What Is Foliar Spray?
Foliar spray refers to the use of chemicals or other means to kill weeds before they reach the plants. There are many types of chemical sprays available today. Some sprays have been around for decades while others were developed only recently. They all work in some way and will all do their job in killing your tomato plants.
The main difference between them is the type of herbicide used. Herbicides come in different strengths and applications. A weaker one may not kill all the weeds but it will make them very difficult to grow again.
You want to avoid using strong herbicides because they can damage your plant’s leaves and cause other problems such as stunting growth or even death.
There are two basic types of herbicides: those that contain glyphosate (Roundup) and those that don’t. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup which is the most common type of herbicide used on fruits and vegetables. Other commonly used herbicides include 2,4-D (2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid), dicamba (2,3-dichloropropyl) and atrazine (Toluene).
Foliar sprays have a long history in growing plants. Many people have used them to get rid of aphids on roses. In fact, it is common for most homeowners to use a combination of both a neem oil and pyrethrin mixture along with an insecticidal soap to kill off the aphids that damage their beloved flower gardens.
The mixture can be either sprayed on the leaves or poured in the soil so that it reaches the roots.
Foliar sprays are a great way to ward off pests on your plants. They can be used alone against aphids and other small insects or mixed with other chemicals to kill larger insects such as caterpillars and grubs. They can also be used to cure fungal diseases such as powdery mildew or rust.
Foliar sprays are very precise when it comes to the application on the leaves. They are directly absorbed through the leaves and into the plant. Most of these sprays are only effective on actively growing plants although some pesticides are systemic, they can still be absorbed by the leaves and move throughout all parts of a plant.
When spraying any type of chemical on your plants you need to consider if you want to get rid of a specific pest or fungus. If you do, then you need to make sure that the chemical you use will not harm your plants or vegetables. Knowing a little bit about each of the ingredients can help you choose the best type and brand of spray.
It is important to know that there are some chemicals that should never be used on any plants. Some common household cleaners fall into this category. Cleaning products such as oven cleaner, lye, Drain-O and ammonia are among these chemicals.
Also, be careful with any product that contains the word “Diazinon”. This is a powerful chemical that can kill any plant in seconds. Always look at (and if possible smell) any chemical before you use it on your plants.
The three most common types of sprays are: Granular, liquid and soluble powder. With each type there are different advantages and disadvantages. Most people use granular to kill weeds.
Liquid is used to kill larger pests such as slugs and snails while soluble powders can be used on a wider range of plants.
When applying a spray it is important not to over-apply the chemical to your garden. Most of these sprays will have instructions telling you how much to apply per square foot.
It is best to apply the spray in early morning or late afternoon when most of the plants are not in full sun. This will help prevent the leaves from burning and will also keep the leaves from losing too much moisture. However, if you need to apply the spray in a day that has extreme heat, it is best to do it early in the day before the sun is at its peak.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effect of γFe2O3 nanoparticles on photosynthetic characteristic of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.): foliar spray versus soil amendment by D Alidoust, A Isoda – Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 2013 – Springer
Substrate biofortification in combination with foliar sprays of plant growth promoting bacteria and humic substances boosts production of organic tomatoes by FL Olivares, NO Aguiar, RCC Rosa, LP Canellas – Scientia Horticulturae, 2015 – Elsevier
The use of compost extract as foliar spray nutrient source and botanical insecticide in Telfairia occidentalis by WB Akanbi, TA Adebayo, OA Togun… – World Journal of …, 2007 – researchgate.net
Micronutrients (Fe, Mn, Zn) foliar spray for increasing salinity tolerance in wheat Triticum aestivum L. by MM El-Fouly, ZM Mobarak… – African Journal of Plant …, 2011 – academicjournals.org