Table of contents:
- Basic rules to be followed
- How do plants respond to foliar feeding?
- What fertilizers should be used in nutrient solutions?
- Benefits of using ready-mixed fertilizers
Video: Rules For Making Foliar Dressings. Fertilizer Selection
Read the previous part of the article: Foliar top dressing will increase the yield
Basic rules to be followed
A nutrient solution for foliar dressing is prepared on the basis of both pure salts of macro- and microelements, and on the basis of all kinds of solid and liquid mixtures. When preparing the solution, you need to be extremely careful and in no case do not exceed the permissible concentration.
Solutions of increased concentration can not only burn the leaves, but also completely destroy the plants.
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When drawing up a solution, they proceed from several factors: the presence of the necessary elements in the soil; the appearance of the plant and the main purposes of feeding. Specific nutrient deficiencies are identified by changes in leaf color and condition. Lack of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is, in general, typical on poor soils. But even on fertile humus, a lack of nitrogen can manifest itself in the second half of summer in cucumbers, and a lack of potassium is a real disaster in our Urals. It is still not worth it to be very zealous when applying potash fertilizers to the soil: our soil does not retain potassium, and it is immediately washed out safely. Therefore, foliar dressing with potassium in the Urals is simply of paramount importance.
Lack of magnesium often appears in our country in the middle of summer: light green spots appear between the veins on the leaves, which usually turn yellow in the future, while the veins of the leaf remain green for a long time. For example, tomatoes suffer from a lack of magnesium. Boron deficiency provokes the shedding of the ovary, cracking of fruits, deterioration of their taste, etc. Every summer, the lack of boron in the Urals is manifested from the second half of June in nightshades, as well as in a number of root crops, primarily beets and radishes.
I personally have not encountered a lack of zinc in our soils. This is usually the privilege of lime-rich calcareous soils. But, according to experts, zinc deficiency is most clearly manifested in May-June. In our country, such a situation may take place if the soil is allowed to over-lime, when the dose of lime added by you turned out to be too large.
It is better not to wait for the symptoms of starvation on the leaves and shoots. It is necessary weekly, starting from the moment of planting the plants in the greenhouse, to carry out their foliar feeding. In this case, you will not lose a day for the formation of the crop. But at the same time, daily monitoring of the state of plants is also extremely necessary, because you do not conduct a chemical analysis of the soil and do not know the amount of nutrients present in it. Therefore, you need to instantly react to the slightest negative changes in the development of your plants and introduce the required element into the nutrient solution.
Copper deficiency is most pronounced in newly reclaimed peatlands during drought and hot weather. So some of the Ural gardeners should face this phenomenon. But I have a garden on the mountain, and God had mercy on the lack of copper.
But almost every year I observe top rot on tomatoes (I will not say that there is a large percentage of diseased plants; I just, remembering this possibility, take appropriate measures in advance). A lack of calcium provokes apical rot, and foliar top dressing with an ash extract is very effective as an operative measure against apical rot in tomatoes.
An excess amount of trace elements in the soil can have a harmful effect on plants. As a rule, the introduction of trace elements is practiced mainly in the form of foliar dressing, because Plants need microelements in microscopic doses, and root feeding with micro-doses is quite difficult to organize.
Previously, it was practiced to add each microelement separately: for example, boron in the form of boric acid - 1.5 g (0.015%), zinc in the form of zinc sulfate - 2 g (0.02%), magnesium in the form of magnesium sulfate - 10 g (0, 01%), etc. The process of preparing the nutrient solution in this case was very laborious. In addition, there were natural problems in terms of weighing such small doses of fertilizers in the absence of pharmaceutical scales. And overdose mistakes, as we all know, can lead to very sad results. And getting all these substances was not easy. Then microfertilizers in tablets appeared, and their use was already much more convenient. At the very least, the possibility of introducing increased doses of fertilizers was excluded and the problem of tedious weighing disappeared. True, the pills did not dissolve quickly, but still it was an option.The inconvenience was also caused by the moment that it was unrealistic to feed at one time with microelements in combination with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, because not all fertilizers can be safely mixed with each other. Naturally, as a result, the foliar dressing process was quite laborious. Today, there are many complex preparations with all the necessary nutrients.
Take on a bucket of water:
- boric acid - 15 g
- magnesium sulfate - 10 g
- ammonium molybdate - 3-5 g
- potassium permanganate - 3 g
- cobalt sulfate - 1 g, etc.
Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium separately can be used in foliar dressing in case of a shortage of one or another element. However, from my point of view, it is more convenient to add phosphorus to the soil in advance, remembering that it is extremely poorly soluble in water, is not washed out of the soil and can be used for a long period. And foliar fertilizing with nitrogen and potassium separately has to be used quite often (in our conditions, this is especially true for potash fertilizing) as an "ambulance" for plants. You can, of course, if necessary, carry out phosphate foliar dressing, but superphosphate in this case has to be insisted during the day. Nitrogen and potash fertilizers dissolve perfectly in cold water, so they are diluted immediately before spraying.
Take on a bucket of water:
- 10-20 g of ammonium nitrate or
- 30-40 g of urea or
- 50-100 g double superphosphate or
- 150-300 g of single superphosphate or
- 50 g potassium sulfate
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How do plants respond to foliar feeding?
