Applying Liquid Fertilizer: What You Need To Know

Liquid fertilizers are gaining in popularity over the last few years owing to their ease of use and fast results. Liquid fertilizers score on many counts over solid, or granular, fertilizers but there are some important considerations while applying liquid fertilizer.   

Applying Liquid Fertilizer: Pros and Cons

Liquid fertilizers can either be applied in soil or over the foliage (foliar fertilizer). Each type has its distinct advantages and if used following proper guidelines, will provide excellent results.


  • Ease of Application and Handling

Liquid fertilizers are easy to apply and handle. They usually do not require any special preparation and can be used as they are with only the required amount of dilution. Because they come in high-quality containers, they remain active over a sufficient period of time if stored under the right conditions.

  • Easy to Blend

Liquid fertilizers are easier to blend than dry fertilizers due to their liquid nature.

  • Consistent Quality

Because all the ingredients are in solution, they are much easier to mix and homogenize. This adds to the effectiveness of liquid fertilizers.

  • Better Coverage Due to Uniform Application

Using a conventional sprayer, liquid fertilizers, being water-soluble, can be uniformly applied over a large surface area. This ensures uniform distribution of the nutrients. Also, a small amount of liquid fertilizer is usually enough to cover a substantially larger area. This makes them cost-effective and also protects the plants from “fertilizer burn.”  


  • Precipitates Over Time

The solids in the liquid fertilizer tend to precipitate if the container is left undisturbed for a long time. Some settling of material in the liquid form also occurs, especially in cold weather. This can be avoided if the solution is properly agitated.

  • Does Not Provide Nutrients Over a Long Time

Liquid fertilizers are known to give a burst of growth to the plants they are applied to. Since they are easily accessible to the plant, it is immediately absorbed. It does not remain in the soil for a long time as opposed to granular fertilizers which slowly release (thus called slow-release fertilizer) their nutrients over a long period of time.

Also, because liquid fertilizers do not remain in the soil for a long time, you will need to apply them multiple times during the growing season.  

Tips for Applying Liquid Fertilizer

There are essentially two types of liquid fertilizers depending on where it is applied. It can either be applied to the soil, or it can be sprayed on leaves (foliar type fertilizer). Soil fertilizers are applied to the soil where they quickly get absorbed by the root system of the growing plants. Foliar sprays are liquid fertilizers that are designed to be absorbed by the leaves.

Before applying the liquid fertilizer, it needs to be diluted. Dilution depends upon the product you are using and this dilution scheme is generally mentioned on the packaging of the liquid concentrate. It is vital that you strictly follow the dilution scheme, else you run the risk of damaging your plants through “fertilizer burn” – metabolic damage caused by coming in contact with concentrated fertilizer.

Before fertilizer application, lightly water the soil. This ensures even wetting of the soil which will help the liquid fertilizer to reach the roots and provide nutrients easily. This will also prevent fertilizer burn in case proper dilution of the product hasn’t been achieved.

After wetting the soil, apply the liquid fertilizer. Again, follow the exact guidelines on how much fertilizer you should apply to each plant. Excess fertilization is not necessarily good for the plant. The excess fertilizer may wash out of the soil and not be available to the plant. Provide only enough fertilizer that the plant will be able to uptake.

How Extensive Use of Chemical Fertilizers Can Cause Soil Fertility Problems

While fertilizers are vital for the healthy growth of agriculturally important plants, the overuse of chemical NPK fertilizers has created enormous problems with the quality of the soil.

Soil is a dynamic ecosystem that harbors millions of microorganisms, many of which have developed a symbiotic relationship with the plant root system. This micro-ecosystem is called the rhizosphere. The rhizosphere microbes help in making nutrients available to the root system. This means that if the rhizosphere microbial community is robust, healthy, and active, it will work optimally to support the growth of the plant.

Overuse of chemical agri-inputs like fertilizers and pesticides has a deleterious effect on the community of beneficial microorganisms. With the depletion of the number of beneficial microbes, the growth of the plants becomes increasingly dependent on artificially applied fertilizers. However, all nutrients cannot be supplied through fertilizers, and with the loss of beneficial microbes, the soil eventually loses its capacity to support the growth of plants and gradually turns infertile. Also, many nutrients, like phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, in the fertilizers need to be mobilized by the soil microorganisms and in their absence, over-fertilizing simply keeps adding fertilizer that gets accumulated in the soil without benefitting the plants.   

How Microbials Can Solve the Problem of Soil Fertility Loss

Microbials are soil amendment products that contain a consortium of beneficial microbes that help support the growth of plants by making various nutrients available to the plants.

By regular use of microbial, we can slowly reduce our dependence on excess amounts of fertilizers. With microbial, you are adding beneficial microorganisms to the soil and enhancing the soil’s ability to support plant growth. These microorganisms will be able to make soil nutrients – both natural and artificially added – available to the plants.

Tips to Make the Best Use of Liquid Microbial

Liquid microbial is essentially a consortium of beneficial soil microorganisms suspended in a medium. It is a live inoculant and can get to work immediately after entering the soil. 

The microorganisms in the make their way to the rhizosphere, where they colonize and start their symbiotic relationship with the plant root system – deriving carbon compounds for themselves and helping the plant by making various nutrients available.

To make the best use of liquid microbial, they need to be diluted according to their application. It is essential to follow the exact guidelines as mentioned for the particular application – for seed treatment, soil treatment, or root treatment.

For example, King Crab® liquid from Plant Revolution can be used on seeds, cuttings, in coco and soil, or in any hydroponic system. For soil or existing plants, it is advisable to mix 0.5 mL per gallon of water and saturate the root ball with this solution. King Crab can be watered in by hand, mixed in a fertigation system, or sent out through drip lines. For hydroponics, it is advisable to mix it with water at 0.5 mL per gallon of water.

Parting Thoughts

Liquid fertilizers have more benefits than solid preparations. They are easy to store, easy to apply and provide nutrients almost instantaneously. 

Microbial are great products that amend the soil and enhance fertility. They can be used in different media and also support hydroponics methods of agriculture.

Premium quality liquid from Plant Revolution have been helping thousands of home gardeners and agriculturists enhance the fertility of their soils and increase yield. To know more about the effective range of products, visit today.