Trace minerals can also be supplied to plants by foliar (leaf) application. This method is know as foliar fertilisation.
Plants have a remarkable ability to absorb nutrients through their leaves as well as their roots. In fact foliar fertilisation of plants may be three to five times more efficient than providing the same nutrients by soil applications. Quite often when you apply mineral nutrients to the soil (lime or dolomite), chemical reactions occur before plant roots have a chance to contact and absorb the new food supply.
In the past, it was commonly thought that providing large amounts of the major plant foods (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), or an abundance of nitrogen, would automatically produce a good crop. It is now known that growth is regulated by the nutrients in least supply, rather than those in relative abundance. Even when they're well fertilised at planting time, plants can gradually move into conditions of marginal nutrition after fewer than 60 days of growth.
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