What is foliar feeding
Usually, when it comes to fertilization in a hydroponic environment, a plant gets its nutrients from a solution applied straight to the roots. What most people do not know or forget, is the fact that feeding through roots is not enough. A plant can suffer damage to its roots, which means that it will be forced to get its nutrients in a different way.
Foliar feeding refers to the fact that certain nutrients can be fed to a plant though its foliage. It is a way of helping the plant in the growing process that several gardeners omit to make use of. Plant tissue is prone to absorbing specific minerals, which can turn out to be pretty useful for growing a healthy plant.
There are several benefits worth noting about foliar fertilization. First of all, when you are talking about a growing process like that of a hydroponic system, you need to acknowledge the fact that the biggest amount of stress is applied to the roots. It is true that through hydroponics the plant gets all the right amounts of nutrients, but there are various cases when this does not happen. Lack of oxygen, unbalanced pH levels or harmful temperatures can lead to a sick plant. Any kind of stress applied to the plant and especially to its roots can cause nutrients deprivation. This is the main reason why foliar fertilization is a must. It sustains the quality of your plants and future crops.
This process is quite simple. The leaves of every plant allow it to start the process of photosynthesis as well as the oxygenation part. So, those leaves can act like an organ responsible for gathering the proper amounts of nutrients when needed. Anyway, do not fool yourself in thinking that this is enough for feeding the plant. Leaves have their limitations and can only supplement the feeding requirements.
If you want the foliar feeding to work you should know that applying constantly the vapor of nutrients is strictly required. Keep in mind that you need to apply the mixture until the leaves look like they have been soaked in it. The best time of the day for this process is the morning due to the fact that the temperatures are still cold and the plant does not interact with direct sunlight. Furthermore, if the temperatures are really high, the plant won`t absorb the nutrients.
Bottom line, for hydroponic crops foliar feeding can turn out pretty helpful. It offers balance and comes with nutrients that are vital for proper growth. There are several studies that reveal the fact that those plants that are fed through leaves too, tend to give healthier crops. This means that combining root feeding with foliar feeding is a must. It represents the perfect way in meeting all the requirements a plant has. Keeping your plants happy should be a must. So, do not limit yourself when it comes to hydroponics. Look for methods that will increase its effectiveness.
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