Choosing the best hydroponic nutrients & additive can be difficult as there are so many to consider, such as; Hy-Gen, House & Garden, Mills etc
Nutrients, Additives, Hormones and Growth Regulators
Here is a basic guide to producing better plants and understanding additives in order of priority.
You must use nutrients for Hydroponics.
Nutrients are the basis of Hydroponics and without basic nutrition, plants will not thrive.
Nutrients come in either a grow solution which has higher nitrates for leafy vegetative growth.
and Bloom/Flowering solutions which have higher phosphorus and potassium for the flowering and fruiting stage of your plants.
Vitamins are our Number 2 most effective way to help a plant do well.
Vitamins for plants help a plant feel better when stressed, and keep a plant healthy.
Vitamins will help with resistance to fungal rots and insect attacks for instance.
While plants manufacture vitamins for themselves, if they have a supply of them, they can turn their energy to producing other elements they need, and thereby speed up growth.
The Hy-Gen Omegazyme is recommended for all applications.
Another vitamin additive is Superthrive, but is recommended for soil as it contains a glue to make it stick to soil, and in Hydroponics it just sticks to media and makes everything go green with super vitaminised algae!
Cleaning the water that comes through the tap and the water which is recycled from any pathogen helps keep the plants strength in growing not fighting.
Have you ever been fighting a cold, not really got sick, but just been a little slowed down. If you keep your system and root zone really clean you will see an improvement in the plants vigour.
Use of "Pythoff" which is a broad spectrum disinfecting agent that will sterilise your entire hydroponic system to ensure maximum plant performance all year round. Pythoff is based on monochloramine - it is a non toxic and long lived disinfectant. Being a long lived disinfectant is beneficial for hydroponics because this enables complete system disinfection - from the nutrient tank all the way through to the plant's roots.
Pythoff is non systemic and therefore it can be used throughout the fruiting period.
As an alternative to cleaning by sterilising, you can use a high dose of beneficial bacteria to keep nasties away. Power active and Stop wilt from Nulife are great for those not using sterilising agents like Pythoff. They act like a plant tonic helping the plant by creating a biological barrier for plants root system.
Silica, it is an element that cannot be put into the nutrient formula, due to instability, but it should be part of any plants nutrition.
Consider silica like a missing link between plant vitality, strength, resistance to infection, and increased harvests.
The silica helps strengthen cells, and plants are much healthier from the continual addition of silica.
Ensure you have a highly soluble form and you will begin to see effect from around 2 weeks onwards. Budlink or Silica Magic are very good forms of silica.
5. Foliar spraying
Have you looked at the way fertilisers are added in commercial operations. Usually by injection of liquid fertilisers into the overhead sprinklers.
This is partly because it is quick and easy, however, you can find research that the same liquid added to the leaves (which them runs off into the soil), instead of just the soil is around 25% more in harvest yields.
Also things such as amino acids are more difficult to absorb through the roots than through the leaves.
We have made up Amino Sprays containing high quality mineral nutrients, vitamins, organic additives such as amino acids, as well a wetting agent to assist uptake and spreading.
Ready to use, just pour into a spray bottle and spray, preferably towards the end of the day, or when artificial lighting sources are about to switch off for the night.
It's an inexpensive way to increase crops without increasing your system size.
Remember that spraying should be done around twice a week in cooler months, and once per week during humid hotter months. Discontinue if any chance of mould or fungus on leaves (e.g. poorly ventilated greenhouses/ grow rooms)
6. Cell dividers
Some additives help the plants grow quicker by making their cells divide quicker.
Organic additives such as monsta bud, cause plants to grow faster in this way
7. Weight Adders
Potassium is stored in the flower/fruit during the flowering process.
To add weight, use any PK product to add weight
10. Rootzone accelerant
A large root zone creates a healthier plant and helps uptake
Rootzone accelerant helps roots, especially for new plants/clones to get them established
11. Feminising products
Female products come in two varieties
Hermaphrodite treatments such as Budwise, Bitchn or Turnaround which make male flowers shrivel up and drop off.
If you need these products, ask staff for assistance
Clone products include
clone gel to dip cuttings into to make stem cells begin to produce roots
Oxy Plus to sterlise cubes, cutting blades, and the stem to stop stem rot
Scalpels which are very sharp and sterile to make cuts without damaging the areas roots come out of.
Clonex clone nutrient, contains rooting hormones, root development hormones, stress relieving vitamins, a gelatine base to coat the leaves and stop clones drying out as well as organic growth stimulants. You can use by soaking cubes in, as well as spraying clones daily with 10ml per litre
Notes for Sick Plants
Use additives carefully when plants are sick.
If any root rot, spray vitamins onto plant. Vitamins around roots will strengthen the fungus that is attacking your plant.
If mould or fungal attacks on leaves discontinue sprays