Q+A about plant nutrition

Fertilizers are crucial in horticulture to optimize plant growth, health and productivity. They provide essential nutrients that may be lacking in the soil and ensure that plants have the resources needed for various biological processes. Nitrogen (N), phosphorus(P) and potassium(K), along with micronutrients, support plant development, root formation, flowering and fruiting. Fertilizers allow Creators to match nutrient levels to the specific needs of the plant, promoting optimal growing conditions. In controlled environments such as greenhouses or hydroponic systems, where natural nutrient sources may be limited, fertilizers are especially important. Properly applied fertilizers increase crop yields, improve quality and contribute to sustainable horticultural practices when used wisely and in accordance with plant needs.

The use of different fertilizers during the growth and flowering phases of plants is common in agriculture and horticulture to meet the changing nutrient needs of plants during the different phases of their life cycle. During the growth phase, plants typically require higher levels of nitrogen to support vegetative growth, leaf development and general structure formation. As plants move into the flowering phase, there is often a greater need for phosphorus and potassium to support flower and fruit development. Matching fertilizer formulas to each stage ensures that plants receive the specific nutrients in the right proportions, optimizing their growth, yield and overall health during the various stages of development.

NPK in fertilizers refers to the three primary nutrients that are essential for plant growth: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). These numbers represent the percentage of each nutrient in the fertilizer formulation. Nitrogen supports leaf and stem growth and development, phosphorus stimulates root and flower formation, while potassium promotes flower maturation and contributes to overall plant health. Understanding NPK ratios helps growers choose fertilizers tailored to the specific needs of plants at different life stages.

Organic and mineral fertilizers are hybrid fertilizers that combine organic and mineral components to give plants balanced nutrients. These fertilizers blend organic material, such as compost, manure or plant residues, with mineral nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The organic material improves soil structure, water retention and microbial activity, promoting overall soil health. At the same time, the mineral components provide precise ratios of nutrients for optimal plant growth. Organic mineral fertilizers contribute to sustainable agriculture by harnessing the benefits of both organic and synthetic inputs, promoting soil fertility and minimizing environmental impact. They are versatile, suitable for various cropping systems and promote sustainable nutrient management.

The use of organic extracts in fertilizers is valued for several reasons. Organic extracts, derived from natural sources such as plants or algae, contribute to sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices. They improve soil structure, water retention and microbial activity, promoting overall soil and plant health. In addition, organic extracts often contain compounds that make the plant more resistant to disease and stress. In addition, they often contain natural plant hormones which are prohibited from use in Synthetic form. These hormones promote various processes. The final product will be of better quality by using these Bio-stimulants.

The level of electrical conductivity (EC) is given as a guideline for the proper management of plant nutrients. EC represents the concentration of dissolved salts and ions in a nutrient solution and provides insight into the total nutrient content. By including target EC values in growth schedules, Creators can maintain optimal conditions for plant growth. Deviations from recommended EC levels can indicate nutrient deficiency or excess. Creators can adjust their fertilization accordingly. Monitoring EC levels ensures accurate nutrient delivery, promoting healthier and more productive crops. Using a calibrated EC meter is a requirement.

pH levels are essential in plant nutrient schedules because they greatly affect the availability of nutrients in the growing medium. The pH scale measures the acidity or alkalinity of a solution and affects the solubility and uptake of nutrients by plant roots. Different nutrients are optimally available within specific pH ranges. Deviations outside this range can lead to nutrient deficiencies or toxicity, affecting plant health and growth. Nutrient schedules provide recommended pH levels to optimize nutrient uptake so growers can achieve the right balance for their crops. Monitoring and adjusting pH levels based on these charts helps improve nutrient use, plant development and overall crop success in agriculture and horticulture. The use of a calibrated pH meter is a requirement.

When using PK 13/14 nutrients, it is important to understand their application and limitations. PK 13/14 is a fertilizer formulation with a high concentration of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) designed to support the flowering and fruiting stages of plants. While phosphorus and potassium are indeed crucial during these stages, the hype surrounding PK 13/14 may stem from marketing or misconceptions. It is essential for growers to approach fertilization from a balanced perspective, considering the full nutrient profile needed for plant growth. Putting too much emphasis on specific nutrients without paying attention to the plant's overall nutritional needs can lead to imbalances and potential problems. Effective growing involves understanding the specific needs of the plant at different stages of growth and using fertilizers that provide a well-rounded nutrient supply. Growers must base their decisions on a comprehensive understanding of plant nutrition rather than relying solely on specific formulations or marketing trends.

Shaking fertilisers before use ensures even distribution of nutrients and prevents heavier particles from settling at the bottom of the bottle. This even distribution ensures that plants receive a balanced supply of essential elements, promoting healthy growth. Not shaking can result in inconsistent nutrient delivery, leading to uneven plant development and possible nutrient deficiencies. Therefore, shaking fertilisers before application is crucial for maximising their effectiveness and optimising plant health.

YES! Gen1:11 Rise Up is not only compatible with our brand, but can also be seamlessly integrated with other leading brands of fertilisers. Our versatile product offers an effective alternative to traditional root stimulators. By integrating Gen1:11, you now benefit from the full spectrum of biostimulants in our Gen1:11 Rise Up formula, optimising the growth and vitality of your plants.

