Foliar Fertilizer

Foliar fertilizer is now an essential practice for standard agricultural and gardening techniques.  Some of the best resources of the 50-some minerals and elements that plants need come from the ocean.  Fish products are high in organic nitrogen.  Seaweed or kelp is a fabulous source of potassium and other minerals.  Sea algae offers hormones and trace elements and for cellular development.  The natural sea salt from all these resources contains even more trace elementsWhen natural ingredients are used, the microbes in the soil begin to flourish, and if it had not been taken for decades on the land, that single step toward naturally grown and organic gardening has been made.

Banner for garden and agricultural foliar fertilizers. Shows hen in pasture, barn, crop spraying, cows in pasture. Reads Made in USA. Our info at bottom.


When using a natural foliar fertilizer, tests have shown that it is up to ten times more effective than soil application.  

In fact, the roots are shown in research to hold most of the nutrients within the hour after foliar fertilizer fertigation.  That’s with the natural foliar feed.  Whether using all foliar applications or foliar supplementation, this is the way to compensate for soil deficiencies, drought withholding nutrients, flooding washing away the nutrients, and nutrients being locked in the soil, cold soil temperature and diseased root systems so there is no way for the soil to transfer nutrients to the plant.   When foliar fertilizers are sprayed in a very diluted solution, the sea minerals provide the nutrients needed by plants. 



Banner for store to products. Prices. Fish fertilizer, liquid bonemeal, liquid kelp seaweed, liquid lime.

AGGRAND liquid organic and all natural fertilizers were especially formulated to be used as foliar applications.  Several plant-specific fertilizers are not needed because AGGRAND organic was formulated from the ground up to be used by farmers and market growers and provide results.  In both NOP-certified and biobased formulas, as both a soil application and a foliar fertilizer, the 4-3-3 supplies the organic nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium (NPK) and sulfur macronutrients plus extra calcium, micronutrients, amino acids, plant growth hormones, humus and fulvic acids.  These are applied as soil fertilizers too, but they are very effective foliar fertilizers when applied during the time that the permeable pathway exists for nutrients to move through the surface of the leaf and into living tissues within the plant.  Read details below. Catalog and contact me with form.


The Liquid Kelp with Sulfate of Potash 0-0-8 is a potent supplement too and can be used complementary to the 4-3-3, as can the Liquid Bonemeal 0-12-0 and Liquid Lime.  These are combined in a single applications as called for by your soil needs and crop requirements.  Read more on both here……

Commercial Foliar Fertilizer Use


Residential Foliar Fertilizer Use

  1. When using a natural foliar fertilizer, tests have shown that it is up to ten times more effective than soil application.  
  2. Foliar Fertilizer – The inorganic research vs. organic
  3. Advantages and limitations of foliar application
  4. Organic Fertilizer Liquid Formulated for Foliar Feed and/or Soil Application
  5. Qualifications for fertilizer materials
  6. Upfront summary on AGGRAND and foliar fertilization
  7. Nitrogen foliar applications
  8. Potassium applications
  9. Phosphorous foliar applications
  10. Calcium foliar applications
  11. Sulfur applications
  12. Secondary and micronutrients, amino acids and plant-growth hormones through foliar applications
  13. Highlights for AGGRAND liquid fertilizer foliar feeding, then details below……
  14. How to apply foliar fertilizers in detail
  15. Water for foliar applications
  16. Dilution rates for foliar applications
  17. Increasing adhesion naturally with foliar applications
  18. Time and weather conditions to apply AGGRAND fertilizers to foliage
  19. Rates of absorption of fertilizer nutrients into the plant tissue – Spray both sides of leaves for better absorption.
  20. Applying AGGRAND fertilizers through irrigation systems
  21. Applying AGGRAND foliar fertilizers through field sprayers
  22. Vegetable crops – foliar fertilizers for corn, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce
  23. Using foliar applications on wheat and small grains
  24. Foliar spray on hay fields and pastures
  25. Foliar fertilizer for fruit orchards and fields
  26. Calcium foliar applications for fruit
  27. Soil application
  28. Soil and leaf analysis to decide if foliar fertilizers or soil applications are best for your crop per season
  29. Adjusting the pH in soil and leaf analysis
  30. Foliar application benefits to the soil and more…….

