I have read a alot of threads about this and some say it is useless. Well hear is an article that may change your mind. I posted a link.
Here is a link that might be useful: foliar feeding
Sounds like the debate of breast feeding vs bottle feeding.
Foliar feeding is a great way to waste money, imo.
Iron foliar correction is useful...some micronutrients.
If your soil is in good shape none of it should be neccessary. Some indoor/container/soilless systems use it, but it doesn't take care of the quality of uptake compared to the price.
I know of a lot of ways to get existing production systems boosted...but the price vs. outcome makes it a novelty boost in production.
BTW, this referenced study was done in the 50s using very small amounts of P/K. You can't apply many nutrients via a foliar method in large amounts without burning the plant.
Foliar correction is a short-term solution which doesn't address the issues with the soil's uptake of nutrients...pH, chelates/soil structure, nutrient availability, etc.
I agree with it being useless.
I use fish emultion and seaweed extract.
Folier feeding with that is a quick way to a fungus or mold attack on your plants.
Wasn't trying to make a debate. Just trying to help. If you don't like it don't comment!
romy6: I dont think anyone is attacking you personnally. They are just expressing their opinions on the topic which is what we do on this list in nearly every post we make. Personally, I like the opinions when I post stuff. If I post that I just potted my plants for the summer in a 2 gal container and someone posts that I should consider a bigger container, I take their opinion, give it some consideration and then decide whether to throw it out with the mite infested Habanero plant or to repot my plants into 5 gal containers. I am sure you will get a couple of positive responses in this thread as I have seen them before. Opinions are like pepper problems, everyone has one.
I don't see anyone telling anything but their thaughts about foliar feeding.
Nobody was attacking anyone except you(don't comment).
I tried foliar feeding and it didn't do anything noticeable for my plants.
Run off nutes in my pots WAS a problem though.
Experience gave me my opinion.
Not an article on the internet.
I think it is the extra nutes soaking into the soil from run off rather than the nutes on the leaves that does anything.
Over fertilized the plants after a while.
I used the nute ratio recommended on the jug.
If you think it's cool , do it,whatever works for you.
What is wrong with a discussion?
Isn't that what these forums are for?
What's that all about?
Having a bad day or something?
I apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I have just had great success foliar feeding and wanted to share. Don't know why I took it personally.
Since it works for you,maybe there is something else involved.
Maybe post what you do-strength,how often etc.
I used a pump sprayer and set it to a mist to spray my plants.Seaweed Extract and fish fert.
Gotta read the label on the fish.
Some has a lot of urea in it.
Not as cool as the Alaska stuff in my opinion.
To me Urea is too strong in nitrogen for my likes.
Doesn't need breaking down and mainlines the plants with too much instant nitrogen.
I see they say to buy some stuff to mix in with your nutes to get penetration or you are wasting your time foliar feeding.
At $20.00 - $30.00 a pint I'll pass and just keep my pots soil in shape and not mess with foliar feeding.
I use a dilute fert. about every time I water and it works just fine for me with the soil mix I make for my pots.
In my experience foliar feeding is a complete waste of time, money, and effort. Mainly just companies that took basic research and started a hype market in order to sell more products.
There is only one condition where it is a good idea to do, and that is when the plant roots are so damaged (or for cuttings, when roots are non-existant) that they can no longer preform their job normally. Any other time and its better to pour the foliar feed onto the roots than it is the leaves. These plants have evolved to know what they are doing, it really is that simple. If they needed or wanted above ground nutrients, they would have evolved specialized structures for doing so.
I particularly find some of the info in that first post as to why you should foliar feed to be amusing.
"There are structures in the roots that prevent the uptake of complex carbohydrates!" Uh, yeah, the plant can't use complex carbohydrates. Neither can humans. They have to be broken back down into simple carbohydrates before they can be used, complex carbs are simply a storage mechanism. Same with amino acids, nothing actually feeds on them directly. Even us higher animals break them down into their constituent parts and the re-assemble the structures we need from them. There is no reason to feed a plant amino acids if you're already giving them the macro and micro nutrients they need anyway.
"The plant tries to self regulate through the roots!" Again, yeah, the plant is trying to do what is best for the plant. Human bodies do the same thing. Look at something like steroids, they give you a boost, but they make other parts of your body shut down as it desperately tries to bring itself back under control. Same thing happens with plants. If it detects too much of something, it tries to balance things back out. I suppose if you don't mind the fact that what you're doing will damage or even kill your plant in the long run, the short term benefits may be worth it to some.
IMO, the people that are seeing a benefit from it are getting said benefit from the runoff spilling onto the roots instead of whats being absorbed by the leaves.
But, by all means, do a scientific experiment of your own with it. Plant three pepper plants of the same species, in the same soil, and the same pots. Feed one normally as a control. Feed one with foliar mix on top of that, and feed one with foliar fix with a barrier that prevents runoff from reaching the soil (plastic sheeting works well). See if there are any differences.
