nutritional papers & method.
TP&S Lab is proud to be a member of the Texas Ag Industries Association.
Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association
TP&S Lab is proud to be a member of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association.
US Composting Council
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.
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