Foliar Fertilizer – The inorganic research vs. organic

The other side of the fence is that the concept of foliar fertilization using urea chemical fertilizer has been researched for several years.  Saying this is a concept, because it is not really food if not natural.  Unfortunately, test plots and research drafts for urea applications on corn and soybeans show the yields do not increase from using the chemical fertilizers for foliar feeding.

But the foliar fertilizer that is formulated from all natural organic ingredients reveals that plants are more efficient at taking in nutrients through their plant pores or stomata in their leaves than they can take in through root uptake.  AGGRAND liquid fertilizers make it happen safely for crops, family, natural resources, land, stock and wildlife.

Supplementing foliar nutrients with soil fertilization during the early life of a crop results in favorable responses that have been during flowering and slow growth periods.  One consideration is that many crop plants will have achieved their maximum leaf surface by flowering stage and thus have a marked decrease in metabolic activity and nutrient uptake by roots. Foliar applications of nutrients have proven especially beneficial for crops at flowering and on to fruit fill.

Applications of foliar nutrients to leaves of plants is a way to immediately stimulate diseased or stressed plants, gives an immediate boost when signs of pest are noted.  The health of the plant depends on nutrition and good soil, strength during drought, resistance to frost and cold.  A shot of nutrition that is taken in immediately is realized by plants and seen in their vigor right after.

Foliar feeding for garden plots and easy to apply crops can be done with a fine mist in high dilution every few weeks.  Farm crops and orchards can be done at intervals of growth or every month, whichever is preferred or easier in application.

Banner shows foliar fertilizer applies from cropsprayer plane, boom sprayer, orchard tank sprayer, backpack sprayer.

Advantages and limitations of foliar application

Does it even work to apply foliar fertilizers and expect nutrients to be absorbed by the plants?  It was proven to work when radioactive tagged nutrients were fed through the leaves at a University in Michigan State.  They proved that it is four to thirty times more effective by feeding a plant using foliar applications as far as the amount of nutrients necessary to do the same job – meaning less is more in foliar applications.  Plants eat it up and the root zone reveals the absorbed nutrients, in many nutrients within the hour, some take ten days or more.  More cost efficient is one advantage.


Fish extract products can control foliar diseases in organic blueberries – UGA Research To learn more about the research results of the study, “Fish Extracts for Integrated Disease, Insect and Fertility Management in Organic Blueberries,” visit the national SARE projects database and search by project number LS09-222.

More advantages and research at the end of page.

Disadvantages is the concern of plant damage.  Finding the foliar fertilizer that will be a gentle dilution and still a high rate of absorption is a goal.

concord grapes


Organic Fertilizer Liquid Formulated for Foliar Feed and/or Soil Application

Fertilizer that can be absorbed through the leaves without burning them is called a foliar feed.

Not all fertilizer products are formulated for foliar feeding. The issues are……

  • Burning plant leaves.
  • Salts in foliar fertilizers that remain on leaves after water is dry can damage leaves.
  • Chemical foliar fertilizers vs. organic fertilizers.  With the chemical oil-based fertilizers, it is easy to see why crop burn is a real threat and that the petro-base would not be friendly to the plant pores, especially new leaves.
  • Some foliar fertilizers can become phytotoxic, even though they are of natural substances.
  • Then there is the debate that micronutrients are all that are readily absorbed and many of those are not because they just don’t get absorbed. Really, who wants boron and other minerals hanging around on their crop leaves?
  • There is also the debate that foliar feeding is only effective because the fertilizer actually runs down to the soil.
  • Then there are so many products that claim they are true foliar fertilizers that will correct fertility problems, so the debate on this claim is a solid one.  Our opinion is fertility issues must be corrected by converting to an organically sustainable cropping system.

Nonetheless, the primary concern for growers who want to foliar feed is whether they are applying a true foliar-absorbed fertilizer.