I can only say that my plants have benefited from foilar feeding. By no means should you only foilar feed. I foilar feed every two weeks with a stick em solution from lesco my friend gave me from the John Deere store. I mix a half of a table spoon of it in with a gallon of water and mix in Bontanicare cal/mag at 1/4 strength all in the same container. I do a fine mist spray on the top and bottom of the leaves. I have noticed less blossom drop and much flatter leaves since I have been doing this. Hope this helps. I no longer have the curled dried out leaves I always had before. I know there are other ways to cure this so please experiment and do what works best for you.
Foliar Ca can help both blossom drop and BER. I grew some very picky 1800s/early 1900s paste tomatoes 3 years ago and many were heavy feeders with picky fruit set. Ca foliar applications helped a lot and I was able to correct the soil after I ripped the plants out when the season was over.
I just like to take care of my nutrient issues at the soil level because it leads to less work. I keep my foliar feeding to quick-fixes, then I make a plan to work on my soil.
I do like that you're doing everything right with your regimen in both using small amounts and giving it proper time between applications. Too many people screw that up and end up burning their plants or wasting the supplements they're adding to their garden (both $$ and time).
For me it comes down to cost and overkill. I can tell you how to produce seedless tomatoes using hormone treatments of gibberellin and auxins at appropriate times, but for the most part that's overkill given the cost/time.
I use Dolomite Lime that I dissolved in white Vinegar for my plants all the time when they are budding.
It's supposed to make Calcium Acetate which the plant can easily use.
I use it as a soil fert.
Usually it heavily increases budding.
Dolomite lime has Mag. in it too so I'm sure it's getting both Ca. and Mag.
Don't mix Epsom salt in water then add the Ca. Acetate.
It forms some kind of non water soluble rock that settles out of the water.
Don't know what it is but it doesn't break down if you mix it in your potting soil either.
Doesn't seem to help or hurt your plants as far as I can tell.
Hi Smokemaster, if you wouldn't mind, what's the measurement you use lime to vinegar and how long do you leave it to dissolve? I've only used bone meal and Epsom salt, what you describe above seems to be ready to use by the plant in a shorter amount of time than what I've been using. Thanks
Bone meal could take 6 months to break down in a container. You'd be better off
using Gypsum, 1 Tablespoon per gallon of mix, and then supplementing with 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon
of Epsom Salts in a gallon of fertilizer solution.
Smoke is correct. Dolomitic Garden Lime provides both Calcium and Magnesium in the proper ratio,
and that is very important to prevent antagonistic deficiencies.
I take a 1ltr. Yogurt container and put an inch or so of dolomite lime in it and fill it with 5% white vinegar(don't use wine vinegar etc.).
Stir it and it fizzes.
I cover it with plastic wrap.A tight lid will pop off - gas from the reaction.
When it stops fizzing stir it until it stops fizzing.
I stir it and put my hand over it to feel the bubbles.
It doesn't fizz that much.
Once it doesn't fizz anymore it's ready.
Add 2-3 oz. to 2 gal. of water and go for it.I use a pump sprayer to give my pots an equal amount of nutes after watering.
I think watering first washes out any excesses and that way i don't worry about too much of anything building up.
I use it as a soil fert with my fish and seaweed.
I think it triggers budding and makes more buds than without it.
It seems like within a couple days after using it the plants start budding heavily.
I use it hardly at all for the growth stage of the plant but as soon as I see a bud I use it every time I use ferts.
Your millage may vary.
I grow in pots only so eventually everything gets washed out since I mostly water until water comes out the bottom of my pots.
I go back a while later and water again if it's hot out.
I use a fast soil mix.
Heavier mixes might be different.
I just add more vinegar every time I use the stuff and stir it up.
The liquid gets a skin on it from sitting around between uses but it doesn't smell or anything.
It pulls right off in 1 piece easily.
The liquid underneath is clear.
I stir it whenever I think of it because the lime packs down from sitting and I want as much lime to disolve as the acid can handle so my mix is always the same.
I used to add bone meal and dolomite lime to all my mixes but now I just use the witches brew at budding in general and if the leaves look wrinkled on my chinense.
Chinense seem to like a little extra CalMag.
i don't mess with epsom salt either anymore.
Been using it for a few years and it works for me.
Not broke,don't fix it...
I don't grow tomato weeds but I hear it's great for them as a foliar and soil additive or whatever.
I used to use Foli Cal at $8.00 - $10.00 a pint.
It's Cal. Acetate which is basically what you will be making.
I don't know how to tell when all the disolvable lime is used up so every 4 months or so I change the lime out.
I mix the old stuff,which is probably impurities,in my soil mixes just because I hate tossing stuff that might still be good for the plant out.
I don't think I've used more than a 3 LB bag of lime in a couple years.
Plants don't need that much Ca. and Mag compared to other stuff so it goes a long way.
Thanks for the info both Greenman and Smokemaster.
I will give the lime/ vin a go this season, much appreciated for the info you all share.
For clarification, I should have mentioned that you should use one or the other, not both.
If you go with Gypsum for a Calcium source, add the Epsom salts to the fertilizer solution.
If you go with Dolomitic Lime and Vinegar, don't use the Gypsum or Epsom salts.
Like Smoke, I hardly use any Lime. I bought a 25 pound bag for $6 and I've barely dented it.
White vinegar costs me $.89 per gallon.