There are many factors that can get in the way of rich and successful harvests. The typical organic gardener often has to deal with a myriad of problems including poor quality soil and harsh environmental effects. Fortunately, there are a lot of methods and tools available to solve these sorts of problems. Today, we’ll be looking at one such example in the form of foliar spraying. This technique works to help your plants absorb more nutrients directly through their leaves.
The leaves of plants are actually riddled with countless tiny pores, known as stomata, which can open and close to regulate various aspects of the plant. Plants that live in very arid and hot areas have adapted to their environments by keeping these stomata closed as often as possible. This helps the plant to retain as much water as possible to survive long dry periods. As an agricultural grower or gardener, you can use this information to help your plants thrive.
Nowadays, a lot of growers are making use of drip irrigation systems rather than traditional sprinklers or sprayers. These systems deliver water directly to the roots of the plant and are more economic and efficient. The downside to using these systems is that the majority of the plant, including its leaves, remains dry. This isn’t a problem for certain species but can become inconvenient for many others, and this is where foliar spraying comes into play.
Foliar spraying involves the use of liquid sprays that deliver water and nutrients directly to the plant via its leaves. This means that, even if you make use of drip irrigation systems or want to grow plants in poor quality soil, you can still enjoy excellent harvests. For best results, you should establish a weekly foliar feeding plan and stick to it, but the frequency of spraying and the contents of the spray can vary depending on the plant species involved.
Foliar feeding sprays can actually even act like medicines for your plants. One great example is to make use of compost tea. This not only helps your plants to grow but will also offer great protection against various malicious types of bacteria and fungi. As you apply the spray to the leaves, all of the vital nutrients are absorbed directly through the stomata into the plant’s vascular system. In addition, friendly microbes from the compost tea work to eliminate other organisms that could damage the plant or halt its growth.
Another great option for your foliar spray needs is the use of peppermint oil. Particularly at those times of the year when the days grow short, your plants can become prey for a host of bacteria and insects. By diluting a dozen drops of peppermint oil into a spray bottle and applying this mixture on a weekly basis, you’ll be keeping your plants safe against aphids and various infections like powdery mildew. It’s therefore easy to see that foliar spraying is an exciting and effective technique for every budding gardener.