How Effective Is Foliar Fertilization?Swissgrow Editor Agronomist
Roots are the organs of plants through which they receive essential nutrients. However, nutrient uptake also occurs through certain proportions of the surface parts (leaf, trunk, ovules, etc.). The highest nutrient uptake in the above-ground organs occurs through leaves.
The surfaces of leaves are covered with a waxy layer. While the leaf is dry, it is not possible for nutrients to pass through this layer and to penetrate the leaf. However, when leaves are wetted, this waxy layer swells forming pores between them. Water and nutrients enter through these pores and reach leaf cells.
The longer the leaf surface stays wet, the more the nutrients will be absorbed. Again, due to the surface tension, the water sprayed on the surface of the leaf remains in droplets. The use of materials that reduce surface tension (spreading adhesives) allows water to spread across the entire leaf surface and thus more nutrients enter the leaves. Additionally, a certain amount of nutrient input occurs through the openings behind the leaves called stomata.
However, this does not mean that plants can be fed entirely through their leaves. Plants need some elements more and some less. Since uptake of nutrients from leaves is limited, it is not possible to supply certain nutrients that plants need more only with foliar applications.
It is appropriate to give priority to the micro elements that plants need less and the elements that the plants have limited intake from the soil, such as calcium. Moreover, other elements such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium in addition to the ones given from the soil according to the feeding program can be somewhat supplemented from some leaves.
Application of leaf fertilizers together with some biostimulants increases their uptake and effectiveness. The use of products such as phosphides, amino acids, seaweed and fulvic acids together with foliar fertilizers will provide a more effective fertilization program. For example, the Phoskraft series phosphide products that our company produces along with products such as Biokraft, Algamina, Potencia and Bioton, which contain amino acids, are biostimulant effective products. With their proven effectiveness, these products enable our growers to use less chemicals to do more efficient fertilization. Therefore, they also contribute to preservation of environment while fostering production profitability.