Water and Weather

Many might wonder what the title has to do with plant nutrition... Well, quit simply put it means everything!!!  Water is not only something that you give your plants when they look parched or “wilty” or even tired. Water is the very essence of a plant’s being. Plants are 90% water which is used in the formation of food.* So it should be no surprise when I say that water is a very critical part to nourishing your plants. You can use fertilizer at the ground, a nutritional on the leaves of the plant, but water is still needed to provide the most optimal nutritional uptake.

Just recently I was asked about weather and if it affected the spraying of my company’s nutritional products. The answer is YES. Weather does affect the application of nutritional products, or any other fertilizer for that matter. Mother Nature has a way of making sure that our success is determined by whether or not we are paying attention to what she is throwing at us. We all know it would make little sense to apply a foliar product in the rain, or even worse in the middle of a hot day, because it would wash away or burn spots on the plant. The latter reminds me of when I was a little boy and tried to burn ants with a magnifying glass.  Here are a few points to think about deciding when to spray foliar products:

  • Rapid evaporation impairs the nutritional uptake because the water will evaporate too quickly from the application mix.  For effective nutritional assimilation you would then need to reapply the product, or add more water.
  • The heat of the day can also cause issues as well. Liquids at 120 degrees will burn, and that means the plants would be scorched if applying water during the heat of the day.
  • Many commercial operations spray at night because of the temperatures tend to be lower, which minimizes evaporation and helps ensure that their plants are getting everything they need.
  • Early morning and dusk applications are also recommended. Spraying in the morning may be the best time of day because there is enough time for the plant to absorb what it needs while the slowly rising temperatures allow for effective evaporation of the excess water. Thus, minimizing the chances of mold, fungus and disease pressure.