Bloom Enhancers

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When discussing plants that flower and fruit, the focus is always on the bloom cycle of the plant.  Why is the balance so skewed towards blooming over vegetative?  The answer is very simple; feeding your plants the right amount of macro and micro nutrients at the right time in the right amounts equates to a much higher crop count as well more thorough production.  Think about it this way.  If you are going to run a marathon, you can’t just enter with no preparation.  You need to exercise daily and, just as important, feed your body with the right diet and water to make sure you are building muscles and burning fat in accordance to your training.  It’s the same for our plants.  If you give them the right balance of nutrients at the right time your crop will have a head start on creating the garden you imagined it would be.  Today we are going to break these bloom enhancers into three parts: Bloom Starters, Mid-Bloom Enhancers, and Finisher/Ripeners.

As is fairly common knowledge, plants will automatically go into their flowering mode when they start getting 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness every day.  Outdoors, there really isn’t much you can do about the amount of daylight there is, but indoor growers have control over lighting hours.

But is there anything else you can do to speed this process up, other than flipping your light schedule?  Yes there is.  Bloom starters.  These unique products have high doses of phosphates and potassium (P&K) to give your plants the exact amount of macro nutrients they need to make the switch.  Not only will a bloom starter speed up the transition from vegetative to flower but they also help the plant create more flower sites.  As we all know, more flower sites equates to higher yields simply by having more places the plant is utilizing its growing capability.

After using a good bloom starter it is key to switch to a mid-bloom enhancer.  Much like the bloom starters they will also help your plant keep producing flower sites, as well as help pack weight on your newly created flower sites and allow the plant to produce much bigger fruit at each flower site.  Since you created more flower sites than normal using the bloom starter, and even more with the mid-bloom enhancer, the plant will be able to put out more production utilizing the additional flower sites.

The last phase is the finisher and ripener.  These are used to increase oil and resin production in the last few weeks of flowering, as well as making your product much more dense.  Basically, you are telling the plant that it’s fruit needs to ripen because it has produced all it can and it’s time to finish it off.

With the right bloom developers we are sure you will see a big difference in your finished products, so come on in and we’ll help you understand what products would work best with your program.  Remember… We Grow better!

Amino Acids

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Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which in turn makes them the building blocks for life.  While there are quite a few present out there, only L-Aminos acids apply to our garden’s needs.

L-amino acids have many different functions to plants.  The most important being the following; increased chlorophyll production, increased pest and pathogen resistance, provides a source of organic nitrogen, influence enzymatic systems, and act as chelators for available nutrients in the growing medium that may otherwise go unused by the plant.  So keep in mind your plants will use up more water due to the increase of nutrient available uptake.

By being building blocks for proteins, adding L-amino acids to your regimen will allow more proteins to be available for your plant to use.  This is beneficial to the durability of the overall health of your plants.  By having the additional proteins available when the plant needs it, the cell walls will grow more compact with a stronger wall structure.  Because the cell walls are stronger, this makes the plant much more robust when it comes to big temperature variations, irregular watering, and pests.

L-amino acids are also great foliar spray as they assist in chlorophyll production.  Chlorophyll is what allows the plant to use C02, water, and sunlight to produce the sugars the plant needs as food.  See your plants perk up simply by using amino acids as a foliar spray.

L-amino acids aren’t just good for your plants, but also for the beneficial microbes living in your growing medium.  They use them just like the plants do, except the amino acids kick them into a higher rate of consumption of dead root matter, which leads to vigorous root growth and more nutrient uptake.

We have both base nutrients with Amino Acids in them and additives with amino acids.  Come on in and we’ll get you hooked up with the right combination to add to your regiment.  Remember…We Grow better!

Beneficials/Compost Tea

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Did you know that in one teaspoon of living soil there are 100 million to 1 billion bacteria, 1 mile to 40 miles of fungal hyphae, and 1,000-100,000 protozoa? These organisms provide a variety of benefits for the plant. The bacteria eat the exudates (simple sugars, carbons, carbohydrates) that the plant puts out through its roots, who are then eaten by the protozoa, and what is excreted by the protozoa is plant available nutrients. Beneficial fungi protect the plant from pathogens and harmful microbes, as well as creating pathways in the soil that bring water and nutrients back to the plant from larger distances. Bacteria and fungi work together in decomposing organic material and making the nutrients available to plant. This is a sustainable process that allows for the growth of healthy plants, without the need for fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals. After all, there’s no one out there putting fertilizers on our rainforests, yet take a look at how successfully plants are growing in these microbial-rich environments.

There are so many beneficial microbes and fungus’ out there, to break down each one would take a book.  So, we are going to focus on a couple of the key beneficials out there for your plants.

