Dissection of a Nutrient Label

benefit cer­tain hydroponic set-ups as well. Some companies even make pre-made ones in liquid form (ex. General Hydroponics Flora Blend, Advance Nutrients Mother Earth Compost Tea), there are also ones that come with all the dry ingredients that you can brew yourself (ex. RTI xtreme gardening Tea brews) or you can of course gather the ingredients and brew one from scratch. Brewing sounds like a big deal but it only refers to mixing the ingredients together in water and using an air stone to aerate them overnight. The mixture is then fully blended, activated and must be used in 24-48 hours of brewing.

Carbohydrates (sugars) – (glucose, sucrose, polysaccharides, molasses etc.) There are many names for car­bohydrates on nutrient labels, most bottles have a ‘sweet’ sounding name but be sure to ALWAYS check the label. You would be surprised at how many ‘sweet’ products do not contain any sugars. Carbs are produced by plants during photosynthesis and utilized during the process as well. Any excess sugars are sent down to the roots for feeding the beneficial microbes. Any addition of carbs to your feed­ing program will mainly be to feed those guys. Improved microbe life can enhance mineralization of nutrients, thus resulting in better flavors.

Dissection of a Nutrient 06Bloom Boosters- These are additives that generally have no nitrogen in them and give a boost in P-K (Phosphorus-Potassium) during the flowering/bud­ding phase. Starting as soon as you see the flowers (usually week 2 of bloom phase) you run these all the way to harvest time, minus the flushing time of course. Bloom boosters or bulking additives will increase the size, mass and density of the nuggets. These addi­tions of P-K are necessary if you want to get that dank harvest you are picturing in your mind and your girls can usually even handle an increase from the rec­ommended dosage.

Calcium and magnesium supple­ments- Calcium and magnesium are paired because they both help with a number of similar things within the plants metabolic process. As the strains we grow get more and more complex with crossing different types, most growers are finding they need more and more cal-mag supplemen­tation. It is probably because they both help with the nutrient uptake required during the flowering process, so in turn the bigger our colas get with our bloom boosting additives and cross-bred strains, then the more cal-mag the plant will require. The most telling sign for a calcium and magnesium deficiency is going to be rust yellow spotting on the leaf; looks like tiny cigarette burns on the top of the leaves and/or cloud like chlo­rosis (lack of chlorophyll in the leaf; drained of color) meaning it’s spread out in a cloud-like pattern. Running calcium and magnesium additive as a preventative measure to avoid a deficiency is something experienced growers do and most companies even recommend it by including it on their feeding schedules.

Silicates- (calcium silicate, potassium silicate, silicic acid etc.) – All of which are silicate supplements, but out of the three examples listed silicic acid has been scientifically proven to be the most effective. When Silicon (Si) is taken up by the plant it gets depos­ited in the cell walls strengthening them, making them not only physi­cally stronger but also more resistant to environmental stresses; temperature, pests, pathogens etc. It improves the uptake, absorption and utilization of nutrients within the plant because of its ability to increase the mobility of nutrients. It also makes your plants more resistant to drought or in our indoor case more resourceful with the water they are fed. They do this by reducing the amount of transpiration (this is where moisture from the plant is released thru the ‘breather’ holes on the leaves called stomata), transpira­tion is also how the plants suctions nutrients up from the bottom to the top of the plant. So when it’s in need of more nutrients it uses transpiration, which in turn evaporates water from the plants leaves acting like a siphon. When the nutrients are mobile and are being taken up and absorbed with ease, the need to pull up more and more nutrients becomes less necessary.

Amino Acids & Vitamins- Amino acids are the building blocks of life being that they are a precursor to carbon. Scientists will agree that there is approx 20-23 standard amino acids needed for life and most plants can synthesize all they need in a very energy draining processes. Which is a good reason why feeding your plant readily available amino acids can free up some of that energy to be better spent on your fruits, veggies or flow­ers. Some amino acids can produce organic nutrients within the plant such as Nitrogen (N) without the risk of burning you get when feeding read­ily available Nitrogen. Some amino acids are also natural chelates, help­ing to disguise some nutrients, mak­ing them mobile and

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