Growers who understand how a foliar feed will benefit their crop or turf want the best, they want a natural feed that is economical. One that will induce a systemic acquired resistance in plants that can result in enhanced photosynthesis.  Because plants are fed through the leaves and roots and the microbial activity in the soil is stimulated, optimum plant responses are achievable when AGGRAND fertilizers are injected into irrigation systems, fed through boom sprayers, pull behind tanks and even backpack sprayers.  There is a course for every fertilizer need,, from hayfields to corn to lawns and gardens.

What you are looking for in a foliar feed is AGGRAND Liquid Fertilizers.  These are organic naturally, a solution for peace of mind and results.

From Midwest Labs Foliar Application Booklet…….

“The future for foliar feeding does not lie entirely, although it does in part, in achieving growth and yield responses above those that could be procured from the most effective soil fertilization program. The added convenience of applying nutrients in an all-purpose spray is a most attractive consideration. Precision control of nutrient levels independent of soil-imposed variables is another. There are also many quality factors, some real, others perhaps imaginary, associated with foliar feeding, of horticultural and plantation crops. Color transitions and greening of the foliage can occur within hours. Even though these color differences cannot always be translated immediately into yields, the improved appearance of the foliage is justification enough for many growers to continue with the practice. Results from foliar feeding may also be evidenced in the more difficult to define factors of fruit firmness, flavor, and coloration. There are reports of pickling cucumbers darker green in color, cherries with less cracking, strawberries that retain their size through the picking season, and black raspberries that do not dry up and crumble—resulting from the regular foliar application for soluble NPK + Mg fertilizers…….. The approach should be addition of only needed nutrients as revealed by soil and tissue tests and past crop performance.”

Qualifications for fertilizer materials

  • Low salt index: Damage to plant cells from high salt concentrations can be considerable, especially from nitrates and chlorides.
  • High solubility: Needed to reduce the volume of solution needed for application.
  • High purity: Needed to eliminate interference with spraying, solution compatibility, or unexpected adverse effects on foliage

Upfront summary on AGGRAND and foliar fertilization

AGGRAND is highly water soluble, highly pure and organic, and does not contain chlorides or nitrates.  Foliar feeding with AGGRAND has been proven through Productivity Studies to be up to 20 times more efficient than applying amendments to soil.

Plants need extra nutrients during transplanting, early growth and development, and at prebloom, early bloom and fruit formation.  Foliar applications are effective in situations where a soil chemistry imbalance, cold soils or low soil fertility limit the root uptake of nutrients.  Most plants respond to foliar applications when they are timed to coincide with seedling emergence (3-6 inches in in height after 2 to 4 true leaves have formed), 2-3 weeks before first bloom (legumes such as snap beans or soybeans), first bloom (tomatoes, cucumbers, melons), runnering (cucumbers, melons) cluster formation (tomatoes) and fruit fill (tomatoes, melons, cucumbers).  When AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer 4-3-3 and Natural Kelp and Sulfate of Potash 0-0-8 are applied before drought, frost, insect attack or the onset of disease-susceptible stages, the effects of the stress will be reduced or eliminated.  Foliar applications make that possible for any crop.  Use more concentrated fertilizer concentrations on heavy feeders and low fertility soils, but never exceed 4% because it could cause foliage damage. On sandy soils reduce the rate by one quarter to one-third and apply every 2-3 weeks.  Reduce by one-third and apply every 2 weeks for heavy feeders on sandy soil.  When applying AGGRAND products every week, split the application rate in half for a one percent (1%) dilution rate.

Banner for store to products. Prices. Fish fertilizer, liquid bonemeal, liquid kelp seaweed, liquid lime.

Nitrogen foliar applications

 Nitrogen is the one element that must be transitioned with AGGRAND fertilizers.  This is because the earthworm and microbial buildup over the seasons will increase and the nitrogen will be supplied naturally.  Until then, transition over from urea to AGGRAND nitrate nitrogen. “Nitrogen does not exist as a mineral element in the soil. It must be taken from the atmosphere, which is composed of approximately 78% nitrogen. However, plants cannot use atmospheric nitrogen until it is fixed into an available form such as ammonium or nitrate by free bacteria, algae in the soil and through symbiotic bacteria in nodules contained in the roots of legumes such as alfalfa and beans.  To round off a nitrogen fertility program, apply AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer 4-3-3 or Organic Series 4-3-3 in the row as a soil application at planting to stimulate microbial nitrogen fixation and provide nitrogen directly to the seedlings or transplants. According to plant requirements, continue applying AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer to the soil and leaves with foliar feeding throughout the season.”    But some crops, like apples, are sensitive to nitrogen applied at the stages of early development and prebloom, which may inhibit flowering and reduce fruit quality.  On these crops, it may be beneficial to substitute AGGRAND Natural Kelp and Sulfate of Potash 0-0-8.

