Foliar feeding is a different yet effective way of solving nutrient issues of your plants. Some growers usually opt for this method when they face problems such as plants showing low iron levels.
Foliar feeding is the technique of feeding plants by applying liquid fertilizer directly to the leaves. Plants can absorb the food through their epidermis and their stomata. Foliar spraying is recommended every three days.
How Often To Foliar Feed?
There have been many recommendations about how often you should use foliar feed, and it confuses you which is the correct one.
All of them are correct, and it all boils down to the type of fertilizer you use. Some are once a week or every two weeks, while some can be as short as three-day intervals.
Here are some examples of fertilizer mixture and their application instructions:
Heavy Foliar Recipe
Heavy foliar recipes can provide a total spectrum of nutrients and protection for the plants.
It works by increasing the biochemical rate of photosynthesis through concentrations of plant-based carbs that are otherwise known as pre-formed photosynthates.
Also, the heavy foliar recipe provides a high amount of absorbable calcium and micro-nutrients—which are responsible for the plant’s protection when combined.
For the heavy foliar recipe, the recommended spraying schedule is every three days after the previous application.
For the mixture, begin by mixing the 40ml of heavy foliar for every quart of purified water. Maintain this mixture for four weeks when the plant is in the blooming stage.
After four weeks, you can make a different mixture of 30ml heavy foliar, 1ml heavy roots, and 1ml heavy fire per one quart of purified water.
Foliar with Great White, Axiom, and Coco Wet Recipe
This is an all-rounder recipe that boosts metabolism, builds the immune system, and pathogen-wards off tonic. With this recipe, your plants will have a strong and fast-growing body soaring towards the sky.
For this recipe, the recommended spraying schedule is one every two weeks.
For the mixture, begin by mixing ¼ tsp of Axiom, .06 grams of Great White, and a few drops of Coco Wet diluted in purified water. You can adjust the mixture for bigger spray bottles by adding 1 tsp of Axiom, 2 tsp of Great White, and 1 tsp of Coco Wet in purified water.
Foliar with Einstein Oil and Coco Wet
This recipe is great for preventing or controlling a variety of pests and keeping powdery mildew in your plants.
Einstein Oil is known for its ability to retain active ingredients. The foliar will become an effective fertilizer for keeping your plants safe by mixing it with Coco Wet.
For this recipe, the recommended spraying schedule is every three days after the previous application. However, you have to start from the lowest dosage and increase it gradually until it reaches the maximum dosage by the last week of the blooming stage.
For the mixture, when using a quartz sprayer, begin by mixing ½ to 2 tsp of Einstein Oil and a few drops of Coco Wet per quartz of warm purified water. For gallon sprayer, mix 2-8 tsp of Einstein Oil and ¼ tsp of Coco Wet per gallon of warm purified water.
This foliar feed is excellent for protecting plants because it is made from pine oil, which keeps plants perky and healthy. Research showed that pine oil is a non-toxic plant defender, growth stimulator, and organic liquid fertilizer.
In general, pine oil is effective when it comes to planting protection against pests and root pathogens—and this will eventually lead to greater yield.
For this recipe, the recommended spraying schedule is every seven days after the previous application.
For the mixture, when using a quartz sprayer, begin by mixing 1ml of HB101 per quart of reverse purified water.
For the gallon sprayer, start by mixing 4 ml of HB101 per gallon of reverse purified water. No wetting agent is used for both mixtures.
How Do Leaves Absorb The Nutrients?
You might get curious as to how plants will absorb the nutrients when sprayed directly over the leaves. We see leaves as fairly solid and our naked eye can see no entry points for the nutrients. But the magic happens when you place the leaves under a microscope.
In reality, leaves do have small holes or openings called stomata, and they are responsible for absorbing CO2 and expelling excess water and oxygen.
But the stomata are quite waxy and repel water which means the foliar spray cannot penetrate through them.
Interestingly, there are micro-pores on the surface of the leaves, and their size is less than a nanometer in diameter with a density of 10 billion per cubic centimeter.
This is where the nutrients enter the system of the plant.
Moreover, the nutrients will then enter the system at about 12 hours after being sprayed. Although such nutrients only include urea, potassium, ammonium, and magnesium.
All other nutrients will be absorbed after several days and may require re-wetting for it to succeed.
Is Foliar Feeding Efficient?
The thing is, foliar feeding and fertilizing through the roots have their advantage and disadvantage. For this reason, there is no direct answer to whether foliar feeding is efficient or not.
The primary explanation for that is by looking at the differences between foliar feeding and fertilizing the ground.
When performing foliar feeding, the nutrients will be directly sprayed on the leaves, so the leaves can absorb them immediately.
But leaves cannot absorb huge amounts of nutrients compared to fertilizing the ground.
For ground fertilizing, the roots can absorb large quantities of nutrients and, therefore, be much more efficient than foliage feeding.
But that is not the case, because fertilizing the ground will have significant losses due to leaching, chemical reaction, and the presence of microbes.
All these things hinder the roots from fully absorbing the nutrients, which makes it somewhat inefficient.
To begin with, foliar feeding is applying fertilizer directly to a plant’s leaves instead of putting it in the soil.
The latter is the pretty standard method of fertilizing, and thankfully this article will help you get familiar with the former.
Moreover, foliar feed is already popular, and a lot of products are already available in the market. The foliar method is sometimes better than fertilizing through the soil because the plants can immediately absorb all the nutrients. As opposed to root fertilizing, wherein they must wait for the nutrients to travel up.
Nevertheless, we will embark on essential points regarding foliar feeding. Most importantly, we will answer, once and for all, the question of how often should you foliar feed. But before that, let us first get familiar with the foliar feed method.
What is Foliar Feeding?
In a nutshell, foliar feeding simply dilutes a fertilizer in water and sprays it directly. It all started around the 1950s when scientists believed that some nutrients were best applied to the leaves.
Years later, many improvements and more scientific studies have been dedicated to expanding our agricultural processes.
The goal of foliar feeding is to provide plants with the essential nutrients they need to grow. By spraying it directly to the leaves, the plants can hopefully absorb all the nutrients immediately.
It is much similar when humans take medicines because our body can easily absorb the benefits of drugs when we swallow them rather than keep them sitting in our tongues.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s our adult relatives, our young kids, or our baby plants; we care and want to do the best we can for them.
If Foliar Feeding our plants is the best way to go, then that’s what we’ll do as long as it gets good results and doesn’t hurt anyone or anything.
Ready popular, foliar feeding products are already available on the markets.
The foliar method is sometimes better than fertilizing through the soil because plants can immediately absorb all the nutrients.
This is as opposed to root fertilizing, wherein they must wait for the nutrients to travel all the way up.
Nevertheless, we’ve touched on essential points regarding foliar feeding. Most importantly, we’ve answered, once and for all, the question of how often you should try to foliar feed.