Roots, roots, and more roots. People everywhere love posting photos of their plants with these impressive root masses. Beyond the eye catching pictures healthy roots are essential to growing and greatly influence plant health. The roots are responsible for water and nutrient absorption but there is more than one way to feed a plant. Let’s take a look at foliar feedings and the bacteria that lives on the leaf surface.
Foliar feeding is another technique used to deliver nutrients to plants. The solution is sprayed onto the plant and absorbed through the leaves and stems. Some growers may stay far away from this practice because of concerns over taste and smell. While on the other had some cultivators may foliar feed throughout the entire growth cycle. It doesn’t matter what side of the coin you’re on the facts are simple, plants can benefit from foliar feedings. To put it in perspective some crops in agriculture will receive up to half of their nutrients from foliar feedings, in some cases it can be more. The debate can go on and on about feedings and the proper applications, but let’s shift the spotlight to the bacteria.
Inoculation with photosynthetic and root colonizing bacteria. Designed to solubilize nutrients in the soil and on the leaf surface.
We already understand that in the soil there are billions upon billions of microbes. Did you know that there can be just as many on the surface of a leaf? While everyone has their own concoction, whether it be a compost tea or a home brewed secret sauce, these mixtures go down into the soil. With each application you are feeding the plant, but at the same time providing a continual food source for the soil bacteria. Maintaining the soil microbes will help release the nutrients tied up in the soil. I would not recommend spraying the leaves with a compost tea or a homebrew, but rather a simple fertilizer solution with a few select ingredients. One essential ingredient for this mixture is Fulvic acid or a product from our Wisdom Line “Soul.” Fulvic acid is nature’s ultimate chelator, an organic acid capable of binding to the nutrients solubilized by the bacteria on the leaf’s surface. Fulvic acid plays an important role in the delivery process for this application. It is a transport molecule that can bind itself to just about any nutrient source. By adding this organic acid to your feeding mixture, you have made your nutrient solution that much more available. If you did not use Fulvic acid most of the nutrients and minerals sprayed would be washed away.
Some of the microbes that are present on the leaf’s surface can be beneficial such as Bacillus spp., and Streptomyces spp. These beneficial microbes assist with breaking down nutrients in the soil and can do the same on the surface of a leaf. Feeding the bacteria on the leaf surface helps from a nutritional standpoint but there are other benefits that we cannot see with the human eye. Some of these airborne pathogens like Botrytis spp.(grey mold), take some time to establish themselves. By maintaining a healthy population of microbes on the leaf surface the plant can have a better chance of resisting a disease. For example a healthy population of microbes will be highly competitive. With high competition a pathogen has less of a chance to survive.
Root prorogation using a unique custom soil agar formulated by HyKreations.
In the meantime, if you are wondering what bacteria to spray let me tell you. It is recommended to use pure cultures or single specie inoculants. This will help monitor the effects on the plant and recognize the bacteria responsible for those changes. A safe way to introduce beneficials is to use products that have had their species tested and identified by a 3rd party. Having these tests done ensure the purity of the product and what’s on the label is actually in the jug. No offence to anyone who uses a compost tea, but as a scientist I cannot add microbes to my garden unless I know the species of bacteria that’s going down. Here’s why, although compost tea may provide a diverse population of bacteria to the system, none of those species are identified. Not only that, some of the microbes growing in the compost tea may be harmful to humans such as E. coli, Salmonella spp., and Listeria spp. Using beneficial microbes is an excellent practice and a solid start to eliminating pesticide usage on cannabis. Reducing the use of pesticides makes our medicine safer for all patients.
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HyKreations is a Scientific Solutions company offering Microbials, Fertilizers, Consulting, and Writing Services. HyKreations is located in Goodyear, AZ and can be reached at: 602-527-5678 (Derex) or 602-527-3767 (Anthony). Check out our website at www.hykreations.com, visit our Facebook page @HyKreations, and give us a follow and a like on Instagram @hykreations_az.