Our first year that we started growing produce by the acre, I quickly learned that a quality garden sprayer was something that could save our farm time. I found not only could a quality garden sprayer save us time, but It could save Soil Friends money on product that were being wasted due to problems with the sprayers leaking and spraying “B- LINE STREAMS” at our plants. That stream doesn’t stick to the foliage of plants. Organic spray products for vegetable production are expensive and the lower quality sprayers we were using took time to get them to work properly and wasted a lot of product.
I was then introduced to foliar feeding my first year growing vegetables. At the time I had no idea that I wasn’t suppose to paint the entire plant with product, but to spray a fine mist over the top of the plants. I purchased my first Kwazar Sprayer a few weeks after learning about foliar feeding because other produce growers in the area were using Kwazar, because they are fine mist sprayers. I have personally owned my Kwazar sprayer for a few years before starting soilfriends.com, its nice to not purchase a sprayer year after year. Kwazar garden sprayers are made to last and thats why Soil Friends sells Kwazar Sprayers!
Our goal as Soil Friends is to provided relevant education, information and resources to spread the growth and access of farmers and gardeners who want to grow not only environmentally clean but nutrient dense foods. Foliar feeding can help.
“When foliar feeding walk at walking speed spraying a fine mist above the plants, the cloud will then fall on top of the plant in a uniform manner”
Certain recipes in foliar feeding solutions can give farmers and gardeners increased yields by proving the plant with more energy at key physiological phases of crop growth. Foliar feeding can give the foliage a proper coating to protect itself from diseases, remember when spraying a fungicide that is killing all of the positive bacteria on the leaves surface potentially leaving the plant more susceptible to disease than when you first sprayed it.
SUSTAINABLE GARDEN SPRAYERS THAT ARE MADE TO LAST- NO NEED TO FILL LAND FILLS 🙂
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!
Here we go down the last mile of the 2013 season. This year had its challenges and disappointments for some, but we must remember that every year brings its own unique blessings and adversities. Our spring started off wet across most of the area we cover, causing compaction and less than ideal growing conditions.
We saw early planting problems that resulted in over grown plant and early fruit set loss. Part of the problem came from 2012 being a dry year resulting in a nitrogen build-up carry over. Excess nitrogen availability along with the extra water led to accelerated growth, crowing out the minerals and trace elements needed for proper plant growth, fruit set and development. Signs of nitrogen problems observed this year were one lobe peppers, cantaloupes with green stripes, seedless tomatoes.
Besides the challenges we were faced with there was nice produce at the market, but it took some good management to accomplish it. The first place to start is by taking a soil sample in the fall and applying fry minerals followed by ReStore 3G to stimulate bacteria and fungi in the soil, which then provide nutrients for the following crop. The spring is the best time to apply dry fertilizer trace elements along with a good transplant solution containing a rooting stimulate and some humic acid.
Another management tool that worked well this year was PhytoGroXtra, a high carbon plant growth and soil activator with enzyme/ micro extract concentrate, soil modifiers, and chelated micronutrients. This product will aid in reducing sodium buildup, and improve water and air ratio by reducing soil compaction. PhytoGroxtra aids in phosphate uptake (both applied and in the soil) by increasing carbon levels. Research in many areas has shown that humic acid aids in increasing yeild, plant vitality and fruit quality while reducing fungal disease.
Additional boron may also be added when fruit set is not at a desirable level. We have seen growers having problems with not getting good fruit set and when boron is added fruit set improved. Remember calcium is the truck, phosphorus is the engine being driven by boron.
Just a few things for you to keep in mind while planning next years crops!
Foliar feeding plants is a great way to increase biological activity in the soil, this will encourage plants to uptake more minerals. When crops uptake more minerals the flavor is outstanding and storage ability increases. The Kwazar Mercury garden sprayer has double action technology per stroke. The high quality design of the Kwazar garden sprayers ensures fault free operation. As you can hear in the background children love to use the fine mist from the Kwazar sprayers.
Setting up a indoor garden is great but it takes a tremendous effort on our part to setup, let alone maintain it but we do it for the bounty of goods we plan to receive from it. We have seen the snowball effect of container gardening problems, its best to try to avoid even the first step. The indoor garden is set up and growing, one problem leads to the other and before you know it is time to harvest. Each problem has potential to cut down on our yields and quality of a vegetable garden.
Algae is often green but can vary to black with a hint of red, it often can give your indoor garden a moldy smell. Algae can block emitters, channels, and pumps and attract unwanted pest and pathogens into our indoor garden. The combination of water, nutrient and light is great, if our idea is to harvest algae but not the best idea for a safe and healthy vegetable garden. Algae can make our reservoir tanks anaerobic, biology isn’t working in anaerobic conditions. Proper algae management will allow gardeners to maintain trouble free hydroponic growing systems, avoid using chemicals to kill algae. Growers can create a ideal environment for biological activity in water by blocking the light from the nutrient tank. This is simple but this problem can grow to be complex . After crops have been harvested you will be able to cut down on the time you spend cleaning moldy reseivor tanks. When using container gardening clean crop production is best for food safety purposes as well as making a point to grow high quality vegetables to bring to market.
Urban farming is an ideal instance when food is grown in an urban setting and commonly a container gardening operation. Hydroponic food production can be used to produce food with many methods of container gardening options available for gardeners to choose from. As the populations in large cities continue to increase it is important to have individuals involved in the research and development of urban farming systems to not only feed people but produce nutrient dense vegetables. Urban farming can teach growers to sustainability use each square foot of space in production for a vegetable garden. When selecting a fertility program growers should think in depth on the choices they make to ensure total crop quality and if their environment can hold a match to the minerals that are available in soil crop production.