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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Re: Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

Post by Green » June 8th, 2019, 12:00 am

Andy,

Thanks for the tip in my thread; I'm coming here to ask some questions about the Nu-Film products.

Anything that leads you to believe it has any negative effects on the Bacillus in Serenade?

Have you tried Nu-Film on grass seedlings? I'm considering using it in Serenade to protect the seedlings from disease and possibly heat damage as a side benefit. Do you feel the anti-transpirant could in any way damage seedling development in warm weather, or only enhance it? I don't know how much seedlings require and rely on transpirational processes for water and gas exchange versus mature grass.

What about the ick factor? Does the stuff make a mess and how do you get it out of your sprayer? Does it also bind to the plastic? Maybe that's actually a good thing...might help keep other stuff down the road like MSO from adhering...

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Re: Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

Post by andy10917 » June 8th, 2019, 9:08 am

I have no experience yet with Nu-Film on grass seedlings, but I see no literature warning about needing caution.

I'm trying it with Serenade - so far no problems.

The anti-transpirant angle and UV help should be a benefit.

About the "ick factor" -- I have had no issues at the proper rate. I accidentally wrote bad notes and made an error early on with a teaspoon vs ounce thing, and my math had me put it down at 6X too heavy in a test area. There were no bad effects on the grass or hosta, but when I went to clean the backpack sprayer hours later, the diluted product was a bit gloppy and a little gelled. Cleaned it with the "jet" setting on the hose and all was OK.

It's working as an extender of the effective life of the application very well. I also noticed that the hosta that are in conditions where the sunlight is marginally too bright have not scalded, even though the sunlight is near the peak right now. UV and anti-transpirant effects I think.

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Re: Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

Post by Green » June 8th, 2019, 1:45 pm

That's all good to hear. So, I take it all evidence points to the Serenade still working (and you're not the only one using it with Serenade from what I've read). I think if there was a problem, someone would have said something by now.

Have you tried both Nu-Film formulations? If so, which did you prefer for Serenade, and why?

And, do you have any idea on the keeping properties over years of the Nu-Film concentrate?

Finally, Nu-Film is not related in any way to "Fluid Film", correct? Two totally different things for different uses, by different companies...? I guess part of the reason I was unsure about Nu-Film initially was that I was somehow thinking of Fluid Film (which I've never used, but once posted questions about for coating a lawn mower deck, but decided against).

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Re: Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

Post by Green » June 9th, 2019, 12:50 am

Also, any idea whether these products could mess with the absorption of subsequently applied herbicides (such as suspensions like Tenacity, or dissolvable solids like Certainty) in the days following the Nu-Film application?

I read the labels. They're terpenes, like from pine sap. No wonder they work...pine sap is gooey.

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Re: Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

Post by Green » June 9th, 2019, 12:58 am

Finally, I wonder if the coating could also serve as a barrier that itself helps the grass to resist foliar infections...

Never thought I'd be so excited about an advanced spreader sticker...

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Re: Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

Post by andy10917 » June 9th, 2019, 7:54 am

I'm wondering the same things, but I haven't had a fungal attack in 10 years - so continuing that trend isn't showing me any change in behavior.

The one thing that I've wondered about that you didn't mention is whether BLSC applications (soap-based) might remove the polymer coating...

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Re: Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

Post by Green » June 9th, 2019, 1:04 pm

andy10917 wrote:
June 9th, 2019, 7:54 am
The one thing that I've wondered about that you didn't mention is whether BLSC applications (soap-based) might remove the polymer coating...
That's another good question. Maybe a good first experiment to help figure that out would be to spray some Nu-Film on some plant material and let it dry. Then collect the plant material and do a jar compatability test of sorts, adding the coated plant material to a jar of BLSC mixture, and then analyze either the plant material or solution (whichever is easier) for evidence of Nu-Film in the solution, or its absence from the plant tissue. I don't know if it's possible to color the Nu-Film prior to applying it to help figure out when it's leaving the plant material and going into solution (maybe using a spectrometer to tell). There are so many possible experiments...

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Re: Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

Post by Green » June 9th, 2019, 1:07 pm

So, did you try one or both versions of Nu-Film? I'm trying to figure out which to get. I read both labels. The website doesn't have any info beyond that.

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Re: Adding Adjuvants to Foliar Applications (Advanced Topic)

Post by andy10917 » June 9th, 2019, 2:13 pm

Nu-Film P is a better sticker product, but doen't extend the effective life of applied materials as long as Nu-Film 17.

Nu-Film 17 is a better product to extend the effective life.

If used on vegetables, there is a different waiting time to harvest, also.

Because of my Hostas, I generally use the Nu-Film 17 product more.

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