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How often should i foliar feed my garden?

 
dan long
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Google searches on this subject turn up nothing but hydroponic marijuana growing systems. Since Big Brother watches everyones internet activity in Taiwan, i'm inviting a nighttime police raid if I continue my searching down THAT avenue.

How often is too much? How often stops being beneficial? How much should i spray at one time?

I'm sure each plant is different but I would like to get a general idea of how often to spray the garden in general. I have some lettuce that are reluctant to grow past micro-green status and I suspect it's because that garden, in the past 4 or 5 months, hasn't gotten any fertilizer besides a general, light sprinkling of coffee grounds three or four times and the occasional 6:1 water to urine watering.

I emptied the drip tray of my worm farm today and discovered that I have more worm tea than i can imagine using in the near future. Even if i could use it up, i also have urine and unlimited access to coffee grounds (there are more 7-11's per sq kilometer in Taiwan than any other country in the world).

However, I do have 2 small vegetable gardens and a 3X4 mound (12x16 ft) Three Sisters garden that is going to demand some heavy feeding. Everything in the Three Sisters was planted in 1.5x1.5x1ft (rough estimate) piles of half finished compost and some in leaf mold on top of a layer of gravel, over top of some dead, heavy clay soil. In other words, a little bit of nutrient from the mounds of compost or leaf mold but not likely very much from the soil. This is where I imagine really letting 'em have it with the foliar spray.

Say i head over to my garden with a mister that holds 1 qt (rough estimate). How much area should this cover in one session (diluted 6:1 water to worm tea)? How often can i spray?

Thanks
 
John Elliott
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Once a week? Once every two weeks?

Doing it daily is too much. There are very few plants that put on enough growth in one day that they are ready for another meal. Maybe if you were trying for a bumper crop of kudzu, you could foliar feed it daily. On the other hand, if you wait a month, then there is lots of new growth that has never seen a foliar feeding and could use one.

I've read about using boron in foliar feeding applications to boost the fruit set of apples. They recommend that as soon as the buds start to swell in the spring, give one foliar feeding, then another one at peak flowering, which is usually about two weeks later. I'm going along with that recommendation and extending it to most of my garden; I try to give everything a dousing of compost tea at least once every two weeks.

But other factors come into play. You don't want to foliar feed if there is a drenching rainstorm forecast for tomorrow. A heavy rain would turn your foliar feeding into a root drench, which is not all that bad, because the roots can transport those nutrients back up. In the middle of summer, there is a lot more folia to give the foliar feed to, so you may end up diluting it more to spread it around. And in the middle of winter, there may be an excess of compost tea and a dearth of leaves to be foliar feeding. My onions got more than their fair share of foliar feeding this last winter because they were the only things actively growing.
 
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