Nutrients & Fertilizer

  • Super Soil Recipe

    Growing organically can be very challenging, and that's why more and more growers are turning to a super soil recipe. Super soil is a way to increase your success with organic growing, and allows growers of any skill level to achieve a heavy, plentiful harvest.

    What is super soil?

    The original idea was developed by Subcool, a world renowned grower. Super soil is a heavily amended organic soil, and provides plants everything they need at just the right times. The idea is that if you mix your recipe correctly, you will not have to feed synthetic liquid nutrients throughout the plant’s life. Instead, you can simply water and occasionally top dress dry amendments during veg and bloom.

    Using super soil simplifies the growing process by throwing feeding charts out the window, and mitigates the risk of under or overfeeding. Simply follow a recipe, monitor the water you use for pH, and watch for deficiencies and address them with organic dry amendments as they come.

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  • How we corrected nutrient toxicity in under a week

    What is plant nutrient toxicity?

    When one nutrient is present in large excess, it conflicts with absorption process of other essential nutrients. Thus, plants cannot access that essential nutrient or a group of essential nutrients because the excess nutrient or the toxic substance blocks the roots.

    Symptoms caused by nutrient deficiencies are generally grouped into five categories:
    • 1) stunted growth
    • 2) chlorosis
    • 3) interveinal chlorosis,
    • 4) purplish-red coloring
    • 5) necrosis

    Stunting is a common symptom for many deficient nutrients due to their varied roles in the plant.

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  • Plant Nutrient Supplements & Additives

    What are the nutritional requirements of plants?

    Often times, growers purchase a pre-balanced fertilizer or nutrient package to feed their plants, but don't spend much time considering what is in it. Macro-nutrients, Secondary nutrients, and micro-nutrients make up a complete nutrient profile for plants.

    Nutrients needed in large quantities are known as macro-nutrients, and there are 3 of these in most fertilizers. Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium constitute the NPK ratio of your nutrient product. These three nutrients are the most important for plant growth.

    Other macro-nutrients vital for plant health, regarded as secondary nutrients for plants, are:

    • Oxygen
    • Carbon
    • Hydrogen
    • Calcium
    • Magnesium
    • Sulfur

    There are 17 micro-nutrients that play a key role in plant health. Many of these can be obtained by growing in soil, but sometimes you will notice signs of a micro-nutrient deficiency. In this case, you will be best suited with a micro-nutrient supplement. Vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes are similar, in that they contribute to a number of plant activities and can sometimes be neglected. If you suspect your plant may be lacking these, supplementing with them wont hurt.

    Nutrients for specific stages of plant life

    Rooting supplements

    Mycorrhizae and beneficial bacteria are an essential supplement for new plants. This helpful fungus gives plants a head start on life, by extending the root system and increasing the absorption rate of nutrients. Studies show that supplementing with mycorrhizae greatly increases the success rate of transplanting to a new environment.

    Many blended root stimulants and enhancers incorporate mycorrhizae into the formula along with other vitamins. To ensure a plentiful harvest, you need to put an emphasis on creating a strong root system early. Feed clones or recently germinated seedlings a root stimulant with mycorrhizae to ensure success early on!

    Vegetative Growth Supplements

    Growers who want to supercharge robust, leafy growth will also use a growth enhancer. Growth enhancers are special blends prominent in nitrogen, and work to stimulate growth while keeping the plant healthy. While the plant is vegging, a growth enhancer will ensure ample nitrogen is available to fuel growth of shoots and leaves. During this stage, the plant has minimal need for phosphorous and potassium.

    It goes without saying that more growth during the vegetative stage leads to a higher yielding flowering stage, and that’s why it is important to put an emphasis on enhancing growth. Regarded as a “supervitamin” for plants, silica helps prepare your plant by building bigger and stronger stems to support the weight of flowers. Silica also increases resistance to stress and pathogens and improves metabolic function.

