Using Liquid Fertilizers

Organic Liquid FertilizerWhat makes the deciding factor when picking between organic liquid fertilizer or organic granular (dry) fertilizer?  Granular forms of organic fertilizer are put into the soil for the roots to take the nutrients through the stem, to the leaves and the flowers.  Organic granular fertilizers are slow release and will last anywhere from 3 weeks up to a year depending on the type of fertilizer, amount of water plants receive and temperatures.  When liquid fertilizers are used as a foliar feeding it is generally done by using a water can, sprinkling over the plant or using a sprayer to spray the entire plant making the nutrients available almost immediately.  Plants absorb the nutrients through the leaves rather from the root system. When the liquid fertilizer is used with a fertigation system, directly into the soil, they will absorb the nutrients through the root system, but quicker than if used a granular form. Organic Liquid fertilizers are generally concentrated and need to be diluted with water.

When using liquid fertilizer as a foliar spray, it should be done in the cooler part of the day to prevent leaf sun-scald.  Early morning, late afternoon or even overcast days.

Spraying can be done as often as daily to every weeks for best results.  When fertilizing daily, use a week solution.  So when the label reads; dilution rate of 4 tablespoons of fertilizer to 1 gallon of water, you can use 1/2 T to 1 T per gallon of water.  Daily feeding is generally not necessary unless you are a commercial grower or want quick results for hanging baskets and potted plants.  Weekly feedings are typically the best for home growers.  Using the full recommended dilution amounts are best for veggies, flowers and other outdoor plants. 

Tomatoes do especially well when they receive a weekly feeding of liquid bone meal.  Bone Meal is high in phosphorous which feeds the fruiting and flowering process, which in turn producing more delicious tomatoes! 

Using a liquid kelp it not only feeds the plants and gives them extra minerals, it acts as a protectant to highs and low temperatures. Bugs seem to stay away from plants that have been sprayed with kelp on a weekly basis.  Liquid kelp simulates the plants, encourages healthy growth and is excellent when sprayed on new transplants.  

There are many choices for organic liquid fertilizers.  When growing leafy green vegetables look for a higher nitrogen fertilizer like Earth Juice Grow, but when growing peppers, tomatoes and or flowers, a Liquid Bone Meal, Liquid Bloom or Earth Juice Bloom is a better choice. 

Always remember when using organic liquid fertilizer concentrates, shake the bottle well before measuring.  Many of the nutrients settle to the bottom and need to be mixed up!

 

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