Start the application of Gen1:11 Early Flower according to the growth schedule. This is formulated to suit most growing situations. It is best if you have already started Gen1:11 Early Flower nutrition just before the first blooms appear. Don't wait to start as soon as the first signs of budding appear on your flowering plants. Even if this is earlier than indicated on the growth schedule. By starting Gen1:11 at this critical time, you optimise the plant's response to the flowering phase and unlock the full potential of our biostimulants. This strategic early application ensures exuberant bud development, improved flowering and ultimately contributes to the overall health and vitality of your flowering plants.

Q+A on substrates and the various growing media

A substrate for cultivating plants is essentially the medium in which plants grow their roots. It's the material that provides physical support, water, nutrients, and oxygen to the plant roots. Substrates can vary widely depending on the type of plants being cultivated, the growing conditions, and the specific requirements of the plants. Common substrates include soil, peat moss, coco coir, perlite, vermiculite, sand, gravel, rock wool, and various soilless mixes. Each substrate has its own characteristics and benefits, and the choice often depends on factors such as water retention, drainage, pH levels, and nutrient content.

As a beginning grower, choosing the right substrate is crucial to a successful grow. Many beginners choose a ready-made light mix enriched with perlite for better drainage. These substrates usually contain the a small amount of nutrients for the early stages of plant growth. For the slightly advanced Creator, coir is popular because of its excellent water retention and aeration properties. It provides a hydroponic environment. It contains no nutrients. A mix of Earth with coco at the bottom (ca.1/3) of the pot is a good alternative.

Heavily pre-fertilized substrates have certain disadvantages despite their convenience. Here are some possible disadvantages of pre-fertilized substrates: Limited control over nutrient levels: Pre-fertilized substrates usually come with a predetermined composition of nutrients. This lack of flexibility can be a drawback if the specific needs of the plants you are growing differ from what the substrate provides. Risk of over-fertilization: The fixed nutrient content in pre-fertilized substrates can lead to over-fertilization if not handled properly. Over-fertilization can be harmful to plants, negatively affect soil health. Not adaptable: Pre-fertilized substrates may not meet the specific needs of certain crops or specialized growing conditions. If you have unique requirements, such as specific ratios of micronutrients, using a pre-fertilized substrate is not a good option. Storage challenges: Prefertilized substrates can have a limited shelf life. Nutrients in the substrate can degrade over time, especially if the product is not stored properly. This can lead to a loss of effectiveness and may require regular replenishment. Compatibility issues: Some pre-fertilized substrates may not be suitable for use with certain hydroponic or aquaponic systems.

If you choose pre-fertilized substrates choose and lightly fertilized rather than a heavily fertilized variety. It is essential to carefully consider the specific needs of your plants and potential drawbacks before choosing a substrate for your gardening or growing activities.

Growing in soil offers a natural and traditional approach. Soil provides a stable medium for plant roots and supports essential microbial life. This method simplifies growing and makes it accessible to beginners. Quality soil with proper drainage and nutrients is the key to optimal growth. It provides a more forgiving environment and often results in flavourful and aromatic harvests.

Coco is derived from coconut fibre and is an excellent growing medium that offers optimal aeration and water retention for cannabis cultivation. Its natural properties make it a popular choice among advanced growers because of robust plant development. It is inert, so nutrients should always be added. The pH may need to be adjusted. And a less well-buffered cocos will retain calcium from nutrients until the fibres are fully buffered. This can lead to calcium deficiency in the plant. 

Growing on Rockwool provides a sterile and inert medium that promotes good root development and optimal nutrient uptake. This lightweight and fibrous substrate offers excellent aeration and water retention. Its neutrality ensures precise control of nutrient levels. A popular choice among growers, Rockwool provides a clean and efficient environment for healthy plant growth.

Deep Water Culture (DWC) provides a hydroponic habitat for your grow. In DWC, plants are suspended in nutrient-rich water, allowing their roots to directly absorb oxygen and essential nutrients. This method promotes rapid growth and high yields. The continuous immersion creates a well-oxygenated environment, optimising the plant's metabolic processes. DWC stands out for its efficiency and is favoured by advanced growers looking for an effective hydroponic system for growing vibrant and healthy crops.

Growing with Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) offers a streamlined hydroponic solution for growing plants. In NFT systems, a thin layer of nutrient-rich water constantly flows over the plant's roots, promoting optimal nutrient uptake. This method maximises nutrient efficiency, accelerates plant growth and is particularly suitable for growers with limited space. NFT's continuous nutrient delivery system ensures a consistent and efficient supply, contributing to healthier plants and potentially higher yields.

Growing with ebb and flow is an efficient method of cultivation. In this system, plants are placed in a tray or container filled with a growing medium. The container is regularly flooded with nutrient-rich water, providing the plants with essential nutrients. The flooding is followed by a drain cycle, ensuring optimal aeration and preventing oversaturation. Ebb and flow systems balance the benefits of hydroponics with the simplicity of soil cultivation, making them a popular choice for professional growers.

Growing with aeroponics revolutionises plant growth by floating the roots in a nutrient-rich mist. This method promotes rapid uptake of nutrients and oxygen, encouraging robust growth and greater yields. Aeroponics eliminates the need for traditional growing media, reduces the risk of disease and promotes a cleaner, more efficient growing process. With precise control over nutrients and optimal aeration, aeroponic systems allow growers to fine-tune environmental conditions, creating an ideal environment for plants to flourish. As an advanced grower, increase your growing experience with the innovative benefits of aeroponics.