Foliar application: produce leaf fertilizer yourself

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nettle liquid manure

The special form of plant nutrition over the foliage requires the consideration of specific conditions. Since fertilizer solutions are essentially nutrient salts, leaf damage can occur if they are incorrectly applied. Burns, leaf necroses, and other defects effectively prevent you from applying foliar supplements under the following conditions:
  • Covered weather without direct sunlight
  • Under the influence of high humidity, ideally in the evenings
  • Temperatures of more than 15 degrees Celsius
In the morning, there is also the desired high humidity due to dew formation. However, the leaf surfaces dry quickly during the morning and the enlarged leaf pores close. By contrast, if you administer foliar fertilizer in the evenings, there will be a sufficiently long time window for nutrient uptake during the night. The effectiveness is improved by the morning dew formation, because as a result already dried spray coatings on the foliage are dissolved again and again available for the leaf pores.
Tip: Foliar fertilization can not replace soil fertilization. Due to the very low concentration of the administered nutrient solution, foliar fertilizers do not have a lasting effect, especially with regard to the main nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. As a "fire-brigade measure" with immediate effect, leaf fertilization has nevertheless proven itself.

Making leaf fertilizer yourself - recipes for home gardeners

There are several ways to make foliar fertilizers yourself:


Among the premium foliar fertilizers in the home garden is a brew of nettles. Properly prepared, the nutrient solution has a concentrated load of nitrogen in its wake, the engine of growth. How to make the fertilizer yourself:
Harvest nettles
From May to July is the best time for a harvest of nettles for the production of foliar fertilizers. Both the large nettle (Urtica dioica) and the small nettle (urtica urens) are suitable, the latter having the higher nitrogen content. Only pick the leaves of non-flowering plants so that no seeds get into the nutrient solution. To protect against the painful burning hair please put on gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved top. In order to have a supply of stinging nettles for the production of foliar fertilizers even outside the harvest season, we recommend that you harvest more than the current requirement and dry the excess.
Make broth
Fill the nettle harvest into a large cauldron and pour water over the leaves so that they are barely covered. Put the lid on and let the herbs soak for 24 hours. Then cook the nettle and let it simmer gently for 20 minutes. Use a rammer to squeeze out the full-bodied leaves, replace the lid and allow to cool. The cooled nettle broth is poured through a sieve. Pure nettle brew should not be sprayed on plant leaves. Your self-produced foliar fertilizer is ready only after dilution with rainwater at a ratio of 1:20. Normal tap water is not suitable for this purpose because it leaves a lime scale on the sprayed leaves.
Tip: Do not you feel like harvesting aggressive nettle leaves? Then use the leaves of comfrey, fennel and beetroot to make the foliar fertilizer. Some green highwaymen are also rich in nitrogen, such as honorary prize, chickweed or buttercup.

Urea - Foliar fertilizer from the pharmacy

Among the most widely used foliar fertilizers in the home garden is urea. The hygienically harmless and non-toxic solid is not only very soluble in water. In addition, the organic compound has up to 46 percent more nitrogen than other fertilizers. Thanks to their rapid effectiveness, treated plants absorb 85% of the foliar fertilizer within 24 hours. It should be noted as a particular advantage that urea is not a salt, so that no damage to leaves is to be feared. Urea received at the pharmacy, health food stores, drugstores and online stores.
Already 10 grams of urea are enough to turn 1 liter of water into a rich foliar fertilizer. It is important to note that you use collected rainwater or stale tap water to prevent calcification on the plants.

Worm farm provides natural foliar fertilizer as a byproduct

Soil - earthworm

Operators of a worm farm not only benefit from nutrient-rich worm humus for soil fertilization. As a by-product, a natural liquid fertilizer is produced in the lower level.In contrast to commercially available, liquid flower fertilizers, worm tea is suitable for foliar application. As a positive additional effect, the organic liquid fertilizer contains not only nutrients and trace elements but also a lot of silicic acid, depending on the composition of the composted waste. This material not only strengthens the cell walls of your ornamental and crop plants, but also fights the fungus spores of mildew.
For the production as foliar fertilizer tap off the worm tea. With soft water, dilute the solution until the color is reminiscent of weak herbal tea. Spray the tops and bottoms of the leaves once a week under the recommended conditions.

Instructions - How to fertilize properly

The younger the leaves, the thinner the protective wax layer of the epidermis. The absorption rate of the nutrients is correspondingly high. Older leaves have a thicker layer of wax, which requires the use of a wetting agent to keep the nutrient solution on the leaf surface long enough for it to work. In addition to the described framework conditions, the age of the plants must be considered in order to expertly apply foliar application. That is how it goes:
  • Fertilizer solution for older plants add a few drops of detergent to reduce the surface tension
  • Apply foliar fertilizer by spraying with fine droplets of 0.1 mm to 0.2 mm
  • Apply nutrient solution by spraying in droplet sizes smaller than 0.1 mm
  • Prior to sensitive plants, make a preliminary spray
The chosen application technique determines the dosage. Spray mixture is discharged without carrier air and requires a larger droplet size, as a spray, which is transported by means of forced air on the leaves. If you have opted for foliar application by spraying, a dosage of 40 milliliters of nutrient solution per square meter of leaf area has proven effective in practice. If you use the finer spray method, you can handle 20 milliliters of dissolution per square meter blown against the foliage.

Video Board: 5 Homemade Natural Fertilizers Your Plants Will Just Love.

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