I have never had good results from foliar with chemical fertilizers. I had tried in the passed and never used them again. I had heard good results from others. But also IMO when growing “synthetic” one really doesn’t want to increase wet time on foliage. The Plant in that system will have less tolerance/defense capabilities to fight incoming spores.
Recently(in the last year) I started using aerated compost teas. With thermal compost as the catalyst. (Also earth worm casting and adding various ingredients from there. But simple. Only one or two per brew after the composts)
There is studies being done currently around the topic of these teas suppressing powdery mildews or in the least as a preventative treatment.
The findings I heard was that it changes the surface conditions of the leaf and fills its with microbiology that will fight off or eat or out compete the spores from fungal pathogens.
Long story short I tried this one my tomatoes last summer which had blight on them already. (I grow them vertical vines in 20-50 gallon containers) mulch+compost+promix base soil
(Started season with chemicals. Drove them into deficiencies and ph problems, couple weeks hybrid, then switched 100% to compost, AACT, and the results are amazing. Plants corrected problems with ph automatically. (Tea reads 8.0 ish)
Yields increased. More flowers per cluster etc.
not to mention the plants that were foliar sprayed regularly still grew after a few frosts. (New flower clusters after a frost, with minimal damage to flower, unlike damaged flowers from rain in summer? During chemical growth)
In terms of how often. I commonly water every water with some kind of aerated tea.
Base with earth worm castings or compost.
Add kelp meal or alfalfa etc. but keep it simple. We need the microbiology not the ingredients.
I sprayed the tomatoes foliage up to everyday, in the heat of 33*c at 2pm. Just to see what could go wrong. It doesn’t. As long as the tea is aerobic and done correctly. It only helps the Plant.
Some heavy alfalfa teas can burn foliage. (On a sumac and hydrangea) raspberries really didn’t like the heavy bacterial teas or soils created from it.
For the cannabis I use the AActs up till mid flowering or when the flowers are starting to get dense and there’s a chance that proper drying may not occur.
If I got a problem I would spray farther if needed.
Treating the soil does take a while (10-12 days I’ve read?)
I’ve heard on some podcasts that if teas are applied to late then the microbial testing can be affected. This applies also for organic food production.
Based on dr Elaine inghams research this is not applicable to soil web grown bioculture as much as some bacteria in anaeraboic conditions.
Always try to spray foliage with the longest drying time possible after. And if possible not in the direct heat or intense light.
Otherwise spray just before lights on and have good air movement always.
Using things like aloe in the tea will allow everything to stick better to plant surfaces.
“Surfactant” is what we added to chemical sprays.
Coverage is the most important thing.
Nitrogen seems to be improved very quickly with alfalfa. I’m reading into the benefits of kelp meals, diataceous earth(silica), plant teas etc.
Molasses has some things as well. In terms of uptake in mineral form I’m not sure through foliage. I use it for defense. And feeding the soil.
But with the use of bacteria instead of chelates, nutrients are available to plants much easier. There seems to be some use but that’s just my observation and have not done enough to compare. Maybe this summers.
I have never rinsed my plants unless the kelp meal sat on the leaves or chunks of any matter. But once dried it rubbs/falls off easily.
Most people defoliate, IMO a little later of good microbes is ok to block some light.
They help with heat stress also. As does aloe I believe and aloe also has enzymes that are beneficial as well as acting as a surfactant. As are sprout teas, plant teas.
Mammoth P is said to have microbes that can tolerate the swings of conditions we deal with. Because the compost microbiology cannot. So I just always add more to be sure.
It’s not salt. :). I haven’t leached,flushed or ph this last run. :).
Just did foliar application two day old cannabis seedlings under 200-250 ppfd. Tried on one day tomato seedlings in halide room but only 50ppfd. Tomatoes stayed darker green. Otherwise no difference. The LED on seedlings may be slightly bright at that height.
Not suggested till first true leaf I’ve heard. So far haven’t seen any issues.