    As your plant begins vegging, it is important to keep a close eye out for deficiencies. Some of the more common deficiencies seen in plants are calcium and magnesium. One of the most popular supplements on the market is a cal-mag supplement, known as a one-two punch for correcting this issue. This supplement also increases the strength of cell walls, improves nutrient uptake, increases growth rates, and leads to higher yields. Those growing in certain media, such as coco-coir, are especially susceptible to these deficiencies and should utilize cal-mag supplements from the start.

    Flowering Supplements

    Once the plant is switched to flower, you should switch to a bloom booster. Also known as bloom enhancers, these nutrient blends contain high levels of phosphorous and potassium. Bloom boosters promote heavy budding, and in large quantities. Nitrogen is decreased here, because we no longer want the plant to grow, but to instead focus on producing high quality, heavy flowers.

    Growers also use sweeteners and sugars during flowering. These supplements provide energy to the plant through carbohydrates, and contribute to a higher yield and a better tasting final product.

    Harvest Supplements

    Before harvesting, you need to flush your plant of excess nutrients and minerals. Flushing is the act of withholding nutrients from a plant, and just feeding plain water or a flushing agent.

    Using a flushing agent makes this process more effective, as the special chelates do a better job of grabbing onto compounds within the plant. Flushing greatly increases the quality of your final product in terms of taste, as you will only be consuming the plant. Without flushing, you will be consuming the excess nutrients along with the plant itself.

    Organic nutrients

    Growing organically allows you to cultivate tasty, high-quality plants without the worry of chemicals. Organic gardens also leave a smaller footprint on the environment. If you are looking for ways to feed your plant a natural fertilizer, look no further! Common organic options include:

    When using organic nutrients, be sure to monitor for deficiencies closely, as they will take longer to correct since organic nutrients release slower.

    Final Thoughts

    While you don’t want to introduce too many products into the feeding schedule, all of these products work well in conjunction with one another. When used properly, supplements and additives can work together to create a higher yielding and higher quality plant. At Hydrobuilder.com, we offer a wide range of products from a number of trustworthy brands. As always, reach out to our experienced growing staff at 888-815-9763 with any questions, and be sure to explore the rest of our learning center!

  • Garden Compost Tea

    Compost tea, at its simplest, is compost that has been steeped in water, usually between 24-48 hours, creating a liquid compost or tea that is rich in nutrients, microorganisms, and humates.

    Because of its liquid form, it can be applied by saturating the soil, or as a foliar spray. Regardless of how you apply it, compost tea benefits include improved plant growth, development, and resiliency to harmful diseases.

    In fact, it’s recommended that you apply your compost tea in both manners. This way, it will fight diseases and dangerous pathogens found both above and below ground.

    You most likely have a basic idea of nutrients (if not, start here), so let’s take a quick look at microorganisms and humates before we move onto how we create compost tea.

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  • What is OMRI Listing?

    Growing organically is easy, but you must refrain from using unnatural or synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and nutrients. Not all organic nutrients or pesticides are created equal, however.

    When diving into the world of organics, you will notice a seal on select products that shows the phrase “OMRI Listed”, but what does this small label mean? Continue reading

  • Plant Nutrients & pH

    Every plant has a preferred pH range for healthy production. The soil or hydroponic solution pH affects chemical and biological reactions such as availability of essential nutrients, toxicities caused by non-essential elements, and soil health. In short, if your plants are not as healthy as you would like, check you pH first.

  • Dry Organic Amendments

    If you have never used dry organic amendments before, here are some options and guidelines you can start with to get you going. Give it a try!

  • Diagnosing Nutrient Deficiencies In Plants

    Learn all about plant nutrients, how they effect plants and how to diagnose nutrient deficiencies.

  • Molybdenum (Mo) Nutrient Deficiencies In Plants

    Molybdenum is one of six micronutrients required by green plants. Learn how to diagnose and treat molybdenum nutrient deficiencies in plants.

  • Silicon (Si) Nutrient Deficiencies In Plants

    Silicon is not considered an essential mineral for many plants, but has proven beneficial in growth, strength, quality, and resistance to stress.

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