When hydroponics gardeners want to give their plants the boost that they need in order to increase yield, the first choice they make usually is to apply a quality foliar fertilizer. This is entirely reasonable, as using a good foliar spray is perhaps the most cost effective way to give your plants the boost of nutrients that they need to grow to their full potential. But you would be doing both yourself and your plants a grave disservice if you did not learn every way in which you could make the most out of your foliar fertilizer. To make sure that you investment doesn’t go to waste, simply follow these simple extra steps.
Increase Humidity – While using a foliar fertilizer, your plants will benefit from an environment that is slightly cooler and slightly more humid than what your grow room may normally be. The idea is to allow as much of the foliar fertilizer to be absorbed into the plant as possible, and allow for as little as possible to be evaporated or transpired. With an increased humidity level and a temperature level kept below eighty degrees, you increase your odds of the nutrients being used by your plant, instead of simply dissipating into the air in your grow room.
Spray Your Leaves with Water Afterwards – After you initially use your foliar fertilizer, the spray will slowly dry up and leave a small nutrient residue around the leaves. To make certain that your leaves take up as many of the nutrients from your spray as possible, spray your leaves with water over the next couple of days. The water will combine with the residue and make it easier for your leaves to absorb the extra nutrients. As always, make sure that the water that you use is properly pH balanced. If you are using tap water, make sure it doesn’t contain too much chlorine to damage your plants.
Get the Undersides of Leaves Too – The reason foliar fertilization works is because leaves contain “stomata,” which are open pores that are primarily used for gas exchange. But when sprayed with a nutrient solution, these pores can also be used to absorb nutrients. The majority of the stomata are on the underside of the leaves, so you should make sure to spend extra time spraying that section. As you can imagine, the underside is also where the majority of the runoff occurs. So you would probably benefit from adding a sticking agent to your foliar spray.
Use a Fine Mist, Not a Stream – Find a spray bottle that allows you deliver the foliar fertilizer in the form of a very fine mist. This will help ensure more even and thorough applications. If your spray bottle is only able to deliver in a powerful, liquid stream you will dramatically increase runoff and less of the solution will be absorbed. If buying the bottle from your local garden supply company, make sure to ask the experts there if any given bottle can deliver the water with the consistency that you desire.