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Gardening

Essential Enhancers Explained

In today’s indoor gardening marketplace, there are many additives available to the gardener. So many, in fact, that some of the most essential additives often get overlooked or are not fully understood. No matter how many enhancers a grower uses on their plants, there are a few additives that every gardener should always use to help achieve maximum success. This month’s article will take a closer look at these essential must have additives.

Humic Acid

Humic acid is one of the major components of humic substances or organic matter. Humic acids are predominately derived from leonardite ore, of which less than half can be successfully converted to humic acid. Humic acids are also created by microorganisms that decompose dead cells. Due to its molecular structure, humic acids provide many benefits to plants, soil structure and microorganisms. Benefits include: organic chelation of inorganic salts such as calcium, magnesium, iron and other micro nutrients, enhanced soil water retention, increased seed germination rates and stimulated soil microorganisms. Humic acid absorbs ions relatively easily. Potassium hydroxide is used to treat leonardite in the production of humic acids. This saturates the humic acid with potassium which is easily exchanged for other cations in the soil, thus chelating many plant essential nutrients. Once chelated, these nutrients are easily absorbed by the plant’s roots. Due to the insolubility of humic acids at lower pH, it is more suited to soil gardens than hydro gardens.

Products which contain humic acids:

* Bio Bizz Root Juice (30% Humic Acid)

* Top Max (30% Humic Acid – This is a bloom stimulator and should only be used in the flowering cycle)

* Liquid Karma (20% of Liquid Karma is made up of humic acids, fulvic acids and seaweed extracts)

Products which contain Leonardite Ore (for soil only)

* Diamond Black (100% Leonardite Ore)

* Rare Earth (18% Leonardite Ore)

* These two products need to be mixed with soil prior to planting. Once in the soil mix, micro-organisms will break down the ore into humic and fulvic acids. This will be a slow, continuous release of humic and fulvic acids until harvest.

Fulvic Acid

Fulvic acids are organic acids that arise naturally in decomposing organic material called humus (humic acids). As with humic acids, fulvic acids also chelate inorganic nutrients and heavy metals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, cobalt, lead and potassium. Once the calcium and iron ions have been chelated they cannot react with phosphate, sulfur or oxygen and precipitate out of solution. Fulvic acid greatly increases the absorption through the cell membrane, across the cytoplasm and directly to the nucleus of cells. Once inside the plant cells, fulvic acids become catalysts that makes sure the cells get precisely the amount of nutrients they need and chelate harmful toxins, reducing them into a harmless form. Fulvic acids are soluble in a wide pH range, thus making them ideal for hydroponics.

The positive effect that fulvic acids have on the growth and development of plants is due to the chelating of inorganic nutrients, increasing the nutrients ability to pass through cell membranes, increasing micro-organism activity around the root zone, an increase in photosynthesis and transpiration and increased enzyme activity within the plant.

Products which contain fulvic acids:

* Liquid Karma (20% of Liquid Karma is made up of humic acids, fulvic acids and seaweed extracts)

* FulMag (3% fulvic acid)

* Diamond Nectar (less than 1% fulvic acid)

Seaweed Extract

The benefit of seaweed extract on plants has long been known by farmers. Seaweed extracts supply plants with a rich source of micro nutrients, some of which are not found in inorganic nutrients, growth simulators, hormones and enzymes. Seaweed extract is known for its rich source of plant hormones such as auxins and cytokinins.

Auxins are the plant’s growth hormone. Auxins are mainly responsible for cell elongation in the stem and lateral root development.

Cytokinins are found in the growing points of plants; the meristem. This hormone is produced by the plant in the root system and then transported directly to the growing points. Cytokinins are responsible for cell division, shoot elongation, flower bud initiation, lateral shoot development (releasing the plant from apical dominance), increased leaf size and plays a role in chlorophyll synthesis.

Seaweed extract can be applied via the root system or as a foliar spray. Seaweed extract used in conjunction with other additives has a complimentary effect on the efficiency of these additives.

Seaweed products:

* Top Max (15% Seaweed extract – This is a bloom stimulator and should only be used in the flowering cycle)

* Maxicrop

* Bio Bizz Alg-A-Mic

* Liquid Karma

* Age Old Liquid Kelp

* Nitrozyme

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