Potassium applications

Foliar applications of AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer 4-3-3, Organic Series 4-3-3, and AGGRAND Natural Kelp and Sulfate of Potash 0-0-8 will supply potassium directly through the leaves. Apply when plants are 3-6 tall, at prebloom and again during fruit fill. Use the same rates as banded applications; dilute into a 1-4% solution with water, and apply as a fine mist with enough mixture to thoroughly cover the leaves.

Phosphorous foliar applications

AGGRAND Liquid Bonemeal 0-12-0 and AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer supply phosphorus.  Though these are most effective for phosphorous supplementation when banded at planting, the fertilizer applications are also effective as foliar applications during early development and the prebloom stage. For foliar applications, apply AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer when plants are 3 to 6 inches tall.  Apply as a fine mist with enough fertilizer to cover the leaves. To stimulate prolific flowering through phosphorous, add AGGRAND Liquid Bonemeal as a fine mist.  For fruit production, use AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer 4-3-3 or Organic Series 4-3-3 in place of Liquid Bonemeal. See nitrogen for comments on crops.

Calcium foliar applications

If calcium levels are low, use bulk calcium amendments and apply AGGRAND products that supply calcium through foliar applications and banding in the row. AGGRAND Liquid Lime and Liquid Bonemeal both have high calcium levels. If calcium and phosphorus levels are low, or additional calcium and phosphorus is required (such as with tomatoes), use AGGRAND Liquid Bonemeal at planting in the row and as a foliar feed. If calcium is low and phosphorus is sufficient, or if additional phosphorus is not needed on crops such as hay, turf and pastures, apply AGGRAND Liquid Lime as a foliar feed to supply calcium.

Sulfur applications

Sulfur is provided through foliar applications on demanding crops such as alfalfa, beans, wheat, corn and cabbage. AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer and AGGRAND Natural Kelp and Sulfate of Potash contain usable amounts of sulfur in the sulfate form for foliar feeding of sulfur-hungry crops.

Secondary and micronutrients, amino acids and plant-growth hormones through foliar applications

Proper organic matter management is the best way to guarantee adequate availability of micronutrients.  The addition of compost and composted manures, used in conjunction with the application of AGGRAND products, meets the need for micronutrients. In order to supply sufficient amounts of organic matter to the soil, follow recommendations under organic matter.  AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer and Natural Kelp and Sulfate of Potash contain micronutrients. Adequate amounts of micronutrients can be supplied by using soil and foliar applications of these products according to the recommendations in the AGGRAND Soil Fertility Guide.  Should a micronutrient deficiency become apparent on a specific crop even after AGGRAND foliar applications, it may be necessary to use tissue analysis to determine where the deficiency lies. To correct a particular deficiency, a specific amendment can be applied (usually at very low levels compared to other amendments) to the foliage to correct the deficiency.

A Canadian university conducted studies that prove plants cannot effectively uptake most amino acids, hormones and complex carbohydrates through their roots. Foliar feeding is the only way for these flowering- and growth-stimulants to work.   Foliar fertilizers of the plant-growth hormones and amino acids defeat the plants balancing system system by flooding the plant’s system with the hormones and amino acids to allow for a temporary increase in growth and development.  Organic chelating agents that also include citric and malic acids, amino acids, phenolic acids, glucoheptonate and glucosylgycine have been shown to enhance secondary and micronutrient foliar absorption.   Supplying many of the secondary and micronutrient elements are the excellent sources of sulfates.  These are from highly soluble dry or wettable powder formulations or in solution form, and AGGRAND is a solution form. The effectiveness of micronutrient foliar applications will depends on multiple of two to four applications of low rate spray solutions that contain nitrogen at three to eight percent (3-8%N).  Secondary nutrients are the same requirement, though not as substantial in this as the micronutrients.

