Over this past year, we’ve all become familiar with blood and antibody tests and what they can indicate about our health. Now, scientists have developed something similar for plants, making it easier for growers to determine a plant’s health and nutritional needs. It’s called plant sap analysis and it could be a game-changer for growers.
The Power of Plant Sap Analysis
Traditionally, tissue samples show an accumulation of nutrients within a plant. However, plant sap analysis goes a step further, focusing on the xylem and phloem in the vascular system of the plant, working almost like a plant blood test.
Growing Produce explains the process like this:
“In simple terms, where traditional tissue samples provide a snapshot of the right now in the plant, sap analysis can peek into the inventory of nutrients and provide a forward look at where nutritional elements will be in the days and weeks ahead – four to six weeks in some cases. And it’s a more comprehensive test. You can get a read on up to 23 different essential nutrients and nutritional indicators.”
This allows you to see nutrient deficiencies before they lead to more serious problems like a disease. As a result, you can work proactively and potentially produce more crops that are of a higher quality.
Benefits for Growers
While plant sap analysis is still fairly new, early adopters are already seeing the benefits of this powerful test, not just in producing better crops, but in testing different products. Bryan Paul Jr. of Bob Paul Groves explains how sap analysis helps with his fertilizer field trials, saying:
“This was the first season I’ve used sap analysis. I have been conducting trials on various fertilizer products but using traditional tissue analysis. My results were so inconsistent, it was difficult to make any sense of the product performance in the trial. With sap analysis, I am getting much more accurate results that are consistent from one report to the next.”
By using plant sap analysis, you’ll have more insight into the whole health of your plant, helping you to anticipate your plant’s needs earlier, make science-backed decisions for your crops, and get a better yield.
Interested in trying it for yourself? There are online sap analysis companies that will send you a kit with instructions on how to collect a sample. Then you send it in for analysis and wait for the results. You just might be surprised what your plants are trying to tell you.