I honestly doubt that some vegetable plants may not like foliar feeding. Of course, not everyone can spray the whole garden, although the harvest then, probably, would have been even greater. I act according to the principle: I spray heat-loving plants (tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, melons, zucchini, pumpkins, peppers, beans, eggplants, etc.) once a week, and cold-resistant vegetables (cabbage, carrots, beets, potatoes, etc.) p.) - in batches in turn. Each batch - about once every three weeks. At the same time, among cold-resistant crops I often spray those that, for whatever reason, do not develop as I would like. There is not enough strength for a greater feat. Among the vegetable crops I have indicated, I cannot name a single one that would not "enjoy" nutritious spraying. Moreover, the very next day after spraying, if,of course, take a close look, you will find that your pets are clearly cheerful, and have grown up well over the night. The leaves become brighter and more beautiful, and new growths appear.
However, do not think that foliar feeding is a real miracle. Suppose you are using foliar feeding after you have discovered a noticeable deficiency of an element, for example, potassium. This means that at best, the tips of the leaves turned yellow and began to dry out. Go to the greenhouse the next morning with the secret hope that after feeding, these leaves will return to normal. But nothing like this has happened and will not happen. Although your feeding has done its job and made life easier for plants under the sun. A similar delusion is inherent in most gardeners. At the same time, you should be aware that leaves damaged as a result of a lack of nutrients are not restored. They can be considered as sick forever. But top dressing is not at all useless.It will help normal leaves and the entire plant to continue to thrive.
And one more important point: if you find in the leaves a lack of some basic element (nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium), which plants need in very large quantities, then one foliar feeding is not enough. In addition to foliar feeding, which will instantly ease the fate of the pet, you also need to carry out root feeding on the same day (always in liquid form) in order to provide the plant with the necessary substances that will begin to be absorbed gradually.
Tomatoes and cucumbers especially need foliar feeding in the 5-6 leaf phase, at the beginning of flowering and in the stage of intense fruiting. Foliar dressing of cabbage is very effective in the phase of 3-4 true leaves and at the beginning of the formation of the head of cabbage. And pepper is most susceptible to foliar dressing in the 3-4 leaf phase, before flowering and at the time of active fruiting. Carrots, onions and beets will not hurt to process in the phase of 3-4 leaves and in the phase of active formation of root crops. It is good to process potatoes at the moment of closing the bushes and in the phase of intense flowering. But it is still better, if possible, to carry out foliar feeding once every 7-10 days. The Dutch spend it - and nothing!
What fertilizers should be used in nutrient solutions?
As I already noted, before it was not so easy for gardeners to carry out foliar dressing. Take the right amount of certain fertilizers (try, for example, weighing 3 g of magnesium sulfate and 5 g of copper sulfate), find out if these substances can be mixed (and, as a rule, it turns out that it is impossible) and spray as a result in the morning with one preparation, and in the evening - different. And after the labors of the righteous, find out that the plants were fed with only magnesium and copper, as in this case.
Today, everything has changed dramatically. The most profitable, from my point of view, is to use ready-made fertilizer mixtures (more conveniently liquid), the varieties of which are very many. And, if necessary, add to them an infusion of ash, potassium sulfate or urea (depending on which element the plants lack).
Benefits of using ready-mixed fertilizers
1. No need to purchase a lot of individual components and mix: all the nutrients required by the plant are already included in the fertilizer. This means that you will spend a minimum of time preparing the working solution.
2. Due to the fact that nothing needs to be weighed, the risk of dosing errors is greatly reduced.
3. Liquid fertilizer mixtures are very effective in those cases when the gardener cannot determine which element the plant lacks (not for all trace elements it is possible to clearly and immediately determine the deficiency in the appearance of the plant - considerable experience is needed). In the end, it doesn't really matter what exactly the plant lacks: zinc, for example, or molybdenum. Both are required in very small doses and are part of the liquid feed. Therefore, it is worth holding it, and all problems will be solved by themselves.
4. Many liquid mixtures, along with nutrients, contain humic substances, the spectrum of which is unusually wide. This is an increase in yield, and early ripening of fruits, and an improvement in their taste, an increase in the duration of storage, an increase in immunity, etc., etc. As a result, the cost of grown products is significantly reduced. These preparations include a liquid natural fertilizer based on biohumus "Ideal", a complex for feeding all vegetable crops "Impulse +", fertilizer "Surprise", a whole series of preparations based on biohumus "Humisol", "Humisol-extra", "Humisol- super "etc.
5. Some of the liquid fertilizer mixtures contain, in addition to all the above, natural bacteria that protect plants from a number of diseases and pests. As an example, we can name the preparations "New Ideal" (protects against rhizoctonia, late blight, scab, all types of rot, black leg, anthractosis, etc.), fertilizer with protective actions "Strela" (protects against whiteflies, cabbage scoop, all kinds of moths, whitefly, spider mite, leaf-eating pests, etc.).
Agree that there is nothing difficult in using a ready-made drug, for example, "New Ideal" - to dilute the required concentration of the drug in water and spray. And such a simple operation, carried out many times during the season, will provide a significant increase in productivity and accelerate the ripening of fruits and vegetables by 7-12 days, as well as increase the resistance of plants to drought, frost, excessive moisture and insufficient lighting. So maybe you should try it after all?
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