In part, from “Maximum Yield” Dec 2010. By Craig Gibble

Highlights for AGGRAND liquid fertilizer foliar feeding, then details below……

  1. To optimize results, apply AGGRAND products when plants need the extra nutrients.
  2. Never apply at greater than 3% dilution rate.
  3. Often, more often is better and at a lesser dilution, from 1 to 2%.
  4. Use a biodegradable wetting agent to maximize adhesion to the leaf surface.
  5. Spray both sides of the leaves.
  6. Adjust the pH of the fertilizer solution to maximize uptake and plant use efficiency.
  7. Apply AGGRAND products in the early morning or late evening.
  8. Do not apply before or after rainfall or irrigation.
  9. Do not apply during periods of direct sunlight.

How to apply foliar fertilizers in detail

When you are applying foliar fertilizers, to be considered is the dilution rate, adhesion, clogging of lines, absorption of nutrients by different fruit and vegetable crops, along with the permaculture applications on hayfield and pastures, and on wheat and small grains.  The different irrigation systems and application  tools are discussed, as well as AGGRAND application tips for liquid fertilizers like spraying both sides of the leaves for better absorption by the plants.  All covered below…..

Water for foliar applications

The quality of water used in foliar fertilization needs considered.  The pH, hardness, excess that could be in it from nitrates, sulfates, carbonates and iron.  With AGGRAND fertilizers, depending on the crop or permaculture, from 25 to 75 gallons of water per acre is required in foliar, cotton requiring 100 gallons per acre.  All that water adds a lot of undesirable substances if they are present in your source.

Dilution rates for foliar applications

For foliar applications of AGGRAND fertilizers, a one to three percent dilution (1-3%) rate is sufficient and safe.  This is 1.25 to 4 ounces of AGGRAND per gallon of water is sufficient for foliar applications. Because the foliage could get damaged, never exceed a 3% dilution rate.  Many growers apply the foliar spray several times each season.  In the AGGRAND Crop Guide several crops are given with recommendations on times to apply and amounts based on generally healthy soil conditions and plants.  If AGGRAND products are applied every week, split the application rate in half to a one percent (1%) dilution rate.

Increasing adhesion naturally with foliar applicationsAGGRAND liquid fertilizer specialist and CCA demonstrating backpack sprayer.

Spray both sides of the leaves for better absorption.  Effective foliar applications always depend on the maximum absorption of water soluble nutrients while avoiding evaporation and runoff.  Obtaining uniform coverage of foliar sprays and increasing adhesion of the spray to the leaf surface is done by adding a biodegradable wetting agent to the spray tank. A non-toxic, biodegradable vegetable oil-based product is recommended.  Mix according to the directions at a dilution rate of a two percent or a little less (1.5 to 2%).  This is two to three ounces per gallon (2 to 3 oz./gal) is usually recommended.  The oils and other adhesion agents best used with AGGRAND is a biodegradable vegetable oil surfactant (spreader-sticker) to maximize adhesion to the leaf surface.

Time and weather conditions to apply AGGRAND fertilizers to foliage

Meteorological sensitivity makes a difference in how plants take up a foliar application of fertilizers.  This is because plant tissue permeability is best in warm, moist and calm conditions.  Therefore, foliar applications are favored most in late evening hours after six, and occasionally in the early morning hours before nine o’clock.  The ideal temperature is 70 degrees, though from 65 to 85 will work.  The ideal humidity is greater than 70 percent with a 140 to 160 index.

Rainfall within 24 to 48 hours after a foliar application may reduce the application effectiveness, as not all nutrient materials are immediately absorbed into the plant tissue.

Rates of absorption of fertilizer nutrients into the plant tissue – Spray both sides of leaves for better absorption.

