Why are we not seeing a guaranteed analysis on the new H&G bottles?
A guaranteed analysis numbers are representative of the amount or percentage of a certain element per unit of volume. These percentages are obtained through certifying agencies that do not always use the same instrumentation, the same scale, and the same procedure. To complicate things further, every state began to do their own testing a couple of years ago without standardizing the testing – it is up to whichever independent lab they are using to determine these numbers.
So in an effort to prevent any unnecessary misunderstanding regarding a guaranteed analysis, H&G decided to use the MINIMUM guaranteed analysis numbers instead. Little did they know it would cause so much confusion. So, let’s talk about that.
If you maintain an optimal pH range, where all the nutrients provided in the solution are delivered, no additional supplementation should be needed. The 6.0-6.2 pH range is the optimal sweet spot for most plants, because that is where Ca-Mg are best absorbed in relation to the other essential elements.
There are also many growers who have incorporated Nitrogen Boost into their nutrient regimen and burned all their plants, simply because there was no need for extra nitrogen supplementation to begin with! So, for those of you who have a bottle of Nitrogen Boost, I ask you: do your plants REALLY need this now? House & Garden’s base nutrients are nitrogen complete–the change in labeling does not mean that now you need Nitrogen Boost – far from it!. Nitrogen Boost, as with any Cal-Mag additive, is designed for plants whose habits are already known by the grower and should be used in moderation, and with good reason. Not all additives are indicated for all plants under all grow conditions.
For best results, start your nutrient solution with an H&G base nutrient, Drip Clean, & Roots Excelurator. Then add anything else at you see fit, but first ask yourself:
• Why you’re adding it
• What result do you expect from adding it
• How you will manage the nutrient strength of the solution in the presence of the additive
• How your plants will look 3, 7, 15 days down the line once you add it
If you cannot satisfactorily answer these questions, we recommend you pass on the additive and stick to what you know that works. You can, however, do a side-by-side, or a test run, in which you compare the results of a control group vs. those results obtained by using the additive being tested. This is the best way to know if the additive justifies its incorporation to your feeding regimen.