The Facts of Foliar Fertilization
If you’re a superintendent, you’re familiar with foliar fertilization. By going beyond the soil and putting nitrogen directly into the plant, foliar nitrogen applications are more efficient than traditional soil application. In foliar fertilization, small amounts of nutrients are applied directly to the leaf surface. This process is much different from traditional application in which only the soil is treated.
At Trigon Turf Sciences, we love using new technology to overcome old problems. As experts in the field of turf management, we also want to keep you informed about important scientific studies. Read on to find out about a recent study about foliar fertilization conducted by the University of Illinois.
The Foliar Fertilization Study
The study, using Pennlinks creeping bentgrass, found that the foliar feeding of nitrogen at proper spray volumes is more effective than soil application of nitrogen. The study sought to answer the following questions: How quickly is nitrogen absorbed by the leaf, how does spray volume affect uptake and what happens to uptake when other ingredients are added to the spray tank?
In the University of Illinois study, 6–34% of foliar-applied nitrogen was taken up by the bentgrass leaf. Any materials added to the tank mix had no noticeable effect on the nitrogen uptake. In fact, the only treatment variable that affected nitrogen uptake was the spray volume. According to the study, spray volume should be kept as low as practical to maximize foliar uptake.
All in all, foliar feeding is the most efficient method for fertilizing your turf. It introduces the nutrients directly into the plant, bypassing the soil. Skip soil application and treat the leaf instead — you’ll get better results without wasting time.
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