  • Nitrogen is absorbed and revealed in plant roots in 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Phosphorous in 5 to 10 days
  • Potassium in 10 to 24 hours
  • Calcium in 1 to 2 days
  • Magnesium in 2 to 5 hours
  • Sulfur in 8 days
  • Zinc and manganese in in 1 to 2 days
  • Iron and molybdenum in 10 to 20 days

Meteorological conditions and absorption rates from Midwest Labs Foliar Fertilizer Booklet

Applying AGGRAND fertilizers through irrigation systems

Reads 'learn more about commercial applications' and shows field being fertilized with irrigation standing equipment.Yes, AGGRAND foliar and soil applications can be done with irrigation systems, including solid set and center pivots.  Injection is often the easiest and most effective way to obtain optimum results.  With foliar, the dilution rate should be set at around two to three percent (2 to 3%).  Because plants are fed through the leaves and roots and the microbial activity in the soil is stimulated, optimum plant responses are achievable when AGGRAND fertilizers are injected into irrigation systems.  Transplant shock can be reduced when AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer and Natural Kelp and Sulfate of Potash are applied immediately after transplanting and an irrigation system makes for easier work.  Early plant growth and development of seeded crops can be maximized by applying AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer, Natural Kelp and Sulfate of Potash and Liquid Bonemeal once several true leaves have developed.

To apply AGGRAND fertilizers through irrigation systems, dilute the fertilizers with water in the mix tank. Depending on the volume of the mix tank, the fertilizer is diluted to different concentrations; 50% dilution is typical. Next, the mix is filtered through a 50-100 mesh filter before it is injected into the irrigation water. Depending on how often the fertilizer is applied, how much water is applied and the concentration of the fertilizer in the mix tank, the injection ratio varies between 25 to 1 and 200 to 1. The final dilution rate is between 0.25% and 2%.

The benefits of sprinkler system foliar applications of micronutrients may not always be evident. Nutrient concentrations in irrigation water are generally at such a low level that foliar feeding through sprinkler systems is not effective. But crop responses to micronutrient foliar application does supply a quick-fix or rescue treatment in severe cases and may show favorable results in the response of micronutrients because the sprinkler application thoroughly wets the entire plant to increase probability of foliar absorption of nutrients.  Water that flows off the plants and downward concentrates nutrients for root uptake.


Applying AGGRAND foliar fertilizers through field sprayers

Image of a boom sprayer on pasture.These are tips from AGGRAND in using the standard field sprayers.   Soil and foliar application tips are available at AGGRAND too.
  1. Use Tee Jet Turbo Flood-Jet® nozzles, the ones that will produce extra-coarse droplets.
  2. The light green 7.5 and the XRC polymer one-piece nozzle are choices.
  3. Always remove nozzle screens to reduce clogging.
  4. The self-cleaning line strainers or by-pass filters will recirculate particulates until they are broken down by agitation and pump sheering action.  This is especially useful when applying AGGRAND Liquid Bonemeal and Liquid Lime as foliar sprays.
  5. All line strainers for the by-pass and in-line should be placed on the output side of the pump to maximize pressure and flow in the system.
  6. Boom-type high clearance ground sprayer pressures range from 80-120 pounds per square inch.  Aerial spraying pressures minimum is 75 pounds per square inch.

If one nozzle is producing too little or too much volume, then replace the nozzle with one that was checked for accuracy at a different point on the boom. If it is still inconsistent then check boom nozzle outlets for starving that is resulting from a reduction in pressure.


Vegetable crops – foliar fertilizers for corn, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce

Every link to a vegetable crop in the AGGRAND Crop Guide will detail foliar applications.  Also read more in the AGGRAND Gardening Guide.   Booklet cover shows wheat, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, hay, golf course, potatoes and beans.

We will use beans for the example:::: “Make sure the soil has been inoculated with the correct Rhizobium bacteria to maximize nitrogen fixation. Under most soil conditions a pre-plant application of AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer in combination with one or two foliar applications of either AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer or AGGRAND Natural Kelp and Sulfate of Potash is an adequate supplement. A banded application of AGGRAND Natural Liquid Bonemeal or AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer may be beneficial on cold, wet soils or soils that are low in nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium.

Foliar Applications per-acre mix ratio: 1 gallon AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer to 40 gallons of water. Apply as a fine mist with enough solution to thoroughly cover leaves (increase spray volume as crop develops to ensure thorough coverage).  If sufficient nitrogen is present (indicated by dark green leaves), substitute 1 quart AGGRAND Natural Kelp and Sulfate of Potash and 20 gallons of water. Perform first application when plants are 3-5” in height.  Repeat two to three weeks before first bloom when tiny hairs on the terminal leaves give plants a shiny appearance.  A third application to fresh-market green beans before the second flush of blooms stimulates the development of pods during late summer and early fall.

