Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners


                There are tidbits all over the Internet about Foliar. Some of us are new to raising vegetables assuming that everyone already knows about, how, how often and shelf life. Like iron do we need to change the type of iron depending upon the ph level?  Do we use the same mixture for everything?

                I have worm tea that comes from a hose bib in the worm farm. So I understand the original term comes from compost put in a strainer like a teabag.

                My first goal is with tomatoes that are straining through the Nitrate spike from the cycling process. Note: could not find pure ammonia so I am trying to complete the cycling without it, probably a bad idea. My next attempt with the new system I will get a cycling kit. 

Views: 624

Replies to This Discussion

For foliar feeding, you can follow the instructions on the product.  Maxicrop seaweed extract can be used for foliar feeding.  Type of Iron depending on pH is really to do with adding it to the system water, when spraying it as a foliar feed, just make sure it is very dilute to avoid staining or burning the plants.  Or I often just use a spoon full of molasses in a gallon of water as a nice foliar feed.  Be sure not to spray when the plants will get burned by it.  You want to make sure the plants will have time to dry before they will be in full sun.  I usually spray in the evening since I can have a little more light to work by where as if I spray in the morning I have to get up before dawn.

As to the worm tea, the stuff that dribbles out of the bottom of a worm farm is not worm tea, it is leachate and may or may not be good or harmful to your plants.  For worm tea, you want to take finished worm castings and put them in water with a sugar or molasses and an air bubbler.  Bubble it for 2-3 days and strain into your sprayer and use quickly (do not leave sit in your sprayer more than a day or all the good bacteria will be dieing off.)

Ya know, there is a natural free way to obtain ammonia for cycling.  Look up pee ponics.

Thank you

But I have read that Hummonia has to sit for 2 weeks before used or it will cause a major spike.

It appears that cycling will complete without the presence of ammonia.

My nitrites are now down to 2 from what I figured was way off the chart at 200.

I only like foliar feeding with 'food' i.e things we eat. The plants will absorb whatever you spray onto the plant. It puts the nutrients much closer to the parts of the plants that can use it. You also don't have to worry about other 'things' competing for the nutrients compared to root absorption. for a very brief intro to those who aren't familiar with the term.

Foliar is a good way to address specific nutrient deficiencies.

I like molasses, apple cider vinegar & generic cola for my foliar feedings.

Molasses is high in iron and other good stuff.

Apple Cider Vinegar is high in Potassium and has lots of other good stuff as well.

Generic Cola that has Phosphoric Acid (check the label, not all do) is high in Phosphorus.

Put these three into a bottle, water down, spray on leaves. When combined with the nitrogen from the fish, You've got a good NPK plus iron that isn't affected by the water PH.

I find that my plants tend to be low in calcium even though I have a few handfuls of shells tossed into the media. I use milk to address this. Calcium Lactate is the most available form of calcium. I don't foliar spray this as I've got whole milk for my kids and the fats on the leaves concern me. I don't know if it's a valid concern, but I just rinse out my jugs into the AP system. The water clouds up a bit for a few days (small system) and the lettuce loose any bitterness in about 2-3 days.

Epson Salts are good for fruits. It's also known as 'Liquid Sunshine'. The magnesium helps with blooms I guess.  

That's all I've got - which I learned from a local 'dirt farmer' who loves telling me how aweful AP is. **grin**

Cycling without an ammonia source...interesting concept, keep us posted...

Foliar feeding can be a good way to supplement certain plant essential elements, or correct certain deficiencies. Some (visual manifestations) deficiencies are easy to correct with a foliar solution (like iron), while others are very difficult (like magnesium or calcium). So sometimes it's best to not wait until a deficiency makes itself manifest. Either get into a good and regular foliar feeding regime, or make sure you have enough of the plant essential elements present in solution in your system water...

Foliar feeding is great, but it certainly has it's limitations, and some plants are more difficult to feed foliar than others. My Tuscan Kale for example, has this Madame Tussaud-like outer wax layer going on. It makes the surface of the leaves ridiculously penetration is almost nil. 

And you REALLY WANT TO FOLLOW MANUFACTURES INSTRUCTIONS when foliar feeding anything that you've bought. Be aware "teaspoons in gallons" is a piss poor instruction set and rarely will a serious or halfway decent manufacturer write their instructions in that way. Solution strengths listed on the instructions are usually given in % , EC (in micro Seimens) or mg/L. You will likely fuck your plants up right quick by using the old "umm...I'll just toss some in the sprayer and see what happens..." 

A decent gram scale comes in quite handy for measuring out trace or micro elements like iron.

Jay said:

Thank you

But I have read that Hummonia has to sit for 2 weeks before used or it will cause a major spike.

It appears that cycling will complete without the presence of ammonia.

My nitrites are now down to 2 from what I figured was way off the chart at 200.


 Interesting my system completed cycling without ammonia being added and my Buddy's system sat with water in the FT for 4 weeks than planted and started cycling for 2 weeks. He did not keep records, but when I tested it after 6 weeks Nitrates and Nitrites were zero so we added Fish.  So far doing good.

It isn't about having 0 nitrates and nitrites before adding fish but what happens after the fish are added.  Did the ammonia spike after fish were added and starting to be fed?

It is possible for the bacteria to start colonizing even without excessive ammonia dosing but if you simply have water circulating around a tank and bed for several weeks that doesn't necessarily mean you can just add as many fish as you want and start feeding them as much as they will eat without expecting to see ammonia and nitrite spikes that could kill the fish.

Ok we are watching closely and checking chemicals daily, watching for spikes.

You are correct The system that just sat for 4 weeks is going through the nitrite spike now with fish. Good thing there are only 5 fish. 


© 2023   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service