Stress free crops have the highest nutritional yields with higher quality and better flavor. I have seen foliar feeding in management practices over the past few years give farmers a better understanding of growing crops. It gives a grower a chance to learn what plants do from perspective of plant frame and fruit set development. Plants will naturally grow, set fruit and grow again. When foliar feeding we need to understand what phase of growth our plants are in to achieve the maximum benefits with the proper solution.
Water is not water, check the pH! So many times we have worked with growers who need to spray in order to get a quick nutritional increase to their crop. If we need to make quick changes to help crops, we recommend foliar feeding but if the correct pH for any application in agriculture is not correct then it is not effective. All water is sourced from different areas, we always want a lower pH to properly dissolve soluble plant foods and other products for effective applications. Foliar feeding can help reduce the time a crop spends in stressful conditions, luxiours amount of nutrients are absorbed through the leaves of the plant, this feeding is luxurious but only for a short time with the plants only taking what they can consume and will require another foliar feeding 5-7 days later.
A large rainfall event is stressful and biological soil conditions are not ideal for crop production, this is where foliar feeding can be used to increase soil biology. Active soil biology provides an environment for plants to uptake nutrients. Which direction do we want to go? Do we need more plant growth and foliage growth? Are some plants lagging in growth? Is there to much growth and not enough fruit set with blossoms? This can give growers control by observing what they want to achieve with the capability to mix a spray that can make instant changes on crop development. A fine mist is the most important aspect of foliar feeding.
More often it could be if there is a change in soil type, even soilless medium types and plant varieties can show a differently fertility requirement. A created solution with a goal in mind can do the trick, but we need to know what we want to achieve! How can we grow high yielding plants that don’t have enough nodes. Proper fruit development requires node spacing and control between nitrogen and mineral balance in the plants sap. When foliar feeding rowers can observe plants and make controlled changes as needed, but we recommend at least one or two applications per week depending on how aggressive we need to be in order to control the plants. Different environmental conditions will cause growers to use different approaches that work in their programs. Take control so you can increase your quality and flavor of the crops you grow!