Fwd: Foliar Fertilizing???
From my own experience, I would tend to agree with what the expert has
told you. In my experience, gardeners using "quick feed" solutions seem to
experience more problems with pests and disease --- an abundance of new,
tender growth (especially at the wrong time of year) makes the plants ripe
for any type of invader.
My garden is completely "organic" --- in other words, I do not use any
chemical fertilizer or pesticide --- and the only feeding my plants receive
is a top dress of composted manure in late winter. If you feed soil borne
organisms, they in turn will feed your plants --- the plants will grow at a
normal rate and "everybody" stays happy and healthy. I have never
experienced the disease and pest problems which so many are gritting their
teeth over this year (of course, now that I've said that, everything will be
dead or eaten to the ground tomorrow!).
Light foliar feeding with seaweed/kelp extract properly diluted is fine at
any time during the growing season. Other potions, I'm not so sure, but
they're probably fine, too.
I would tend to agree with Butch and Jim Dixon that double digging and
adding every amendment under the sun is not worth the pain or the expense ---
especially in heavy clay soils --- but I do go a step beyond Butch's method.
When establishing a new bed or expanding an existing one, I do break up our
lovely Virginia red clay and mix in a healthy dose of composted manure and/or
Clay Cutter (a terrific pine bark fines product). Nothing back-breaking,
just break up the ground a bit with a perennial fork and pour the amendments
on top --- the earthworms will be thrilled and will take care of the rest in
relatively short order. (Carolyn -- if you and Ed saw the plants outside the
back gate, you might be surprized to learn that 90% of those hostas just came
out of the TC lab within the past year.)
Butch is also absolutely right that you need to mix other plants into your
hosta beds --- as a good number of our ancestors discovered the hard way, if
you plant nothing but potatoes year after year after year ... you're in for
major league woes!!!
Gee ... I think I must have a little too much time on my hands this