Mycorrhizae are a great beneficial to roots.  Mycorrhizae are able to create a vast connection between the roots of a plant and with the soil around them, which allows for the fungus to uptake nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus for the plant and increase the surface area of the roots

Streptomyces lydicus has been analyzed in labs and has been found to be an essential fungus at eliminating pythium.  It doesn’t just eliminate it, it eats it and its byproduct is innoculants designed specifically to protect the roots.

Compost Tea is as how it sounds.  Steep finished compost in water while adding aeration to breed the beneficial microbes and fungi that are essential to root healthiness.  The addition of the aeration is really what makes the tea come alive, literally.  By adding oxygen while stirring the water you are giving the beneficials the required amount of oxygen for them to thrive and reproduce.  Unlike actual compost, the tea does not provide any nutrient value, therefore it cannot be substituted for your feeding schedule.  To read more on compost tea, check out our blog “Trust me…this is everyone’s cup of tea.”

We brew our own compost tea here at the store every Sunday and give a gallon away (per customer) for free from 11 am – 4 pm.  So come in, get some tea, and recommendations on what other beneficials would help your regimen grow even stronger. Remember…We Grow better!

Silicates

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Silicates are a form of silicon.  Silicon is very prevalent in nature, as it is the 2nd most abundant material on the planet.  The most common silicate additive for plants is potassium silicate.  There is typically always small amounts of silicon in soils, however, if you are running hydroponically, then a silicate additive is a must.  Additionally, silicates tend to be harder to flush than any other nutrient.   Therefore, it is recommended that soil users stop adding it the last month of bloom, and hydroponic users stop adding it the last 2 weeks of bloom.

Potassium silicate is a monosilicic acid, and it is formed when mineral silicon is broken down and dissolved in water.  Within 24 hours of applying a silicate solution to your plants feeding schedule, it will systemically be in the plant.  What this means is that it will be taken up by the roots and transported throughout the plant’s structure.

What silicates do for your plants is to help build them and make them stronger.  Your plants have cell walls that are formed as they grow.  If you think of those cells as bricks, then the silicates are the cement that hold those bricks in place, making them that much more resilient to attacks from more extreme weather conditions, water shortages, or insects and pathogens.

Very few, if any, base nutrients have silicates added to them, due to the fact that they are high in PH.  Therefore, you need to purchase and add them separately from your normal regimen.  So, come on in, and we’ll be happy to provide you a clearer idea of what silicate additive would be best suited for your grow.  Remember… We Grow better!

Fulvic and Humic Acid

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Fulvic and Humic acid are chelators.  In basic terms, what this means is that by bonding themselves to minerals in your nutrient regimen, the minerals are broken down into more basic elements the plant roots can much more easily take up.  Beneficially, they also catch toxins when used together.

They do differ in the ways they are cultivated and harvested, however most manufacturers have a combination of both acids in one bottle.

Humic acid molecules are larger and are better at conditioning soil, while fulvic acid molecules are smaller, more active and faster acting.  Fulvic acid also stimulates the metabolisms of plants, which makes fulvic acid treatments a great way to quickly correct trace metal deficiencies while stimulating plant growth.

 The combination of the two acids present in your system will help regulate PH, whether in soil or not.  They are both natural, and in nature act as the buffer between the plant and its medium for PH.

Most humic acid products on the shelves not only have fulvic acid, but sea kelp extracts as well.  Studies have shown that the acid combination really takes off in the presence of sea kelp extracts to boost the natural plant growth hormones present in kelp.  Furthermore, they have also shown that sea kelp extract and humic acid stimulate plants to make up to 50% more superoxide dismutase (SOD).  Improved levels of SOD can help protect plants against heat, drought, UV and salt stress.

Come on in and we’ll be happy to answer any humic of fulvic acid questions you may have, and what products would work best in your regimen.  Remember…We Grow better.

Carbs and Sugars

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To plants, carbs and sugars are very much the same thing, and that is energy. In basic terminology, its food for plants.  While plants do produce their own carbs and sugars, they do only what they “think” they will need for full production.  In hydroponics, however, the goal is to produce higher yields and more flavor than would be produced by nature left to its own devices.

This is especially true during the later phases of flowering.  Plants will store some carbs and sugars, but they don’t have expandable storage like a chipmunk gathering nuts for winter.  Plants have limited storage capacity, and therefore it is essential to add carbs and sugars to your feeding regimen.  This is to boost the available carbs and sugars to the plant to push the yield and flavor to its maximum potential.  Carbs and sugars are the building blocks for pushing to the limit.  Much like a runner will “carb load” before an event, you want to do the same for your plants while they are running the last leg of their race.

