BORON, ESSENTIAL FOR YOU AND YOUR GARDEN
Do you have plants that just sit there and do not grow? Do you have tasteless fruit? I did too. I literally tried everything that I could think of to “feed” my plants. For example, my pink plumeria just would not grow, there would be three leaves at the end of each branch, but no more. My figs produced well, but the fruit was tasteless.
When I moved to Palmira Abajo, the soil was a horrible clay, caliche. I went on a relentless mission of building good soil with biochar, mulch, cover crops, manure. We sprayed milk, molasses and compost teas of all kinds. I planted all kinds of nitrogen fixing legumes, such as, tithonia, guandu (also called pigeon pea), balo, pinto beans, black eyed peas, black beans, navy beans, and other “fertilizer” plants. When I had the soil tested, the results indicated that my soil project was very successful, but I still had some plants that did not thrive.
Then, I developed hurting knees. I tried out Bob Gregory’s liquid boron and within just over a month, the pain diminished and then shortly disappeared. I was thrilled at such an inexpensive remedy, but my organic garden produce should have provided the best of nutrition. I went to Superiores and bought their boron and molybdenum foliar spray and directed my chief gardener to spray it weekly on all food plants, bushes and trees. To my amazement my pink plumeria (which was growing in the sweet potato patch) began to add leaves and grow! It had just stayed as it was when I bought it in 2014. (We moved it from one location thinking that it needed more sun.).
I had planted two fig trees about ten feet apart. One grew well, but the other just stayed the same size. We dug up the tree that was not growing and replaced the soil around it with the best black soil that we had. It died anyway. The one that grew produced lots of figs, but they were tasteless. We sprayed the figs well as the blackberries, with lots of milk and molasses, with no improvement in the sweetness.
Then I began to research boron for plants. It is essential for transporting nutrients efficiently to the areas where new plant cells are produced. If it is missing, then the plant cannot grow much.
Chemical fertilizers tend to leach boron from the soil. They take the air from the soil which is essential for soil microbes, and without the microbes to convert soil nutrients into usable versions for the plants, deficiencies evolve.
Areas where there is a wet and a dry season also tend to have low boron. During the dry season, many plants die and fall to the ground. When the rains begin again, the nutrients in the decaying plants are released within 48 hours after the first heavy rain, according to Hugh Lovel, an internationally recognized soil expert. Then the next heavy rain washes these essential nutrients away.
Swales, terraces and ground cover function to keep water on the land as long as possible to conserve the micronutrients which are necessary for soil microbe habitats and other small life forms that till the soil.
Boron can be bought as a foliar spray at the Superiores agricultural store next to the last service station going out of town. Their product also includes molybdenum, which is another essential plant micronutrient.
According to gardeningknowhow.com, “Even as a trace mineral, molybdenum for plant growth is an essential element. In the absence of enough of the mineral, leaves turn pale and eventually die, flowers fail to form and some plant species experience malformed leaf blades in a condition called whiptail.” They also advise that using it as a foliar spray is ideal because it delivers the nutrient to the plant without excessive absorption into the soil. Thus, the combination of boron and molybdenum is a very sensible.
Both boron and molybdenum are natural elements. Boron is extracted from boric acid and molybdenum is also mined from the soil.
Please let me know if this information has helped you. As I grow in my plant knowledge, I will share more with you, that is, if you would like to receive it.
And thank you, Bob Gregory, for educating me about boron.