Foliar feeding is defined as the application of nutrients directly to the leaves of a plant. Typically, foliar feeding is done through sprayers as this is the most efficient way to apply them; by misting the nutrient solution in between leaves.
Once the nutrient solution is misted into the leaves, the leaves then, through what looks like very small-sized pores called stomata and which have the capacity of opening or closing, develops a new nutrient channel to feed from. Nevertheless, the stomata is not the only way the leaf is able to absorb nutrients. The plant cuticle, the protective-waxy like film in the leaf's surface, also serves as a source of nutrient absorption of foliar feeding. Combined, the plant has the capacity of not only transporting a generous amount of nutrients to achieve maximum performance, but of storing for future use.
Why foliar feeding?
The plants’ leaves have been found to serve as an efficient absorption medium therefore creating an additional nutrient delivery channel, which in turn, improves metabolism throughout the plant, enabling it to have a greater nutrient pull regardless of growing medium. When there is a diverse group of elements in the ground, this may in times, limit the plant’s capacity of uptaking nutrients available. For instance, phosphorus tends to become fixed in a form inaccessible to the plant so supplementing foliar feeding with a considerable Phosphorus level would be ideal to any plant, at the same time some elements are scarce in the ground, so aside from having a complete formula to fill these needs, adding an extra nutrient channel through foliar feeding to supply rarely available elements as zinc and iron becomes attractive.
For better results while foliar feeding, consider:
• Feeding in mornings and/or late afternoon
• Avoid feeding during hot hours of the day
• Apply before any forecasted rain or winds to avoid nutrient wash off
• Having a pH of 5 – 5.5
• Not skipping applications
• Using a suitable wetting agent or surfactant for optimal spreading of the drops
• Matching sprayer volume and pressure for each plant in order to obtain full canopy coverage
Foliar feeding has been proven to increase efficiency when combined with amino acids.
By adding key amino acids, you will naturally induce the plant to perform its physiological processes with greater efficiency and lower energy expenditure.
What are amino acids?
Amino acids are organic compounds displayed as protein building blocks. When this blocks connect they can create polypeptide chains, which are responsible for composing the different protein varieties found in all living organisms.
Key Amino Acids:
• Glycine – High complexing power, aids in photosynthesis, percursor of chlorophyll.
• Lysine – Important plant nitrogen reserve, aids in chlorophyll activation, stomata regulation and pollen development.
• Aspartic Acid – Nitrogen source, essential for synthesis of other amino acids, important during early growth stages.
• Proline – Associated with resistance to fungal infection, essential for overcoming stresses such as drought, temperature extremes and salinity.