Using foliar applications on wheat and small grains

Per-acre mix ratio: 1 gallon AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer, 1 gallon AGGRAND Natural Liquid Lime and 75 gallons of water. Apply as a fine mist to thoroughly cover foliage. Apply in spring, after green-up and at tillering.  2 gallons AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer and 75 gallons of water. Applied as a foliar application at flag leaf, before heading (boot-up). Add 0.5 gallons AGGRAND Natural Kelp and Sulfate of Potash to the mix to enhance grain quality.  Low organic matter levels in soils can be gradually improved by incorporating crop residues into the soil.

Foliar spray on hay fields and pastures

Mix 1 gallon AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer, 1 gallon AGGRAND Liquid Bonemeal, 1 quart AGGRAND Kelp and Sulfate of Potash and 75 gallons of water. Apply as a fine mist with enough solution to thoroughly cover leaves. Perform first application in spring when plants are 4 to 6 inches in height. Adjust solution according to soil fertility.  Repeat application when crop begins to regrow (4 to 6 inches in height) and after each cutting or grazing (on rotationally grazed pastures.) Perform two to three applications per year. If soil testing indicates moderate to high phosphorus levels or low calcium levels, substitute AGGRAND Liquid Lime for AGGRAND Liquid Bonemeal.  Rates vary according to soil fertility, cropping history and other inputs that are applied. Two or three lighter applications may be more effective than one or two heavier applications. If other constraints allow only one trip over the field, do not exceed a 3 percent dilution rate (3 gallons AGGRAND to 97 gallons of water.)  To reduce susceptibility to attack of insects and disease-causing organisms, apply a per-acre mixture of 1 to 2 gallons AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer or 1 quart AGGRAND Kelp and Sulfate of Potash and 35 gallons of water when signs of infestation become apparent.

AGGRAND HAY PRODUCTIVITY STUDY “Results of a three-year AGGRAND hay study indicate the application of AGGRAND products increases hay yield and relative feed value (RFV). RFV is a measure of feed quality commonly used in marketing livestock forages, especially alfalfa hay. The study shows an average increase in yield of more than 10 percent, while laboratory analysis reveals a 16 percent increase of RFV in the hay that was fertilized with AGGRAND products.” Many farms have shared their AGGRAND experiences in hay and alfalfa and pasture yields. Read more on foliar applications at our Farm Fertilizer Results page……

Foliar fertilizer for fruit orchards and fieldsFruit fertilizer - images are orchards, raspberries, blueberries and black raspberries, greenhouse tomatoes plus the AGGRAND liquid fertilizers. Reads: LIQUID FERTILIZERS FORMULATED FOR FOLIAR FEED AND SOIL APPLICATIONS ORGANIC SERIES 4-3-3 ALL NATURAL 4-3-3 ORGANIC KELP BONEMEAL & LIME PRICES & INFO Totes, drums, pails, units. AGGRAND fertilizers are seldom sold in stores. Choose retail prices, PC wholesale prices or commercial business use. Click for store.

In fruit fertilization, potassium is one nutrient that will easily be absorbed into the above ground parts of the plant.The oils, waxes, hairs and charged surfaces restrict many nutrients from entering fruit leaves and surfaces.

Calcium foliar applications for fruit

While there may be hesitation in applying a foliar fertilizer application of calcium every month or so during fruit development, the cost makes the difference between a poor harvest and a highly successful crop that builds business and family larders.  Calcium is what minimizes post harvest fruit disorders like bitterness, blossom end rot, hollow fruit,  short shelf life.

The calcium foliar applications on pears and apples need to be repeated often each season.  This is because only a small amount of the calcium enters the fruit tissue.  But the calcium foliar feed is best for fruit because transport by the tree or plants from roots to the fruit and soft tissue is so limited.

Other reasons to foliar feed fruit trees is if the soil pH is limiting nutrient uptake.  Ground fertilizers are a waste, the nutrients like calcium being locked into the soil.  Foliar fertilizers are an answer that cut costs and get the food where it belongs, into creating the new seasons fruit.

