Foliar Spray Frequency

Phildeez(9b)June 1, 2011

I picked up my FP and Pro-TeKt today and I plan to use them at every watering at 1/4tsp each (per gallon). My water is very hard and I want to be flushing some amount every time I water to avoid build-up. This takes many gallons and my water usage will only be going up with weather temps. This will use a lot of fertilized water that will just be running out of the bottom. I had a few questions about using these at every watering. Keep in mind I want these fertilizers to last as long as possible, I could hardly justify paying for the premium stuff as a broke college student.

1. Should I water with unfertilized water until it runs out of the bottom and then use a small amount of dosed water after that?

2. Assuming I flush with regular water first, will the nutrients from the fertilized water used after remain in the container or just running out of the bottom since the medium is already wet?

3. How much FP/PT dosed water do I need to give to each container to be supplying ideal amounts of nutrients?

I also have some questions about foliar feeding, but I will get to those later when I have these initial answers.

Thanks a lot!


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forgot to change the title *Doink*

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 12:48AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Phil, I prefer to fertilize once a week for most of my plants - "Fertilizer Friday" ;-)

When I fertilize, I water first, then add the fertilizer solution, and then lightly water.
The mix will absorb and hold a good amount of nutrients, so you needn't worry about all the
good stuff flushing each time water drains out the container.

Foliar feeding is inefficient compared to root-feeding. Plus, there are only a few nutrients
that can actually be absorbed by the leaves. *If* the plant does show improvement after the
foliar application, you know that it is in need of nutrients delivered to the root-zone.

I am biased against foliar feeding, but for good reason I think.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 11:46AM
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HMM, Being a broke gardener too, this just opened my eyes! thank you So much Josh! that makes much more sense and will save me a few dollars too!


    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 3:32PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

For me it's always been "feed Friday" ;-)


    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 4:32PM
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Do you dose at 1tsp/gal then, Josh? Or still 1/4-1/2?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 4:40PM
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Exactly Josh!

Good point made which I think everyone needs to know.

The nutrients are not all flushed out as bad as many think and in fact the mix does hold nutrients well.
What is flushed out or avoided is the possible salts that build up from these fertilizers which is a good thing.

As a rule, I will feed my plants at least once a week with a dose of 1/2 to a full capful/tsp if I am not good about giving 1/4 dose at every watering.

Foliar feeding does nothing for my plants, or at least it use to burn the leaves. Many fertilizers have warning labels against it for this fact. I take no chances.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 6:01PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, guys.
Mike is really good about fertilizing his plants...whereas I tend to slack!
Phil, right now I'm using 1 Teaspoon per gallon/per week for most of my plants.
I'm hitting my citrus a little harder....just a bit over a Teaspoon per gallon.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 12:49PM
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Most gardeners do not get too excited about foliar fertilizing, but many Rose growers here, some commercial are now using the method with compost tea, not for the fertilizing value, if there is any, but for foliage fungus diseases. This year will be a good test as it has been constantly wet here. Al

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 9:20AM
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Everyday is feeding day for me. I use 1/4tsp per gallon of FP 9-3-6. Due to the cost for me though, for the not-so-important plants like annuals and hanging baskets (which are my wife's) I'll use Miracle Grow water soluble crystals. I currently use it as is, but have a thread regarding how to add calcium, magnesium, and sulfur in a cost effective manner. So yeah, don't bother with the foliar feeding, just stick to the 1/4tsp per gallon every time you water.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 8:54PM
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Josh, I have a question about exactly how you water your plants. Do you water your plants until water starts draining though the drain holes? I usually water a little and let the soil swell, then water until the water comes out the drain holes. However, I have been doing this with the nutrient water. So, doing it your way, If I were to water first., would I water until the water drains. Then, how much nutrient water would you add, and then how much plain water afterwords.



    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 12:06AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Jon, I do water until a bit starts to drain.
Then I let it set for just a short while, and I return to fertilize. I pour slowly with the
nutrient water so that it is distributed throughout the mix, until water begins to drain.
At the end, I add a splash of water, mostly to rinse any leaves that might have fertilizer
on them, but also to carry nutrients deeper into the mix.

I seldom measure. Larger containers get more, smaller containers get less.
Vigorous, robust plants get more, succulents and slow growers get less.

If I'm fertilizing my Citrus, for example, I might make a gallon of fertilizer solution.
I'll give half a gallon to my Blood Orange, one quart to my variegated Pink Lemon,
a half-quart to my Ponderosa, and then the remaining half-quart to a Gardenia
kept in the same area.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 1:09PM
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Hey Josh thanks for the info. Do you water with plain water first to leach any salt build up? Or just to save on fert. usage? I have been watering with the water/fert mixture until it drains,that's it. I have been trying to make sure my plants get approx. 1tsp/gal. of water per week. so If I water 2x per week, I would use about 1/2 tsp. per gal. of water. Is this ok, or should I switch to your method? Also, I am adding a tsp. of vinegar to my water, would I add the vinegar to the plain water, fert/water mix, or both? Also on that note, I am adding the vinegar at the suggestion of Al, because my local water supply has about 120ppm of alkalinity. Should I always add the vinegar, or every once in a while? I have been doing it each time I water because the water is the source of the alkalinity.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 5:02PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Jon.
Yessir, I water to leach any salts and to pre-moisten the mix for the fertilizer.
Your method sounds fine. Do whatever helps you remember to fertilize ;-)
I'm guilty of not fertilizing as frequently as I should...

Same with the vinegar. Whenever I remember, I add a teaspoon of white vinegar
to my water. You can add the vinegar however you shouldn't cause problems.
As often as you remember. I try to add vinegar to my citrus, conifers, and maples every
time I fertilize.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 9:48PM
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A bit off-topic but how often do you members mist your houseplants with just water to clean off and dampen the leaves?

Thanks for any info.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 8:46AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I never mist my plants, personally.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 1:22PM
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