If applying Alaska brand 5-1-1 fish fertilizer to pumpkin plants with a sprayer, how much fish fertilizer would you put per gallon of water if just spraying to the foliage? Thanks!
Per label directions and diluted to 1/2 strength, lightly mist not drench, never in direct sun or heat of the day and not mixed with any other products (standard rules of foliar feeding).
How often would you suggest applying?
There is no simple answer to that question. It would depend on many things - age and health of the plant, stage of development (blooming, fruiting, ripening, etc.), which nutrient is the focal need for the particular plant, and most importantly what other sources of nutrients the plant has available.
Foliar applications are never seen as the only or even the primary source of nutrients. It is a supplemental method of feeding only.
For pumpkins whose primary need is nitrogen and phosphorus at specific stages of growth and who already have sufficient in-ground or root drench sources of nutrients - once every 4 weeks. For those who lack those better sources of nutrients for some reason - 2-3x a week still wouldn't be enough. It would be better to provide the needed soil nutrients that are lacking than to depend on only foliar feeding.
Would the label's instructions of 2 Tablespoons per gallon of water burn the foliage if only misted on the leaves or what is the reason for diluted to only 1/2 of the label's instructions? Which would only be 1 Tablespoon per gallon, seems like a pretty weak mixing ratio to me?
Fish emulsion at full strength is nasty stuff. I don't think I'd want to spray it all over my vegetables. Is there a reason you're spraying it on the leaves as opposed to pouring it on the soil? If the plants are healthy to begin with, I've never found a reason to foliar feed. On the contrary, I'd worry about wet leaves inviting fungus, IMO.
Would the label's instructions of 2 Tablespoons per gallon of water burn the foliage
Yes. Any foliage spray can burn/damage leaves which is why foliage applications are always recommended done at 1/2 strength plus the other guidelines I posted above. Can you use it at full strength? Sure if the loss risk is acceptable to you.
lori - foliar feeding can be quite effective as a supplemental source of nutrients when it is done properly. When it isn't done correctly it can kill plants. Thus its guidelines.
I don't know why MNgardenman is using foliar feeding as opposed to root drench feeding, he/she doesn't say. But as I said above it is only a supplemental, not a primary, method of supplying nutrients.
I have already fertilized the ground with a granular fertilizer so just thought of spraying the foliage with the fish fertilizer as a supplement for an extra boost. I am dealing with about an acre of crop so that is a lot of work to pour it on the ground so that is why I am spraying it on the foliage VA pouring it on the ground.
I'd stop and think about that 'extra boost' thing. Either plants need nutrients or they don't. More is not always better when it comes to fertilizer. If the plants you're growing can use additional fertilizer during the growing season, they definitely add it. Otherwise let them be.
I am dealing with about an acre of crop
This is an acre of pumpkins, right, that you feel need more nitrogen than what was initially applied to the field?
In that case it would depend on how you are applying it - the equipment used. I would assume you're doing this with some form of field equipment rather than just a hand pump sprayer. In that case it can be mixed much stronger as ag crop sprayers generally disperse at a very different rate than the average home garden sprayer.
But if not, then it is your choice which concentration to use. If you want to use full strength try it on just a few plants first and see how they tolerate it.
How would you spray an acre of crop? By tractor? Seems like more work than it is worth for the small benefit.
The biggest benefit of foliar feeding is under situations where the nutrients would get locked up in the soil, for example, iron chelates.
Last year was just my 2nd year of growing pumpkins and did not have as many as this year so I actually poured the labels instructions mixing ratio directly on the ground along with a granular fertilizer that was applied when planted and had great results with doing so. I would be spraying with a ATV and sprayer.