Zinc is an important trace mineral and frequently deficient in soils. Zinc is important for the sweet taste in vegetables and fruit. Zinc deficiency can impair growth, delay healing, and contribute to chronic disease. Lack of zinc is common in alkaline soils. However, soil with a high content of organic matter will have a sufficient amount of available zinc. Use of compost, organic fertilizer, aeration and other organic techniques will usually release zinc that is present but not available from the soil.
Be very careful when adding zinc. Too much can quickly cause a zinc toxicity. Zinc deficiency results from heavy applications of artificial fertilizer. Large amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the fertilizer tie up available zinc. Low organic matter and soil compaction contribute to lack of available zinc. Deficiency shows in leaves with dead areas, poor bud formation, and small terminal leaves. Weed pressure is greater when zinc is deficient. Not needed in acid soils or balanced soils.
Zinc is a trace element found in most organic fertilizers. Zinc is available in manure, rock phosphate, fish, seaweed and compost. Zinc deficiency is characterized by leaves which are abnormally long and narrow, deformed with wavy edges. The leaves may also turn yellow and be mottled with many dead areas. Since zinc deficiency tends to result in iron deficiency, the symptoms of both problems are similar. Zinc deficiency in pecans causes a rosetting of terminal foliage. Zinc locks up at a neutral pH supposedly.