Foliar Feeding Plants and Daylilies

Fertilising Foliar Feeding Plants & Daylilies

Fertilising Foliar Feeding Plants & Daylilies

Foliar Feeding Plants and DayliliesWe’ve known for some years now that plants have the ability to absorb nutrients directly through their leaves. The term that is used for the technique is called foliar feeding, which is a method of applying organic liquid fertilisers as a foliar spray directly to the leaf of a plant rather than introducing the fertiliser into the soil. This method of fertilisation is a particular favourite among proponents of organic horticulture and is quite popular among Australian gardeners. In some cases, foliar feeding is used in emergency situations where it is known that a plant may be suffering a deficiency. In other cases it has been discovered that the plants actually reach a greater productive capacity when organic fertilisers are applied directly to the foliage, tomatoes being one food crop where yields are consistently increased using this method. Daylilies respond well to a monthly dose of a highly diluted liquid fertiliser. It should also be noted for daylilies that it is important to not start using it too early in the spring as the daylilies may experience a boost in growth, making the foliage susceptible to damage from a late frost. For organic horticulture enthusiasts there are two favourite forms of organic fertilisers, which are used in the majority of foliar sprays in Australia these are compost tea and liquid worm castings aside from this you can also add any organic soluble to the mix, for example, epsom salts, chelated fertiliser, molasses, fish emulsion fertilisers even miracle-gro these are all good organic choices to use as foliar fertiliser sprays for promoting growth for daylilies.

Compost Tea

Compost tea is essentially the liquid you get from letting the nutrients from ordinary compost leach into a bucket of water. Compost can be added directly to the water and then strained, or it can be allowed contact with the water through a finely netted bag. The goal of compost tea is to make a brew that is rich in microbes. You will, therefore, get the best results by making sure your compost tea is well aerated and well fed which can be achieved by adding a special blend of microbe food. You will know whether you have a healthy community of microbes by the smell of your compost tea. A healthy tea produces a rich earthy aroma, while a sour smell can mean that your compost tea has not been adequately aerated. It’s possible to make compost teas that have microbes which are either fungi oriented good for perennials and trees including daylilies or bacteria oriented great for an annual flower garden. Either of these can be established via the type of microbe feed you use.

Liquid Worm Castings

Liquid worm juice is made from worm castings and is used essentially the same process as compost tea, except the prime ingredient is worm castings taken from a worm farm, aside from this with the compost tea, be sure to adequately aerate the mixture to get the best results.

Best Organic Wetting Agent

A wetting agent should always be used so that the compost tea or liquid worm casting stick to the foliage otherwise the foliar sprays will remain large droplets and will restrict the absorption of the foliar fertilisers. Liquid worm casting brews and compost teas are used to boost feed your plants it is especially good for seedlings and should not be replaced with the annual complete fertilising of your daylily plants. The best wetting agent is milk I use 1 litre to a bucket of water, this will not burn your daylilies. It is easy to give your daylilies a boost in growth just by giving them a foliar feed with compost tea or liquid worm castings give it a try you will see it makes a big difference, daylilies respond well to foliar feeding sprayed on the daylilies as a fine mist.

The most important thing to remember is to use an organic wetting agent when using foliar compost teas as fertilisers for your daylilies.

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