To understand foliar nutrition on plants we first need to see that urban sprawl poses a never-ending challenge for proper plant nutrition. With housing developments sprouting up all over, the homeowner has no way of knowing the soil quality where their house sits. Excavating, and re-inventing land that was once rich with nutrients, more often than not, reduces the soil’s ability to provide proper plant nutrition.
Replacing soil for landscaping can also be a problem. Because the new ground brought in is typically from different sources, your neighbor’s soil may be rich in nutrients. At the same time, your soil could lack the proper nutrients
Additionally, if you have lived in the same house for years, you may also run into nutrient issues. Nutrient depletion comes from planting your garden in the same place year after year. On the same note, container plants have these same nutritional problems — even worse.
Healthy soil is the key to successful plant growth – foliar nutrition helps
I recommend everyone find out their soil condition before investing lots of time, energy, and money into their gardening efforts. Soil analysis is easy to do. Each state in the U.S. has a Cooperative Extension office that can perform soil tests.
Fertilization alone will not rectify your depleted soil and can make it worse. Applying a fertilizer week-after-week may create a toxicity for your plants. Too much or too little fertilizer may cause binding of elements (iron, boron, and zinc) making them unavailable. Additionally, regulations are being put in place across the U.S.A. to protect the water supply from the dangers caused by the “chemical” runoff.
The best way to achieve excellent plant growth is through foliar application of micronutrients coupled with fertilizers. Not only will you get clean, healthy food from your garden, but reduced runoff too. You will somewhat alleviate many pressures because you will be adding lower quantities of fertilizer over time. While this is not a cure-all, there is merit in changing from the “If a little bit is good – then a lot is even better.” approach to fertilizing and feeding optimally.
Nurturing that prized possession is inside everyone
I was fortunate to participate in 4-H at a young age and learned about the excitement of growing to win a blue ribbon at the county fair. By changing your habits to care for your plants properly, you will enjoy what comes with it. Proper nutrition allows you to see things like:
- New growth;
- the treasure hunt for new buds;
- and so many fruits or vegetables that your neighbors will benefit too.