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Hydro 101 with Deonna Marie: Foliar vs Soil Feeding for Hydroponic Growing

  • Written by  Deonna Marie
  • Video
What is the best way to give nutrients to your plants? What is the best way to give nutrients to your plants?

 

The art of foliar feeding has given rise to questions asked by growers for many years. Plants have roots for absorption of water and nutrients, right? And plants have leaves made for photosynthesis, right? So here's the question: can leaves really absorb water and nutrients just as well as soil? Today we’re going to explore the pros and cons of both foliar feeding and soil feeding, so that you can decide which method best suits your growing style best.

Foliar feeding can be one of the easiest ways to increase your yield, improve the overall quality of your crop, and speed up the veg process. You need to prepare a tea of worm castings, fish emulsion, bat guano, or which ever other plant food you deem right for the job, and feed it to your plants in vegetative and early flowering stages.

Foliar feeding is not recommended for late flowering for the plain fact that you would then be ingesting the sprayed-on nutes after harvest. You will want to stop foliar feeding about two to three weeks before harvesting. Make sure to clean your plants’ leaves with water every week to prevent clogging the leaves, and feed every other day. A disadvantage to foliar feeding is that it is not recommended during the late flowering stage. So once you hit the flowering stage, I would suggest switching to soil feeing. Other than that, foliar feeding is a great technique that can definitely improve your yields.

I like to experiment with all the latest trends and technology in the growing world because you never know when you'll stumble onto some great new growing technique that will improve your overall quality and yield.

Soil feeding is the most common way to feed your plants, and also one of the easiest. When plants are grown in soil, the soil can either contain some of the nutrients the plants needs, or you can add organic nutrients directly to the soil If you have never grown in soil, it is as simple as mixing up the nutrients of your choice in a watering container and feeding . You will follow the same feeding regimen all the way to harvest, which is a lot easier than switching from foliar feeding to soil feeding once your plants hit the bloom stage.

When plants are grown in a hydroponic system, the water contains a mixture of nutrients that feed the roots directly. The disadvantage to soil feeding is that it's easy to overfeed your crop, causing your plants stress and possible burning. You also risk nutrient lockout if you’re using too many nutrients. Nevertheless, it's the most common way to grow.

Now it's up to you to decide which method best fits your growing style. Or try out a new technique; you never know what you’re missing out on until you do. I like to experiment with all the latest trends and technology in the growing world because you never know when you'll stumble onto some great new growing technique that will improve your overall quality and yield. That's it for this installment of Hydro 101. Until next time, grow big or go home.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 13 November 2012 16:38

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