Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

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andy10917
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Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

Post by andy10917 » May 5th, 2019, 11:51 am

*** NOTE: This thread contains material that is NOT for casual or novice members - it discusses approaches that can be harmful if not done with proper protective equipment and techniques ***

This thread discusses the addition of materials to foliar applications of nutrients, herbicides, pesticides, etc that both penetrate the plants (including grasses) that they are applied to, and prevent them from degrading due to rain or UV light. I have found them very helpful, but you have to introduce them slowly and watch for the tolerance and "multiplication factors" that they can (and do) introduce - there is no "if this, then apply exactly that amount" to guide you.

The first one that I'd like to discuss is "Nu-Film". This is a product that causes products that they are added to to stick to and actually meld with waxes that are part of the plants. It forms a polymer coating that resists rain/irrigation from washing the products it's applied with from washing off the plant, and degrading from UV light. It's very effective and a small amount (0.75 teaspoons/K) causes the product to work longer. It also has some antitranspirant capabilities, and may allow you to help plants avoid wilting in the summer.

The second item (and the one that shouldn't be used by novices) is DMSO. DMSO causes the products that you are applying it with to actually penetrate the plant far better than without it, instead of just sitting on the surface where rain/irrigation and sun can degrade it. It actually can multiply the effect of things like herbicides, but it's a two-edged sword - it can cause the side-effects and risk of damage to increase. DMSO will not only penetrate the plant, but will penetrate your skin. So if you don't wear proper protective gear, that ingredient will go right through your skin into your body. If you use it, and get a garlic taste in your mouth (a weird effect) immediately stop and wash exposed parts of your body thoroughly.

I use both of these products together in some situations, like applying deer repellent ("Liquid Fence") to Hosta, Daylillies, Tulips and other plants that deer love to nibble on. The products extend the period that the repellent is effective for from 3-4 weeks to 5 weeks or more (I don't intend to push my luck too far).

Nu-Film comes in two varieties: Nu-Film P and Nu-Film 17. The "P" version is more effective, but has a shorter effective period - read the labels for more details. It is quite safe and OMRI certified. It has an initial upfront cost that is around $60 a gallon (which will last a long time and only sold in gallons).

DMSO can be purchased on Amazon or EBAY as a liquid. It's not overly expensive, but once again should only be used by more-advanced members, and after determining the effect on a test patch first. Start with 1 ounce per gallon of solution to be applied, and retest in 0.5 ounce increments but never more than 3 ounces/gallon. Watch to see if the "multiplying factor" causes harm - it may in some situations/scenarios. Always use heavy rubber gloves when applying a solution containing DMSO - it can penetrate many other gloves.

When used appropriately, you can use less of herbicides, etc and be more effective longer - but caution says your health always should be at the head of the list.

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Re: Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

Post by Green » May 7th, 2019, 1:46 pm

Thanks, Andy. Nice write-up.

I will add, that although I'm now fairly experienced, I refuse personally to use DMSO. There are just too many variables that I can't control for me to consider the risk, such as aerosolized particles from the spray nozzle, etc. Everyone needs to weigh the risks and come to his or her own decision. If I used anything, I'd use something that doesn't carry stuff easily through human skin.

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Re: Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » May 7th, 2019, 3:26 pm

I've never come across a scenario for me personally where it would warrant something like these to effectively apply something.

Maybe if I were applying an uber expensive herbicide or had a deer repellent situation like above.

We like the deer in our yard. Not often you get free delivery.

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Re: Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

Post by andy10917 » May 7th, 2019, 8:46 pm

You'd probably not be so excited about the rats-on-stilts visiting if they damaged 300 hosta in early May, and you get to look at the end-result for the rest of the season.

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Re: Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

Post by HoosierLawnGnome » May 7th, 2019, 9:18 pm

andy10917 wrote:
May 7th, 2019, 8:46 pm
You'd probably not be so excited about the rats-on-stilts visiting if they damaged 300 hosta in early May, and you get to look at the end-result for the rest of the season.
No doubt! They run along our creek but they dont eat stuff in our yard.


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Re: Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

Post by umbo514 » May 9th, 2019, 7:38 am

Andy, thank you for this write up. I had my eye on Nu-film 17 and after reading your write up I understand that it not only is safer for myself but easier on the hosta (we have about 50 now). I have a gallon of your homemade deer repellent ready to go once I get in Nu-film 17. I used the repellent all winter on shrubs w/ out Nu-film and still had good results; adding Nu-film will make me worry less about rain washing away the repellent.

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