Other reasons for root health issues that would be a deciding factor in choosing foliar applications for fruit trees are…..

  1. transplant diseases,
  2. soil compacted,
  3. not enough organic matter in soil,
  4. crown rot,
  5. rodent damage,
  6. and water logged roots.

Zinc uptake deserves special attention. In our soils zinc is largely immobile and it is difficult to supply roots with adequate amounts of available Zn. As a result of limited soil availability, zinc is applied as a foliar spray. Research has shown that only a small amount of Zn can be taken up by leaves, however foliar applications are still more successful than soil applied Zn.

Soil application

Root health and growth are not restricted when the soil pH is in neutral or higher. Nutrients are able to be absorbed by the fruit tree.  This is when the soil applications of fertilizers can be more efficient than foliar sprays. A soil and leaf analysis will determine problems.

Soil and leaf analysis to decide if foliar fertilizers or soil applications are best for your crop per season

Use a soil analysis through Midwest Labs to  determine your orchard or field pH, taking several samples around the orchard for the same crop areas and mixing them in a bucket for your median pH.  Do this when soil is relatively dry and not in old barn or brush pile areas.  Also a leaf tissue sample can be done to determine other macro- and micro-nutrients that are needed through foliar fertilization.  The Midwest Labs soil analysis is very detailed.

Midwest Lab booklet on Foliar Fertilizer Applications


When ordering your soil analysis, please give our ID number  Adams ZO1755968R (R for referral) so the tests will be sent to not only to you, but to us and the AGGRAND Certified Crop Advisor.  Your recommendations from AGGRAND will be forthcoming, along with help in budgeting your fertilizer needs from season to season.

Adjusting the pH in soil and leaf analysis

As the soil pH drops to acidic – and below 7.0 is acidic – calcium availability decreases.  Adding agricultural lime or AGGRAND liquid lime to the soil increases pH and calcium over time.

Foliage burn is caused by a high concentration of fertilizer salts of nitrates and chlorides, not by low pH in the fertilizer solution. Low pH fertilizer foliar solutions have been shown to increase the absorption rate of fertilizer materials.  That is why the efficiency in uptake depends on the pH level.

You want a level of 6.5 or so though there are determining factors.

To optimize uptake and plant use efficiency, adjust the pH of the fertilizer solution to the proper level for the particular growth stage. Adjust the spray mix pH to less than 6.5 to promote vegetative growth; adjust to 7-7.4 to promote flower, seed and fruit formation.

Use baking soda, hydrated lime or calcium nitrate to raise the pH, or use apple cider vinegar to lower the pH.  Because it is a calcium boost for the sake of higher pH, AGGRAND produces the most balanced chemistry.  Calcium nitrate works best with AGGRAND Natural Fertilizer.  When using baking soda, do not use more than one tablespoon per gallon of the fertilizer mixture because it will add too much sodium.   Test the solution with litmus paper, which is made to test both acidic and alkaline solutions.  Until comfortable with the process of adjusting spray pH, use only a small amount of the spray solution adjusting agent at a time before retesting the pH.

Foliar application benefits to the soil and more…….

There are not enough research results to even begin to prove the foliar application benefits, but one makes more sense just because it is logical.  The foliar eventually ends up in the root zone,e either through runoff or absorption by the plant.  Plants exude more sugars and other growth compounds into their root zone when given nutrients from foliar applications. Microbial activity at the root zone begins and enhances the uptake of nutrients from the soil. This is a major secondary benefit of foliar spraying.  Also boosting chlorophyll with foliar nutrition enhances photosynthesis feeding by the plant and there are more beneficial microbes which deliver even more nutrients.

Garden Fertilizer
Farm Fertilizer
Fruit Fertilizer
  • Tukey, Wittwer, Teubner, McCall and Long 1956 – Nutrients into plants through stem, leaf, fruit, proven through radioactive isotopes. Research….. Progress in Nuclear Energy Biological Sciences Six, pages 106-114.  McGraw-Hill, New York and Permagon Press, London;  International Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, Vol. 12: 138-148. United Nations, New York;  American Society for Horticultural Science.