28 May 2020
Farming season is in full swing across the country. I cannot believe the weather in my town. A few weeks ago we had snow for two full days and now it is 30 degrees almost every day! With some help from the rain, we will start to see our plants poking up from the ground.
As they poke their heads up from the ground, it is time to begin walking the fields and paying attention to the plants’ needs. Personally, this is my favourite time of the year! Over the last 17 years I have walked fields across North America with so many great people and so many friends. So many different crops being grown, and everyone is working hard to raise the best crops; seeing growth exploding from the ground daily, warm weather, cold drinks and time spent outdoors. Walking the fields and seeing great, healthy plants popping up is just the cherry on top of the cake.
Speaking of walking in the fields, I recently purchased a new home with my wife, Anna. When she arrived here from Germany, she could not believe the amount of grass on everyones’ property. “We certainly cannot eat it and we do not own cows…why do we have so much grass” she said. From day one, I could see the excitement in her eyes and the creativity weaving throughout her brain as she envisioned a landscape that is green and flourishing, but not with just grass…
Every day I come home from work now to the beginning of an edible landscape on its way. We have apple, peach, pear, cherry and plum trees, berry bushes, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, currants and the list goes on. Anna has taught me the value of using the space that nature gives us to grow food. Your home should be surrounded by trees, bushes and plants of all kinds that have sustenance to offer. We even designed a living fence using mulch, branches and integrated growing vines. This has become a home for insect life and diverse biology. Our privacy is secure, and all of our plants now keep it that way. Everything was planted with MycoApply and a blend of TrueHume, SeaPack, Micros, molasses and water. Now, every single one of our plants have budded and each evening we get to take a walk through our landscape, drinks in hand, and observe new, daily growth. Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, peas, potatoes, kale and much more are all thriving and receive a weekly foliar feeding of Triple Ten or TrueStim. These are nutrient-based fertilizers that can help your plants thrive.
”I am so excited to soon pick my dinner every night, from my backyard, all organic.”
I grew up on a dairy farm and I miss the days of eating straight from the garden. Soon I am going to do that again, and enjoy so much more. My friend, Graeme Sait, often talks about all of his gardens and I encourage each of you to take an area of your farm or property and plant as many types of fruit trees, berry bushes and vegetables as you can, take the time to foliar feed them and grow nutritious food.
In a perfect world we would walk through the fields of green with healthy, BIG plants sprouting from the ground, but as 2020 continuously reminds us, we are not living in a perfect world. As we walk our fields we are reminded that, although the world is not perfect, it is beautiful, mysterious and exciting. It’s beautiful to watch healthy plants spring up, mysterious as you may see patches of field a different colour, height or success, and exciting to figure out how to solve the mystery and help the plants to thrive again.
As I said before, I have walked hundreds of fields in the past 17 years and have gained a lot of knowledge and insight regarding foliar sprays and their affect on the stages of plant growth.
Here are my 3 main takeaways from my experiences in the fields:
1. Sampling is an invaluable tool that needs to be utilized.
An experienced farmer will have an eye for their fields. The eye test is a tried and true method that farmers have been using since humans figured out how to put a seed in the ground, but as technology advances, we need to utilize it. Field monitoring tools (which can be found on Amazon) such as pH meters, Brix meters, etc. are simple ways for the farmer to do a good health check. Use your eyes, find the spots in your fields that may need extra attention and play doctor, use these tools to discover deficiencies, stresses and diseases. Not only do we have access to in-field monitoring, but we have access to professional testing. Tissue samples, when viewed in conjunction with soil samples, can give a farmer superior insight into the needs of their plants.
A soil sample will show all of the nutrients in the soil and a tissue analysis will give a thorough view of what nutrients are being absorbed by your plants. Sometimes the nutrients in the soil can be ‘tied-up’ or bound to soil and unavailable to the plant itself. So without a tissue analysis you may think your soil is thriving, but comparing a tissue and a soil analysis can give you excellent insight into what is tied-up in the soil.
When you know what is tied-up in your soil you can use specific fertilizers and plant amendments that will be able to release those nutrients into a plant-available form.
2. Foliar Feeding.
Tissue and soil sample analysis will show you the nutrients your plant may be missing, and which nutrients are tied-up in the soil. There are many soil-specific fertilizers that can release those bound nutrients, but that can take between 3-6 weeks. This is a long term solution, but does not aid in the plants struggling for the nutrients right now. This is where foliar feeding comes into play.
Foliar feeding is the direct shot in the arm your plants need to receive the nutrients they may be lacking and needing in the immediate future.
Not only does foliar feeding directly infuse your plants with nutrients, but it can act as a protective coating for your plant. We offer a product called Dia-Life, which is a micronized, fully suspended diatomaceous earth. It is hard to find a diatomaceous earth product that you can foliar spray broadacre as well as in greenhouses without settling or clogging sprayers. For those of you unfamiliar with diatomaceous earth, it is fossilized remains of diatoms, which is a single-celled group of algae, and these fossilized remains are ground up and normally used as a powder due to the difficult process of keeping it in suspension. These fossilized diatoms are sharp and when coated onto a plant, will cut insects that land on them. We have seen great success in greenhouses, foliar spraying Dia-Life as a natural insect repellant.
Foliar spraying is so incredibly beneficial to your plants’ health. During times of stress, heavy winds, drought, heat, foliar spraying can be that immediate ‘refreshing drink’ that will strengthen your plants. Foliar spraying can immediately encourage larger leaf sizes and increased photosynthesis, strengthen plants’ immunity to disease and stresses, and increase natural plant production.
3. Fulvic - The Secret Tool
Foliar feeding is so beneficial to your plants’ health and protection, and we all know foliar spraying with herbicides is a common practice among conventional farmers. There is a a hidden gem that needs to be included in every foliar spray!
TrueHume Fulvic70 is our secret tool - Fulvic Acid. You can add fulvic acid to your nutritional fertilizers and even to your herbicide applications such as glyphosate. Using fulvic acid alongside your herbicide will allow you to reduce your herbicide application rate by up to 30% off the label rate for just $.51 per acre!* With a CEC of over 1400 and its microscopic size, fulvic acid acts as a huge carrier entering directly into the plant as a plant food. Fulvic acid also works to break down any residual herbicide after application. It is one of the most cost-effective ways to make sure your foliar spraying is utilized to its full potential.
As this season approaches and you start walking your fields feel free to contact myself or my team with any questions you may have. This is the most exciting time of year in your fields but also the most critical. This season give your plants the extra boost they need, and watch success follow.
As always, my thoughts and hopes are with everyone during this time. Stay safe and responsible! Also, feel free to email me with questions you may have or topics you would like to see me speak on. I love hearing from you.
P.S. In a few years my landscape will be way more than my family can eat. You are welcome to come over with a basket and pick as you please!
*51 cents at 25kg bag pricing*