Carbs and sugars are also important when it comes to hydroponics simply because they help the plant fend off osmotic shock.  The reason for this is that the process of hydroponics is to push the limits of what the plants are capable of.  Think of it like this, you are pumping in all kinds of nutrients, forcing light changes, pumping C02…  All these things can shock a plant.  Carbs and sugars provide energy, and allow the plant to withstand all these shocks while continuing to grow and produce.

Whatever growing medium you are using, beneficial microbes are hard at work. These are extremely good to have as they help breakdown nutrients to make them more readily available to the plant roots and inoculate the roots as well.  They need energy to keep thriving, and that’s where carbs and sugars come back into action as they feed them as well.

We have quite a few different carbs and sugars products, come on in and we’ll be glad to help direct you to the best carb and sugar additives to your regimen.  Remember…We Grow better.

B Vitamins

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B vitamins are an essential ingredient to your nutrient regiment.  They have many uses, but most importantly, Vitamin B1 (thiamine) has been shown to cause the plants to develop SAR.  SAR is Systemic Acquired Resistance.  What this means is that by introducing Vitamin B1 to your plants they will develop resistance to disease systemically, meaning the plants will become resistant internally.  Think of it like a vaccination shot we would normally get to fend off diseases.

B vitamins also help your plants cope with stress and can assist in building an overall stronger plant.   One of the ways they do this is that they help your plants in carbohydrate production and metabolism that fuel foliar and floral growth.  B vitamin additives are also essential during flowering, as most home gardeners are pushing the plants to produce quicker than nature would, due to the fact that most plants can’t produce enough of the essential B vitamins they need.

Typically, most products that contain B vitamins also have other natural ingredients in them to assist the B vitamin content to make it more effective, such as rooting hormones.  This enables the plant to generate bigger and stronger roots much more quickly, and as we all know, the bigger and healthier the roots, the more the plant will thrive.

Come in and see us, we’ll be happy to steer you in the right direction to add B vitamins to your plants diet. Remember…We Grow better.

Enzymes

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Enzymes are catalysts that are present in nature to help break down dead matter into sugars and carbohydrates that living organisms can process and use as nutrients. In the case of plants, this means that an enzyme that is present will breakdown dead root matter, for example, and turn it into sugars and carbs that the clean root surface can then immediately send up to the plant as food.  Research has shown that chitinases, proteases, hydrolases, glucanases and cellulases are the best enzymes for plant roots.

Enzymes are good for any type of medium, as it is there to help clean roots as well as make available all present nutrients in the feeding schedule.  While you may be adding all the essential nutrients your plants need in your regimen, if you are not adding some type of plant specific enzyme to your routine, you cannot guarantee that your plants are actually receiving all those essential nutrients.

Enzymes are organic, therefore, if you have been promoting beneficial microbes in your root’s environment, the byproducts of the catalysts are also available for nutrients to the beneficial microbes, as well. So it’s clear that having an enzyme in your nutrient regimen is not only essential, but critical to maintaining a clean root environment. Come by and we will be glad to assist you in showing you all of our enzyme products. Remember…We Grow better!

Root Accelerators

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There’s a proverbial saying we often hear, “more roots more fruits.” What good are the fruits of your labor if it’s not bountiful? It’s up to the grower to provide a quick and efficient way for accelerated root proliferation during the first stages of growth. Think of this as a window of opportunity to build up a large root mass before it slows down in the first couple weeks of its flowering cycle. Fortunately, there are products out there targeted specifically to “accelerate” this process.

So what are the ingredients of the these root accelerator products? Respective to brands, they are basically an array of blends containing but not limited to natural plant extracts, amino acids, vitamin B1/B2, beneficial microbes, and trace elements. With the advancement of science and research, we as cultivators have an advantage that many horticulturists in the past had to figure out. So why not take advantage and use these components to take it to the next level?

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Let’s go over the anatomy and process of a healthy root system. You have your primary main root. You then have the secondary root which branches off and serves as an alternate to the main root. These two conduits work in conjunction with the smaller feeder roots to provide access where they cannot reach. The much finer hair-like feeder roots are the ones responsible for the initial uptake of water and nutrients. The more of these feeder roots there are, the more the plant can feed itself and thrive. So while the primary and secondary root grows, the finer feeder roots is then responsible for drawing in sustenance. What a harmonious relationship.

Let this be a lesson that can be so simple. A root accelerator is not only essential but necessary for a more plentiful harvest. Especially when your allotted a certain period of time to reap in the most you possibly can. If you are in your early stages of growth, having a root accelerator is a must. There’s a myriad of great products to choose from and we will direct you to the ones that best fit you. You can do custom blends of products to help you bolster growth for both the primary and feeder roots as well. Call or come in and we’ll help you accelerate this process together. In the wise words of my predecessor, keep it green and keep it growing…