Questions regarding nutrients.
Why are there three parts to the General Hydroponics Flora Series nutrients?
The concept behind the Flora Series is simple: Different kinds of plants have significantly different nutrient needs, and these needs change during each plants growth cycle. By using different combinations of FloraGro, FloraBloom and FloraMicro, the grower is able to fulfill the exact needs of the plant at each stage in the plants life cycle. As the crop grows, the grower is able to precisely adapt the nutrient formulation to meet the crops changing requirements.
Can you explain the purpose of each component of the Flora Series?
In hydroponics, the plant roots are constantly provided with all the water, oxygen and nutrients they need. The challenge for the grower is to keep up with the plants needs, and to avoid damaging it with either excesses or deficiencies of minerals. As a general rule, a plant consumes more nitrogen during the formative or vegetative stage, and more phosphorus, potassium and magnesium as it flowers. Throughout its growth cycle, the plant will also consume calcium, sulfur and micro nutrients such as iron, manganese, boron, molybdenum and copper. FloraMicro, the foundation or "building block" of the Flora Series system, provides nitrogen and calcium as well as trace minerals, which are essential for a comprehensive hydroponic plant diet. By adding FloraGro to FloraMicro, the plant will receive additional nitrogen and potassium, which stimulates structural and foliar growth. To stimulate flower and fruit development, FloraBloom is added to provide the necessary phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and sulfur.
What is a general purpose nutrient recommendation?
The proper ratio of each Flora Series nutrient depends on the crop and the stage of growth (look on the label for specific recommendations for different crops). However, as a rule of thumb we use the "1-2-3" ratio:
For seeds, cuttings, or delicate seedlings use 1/4 tsp. of each nutrient to 1 gallon water
For the vegetative stage of growth use 3 tsp. FloraGro to 2 tsp. FloraMicro to 1 tsp. FloraBloom to 1 gallon water
For late vegetative to pre-bloom stage use 2 tsp. of each nutrient to 1 gallon water
For bloom initiation to ripening stage use 1 tsp. FloraGro to 2 tsp. FloraMicro to 3 tsp. FloraBloom to 1 gallon water.
How do I mix the Flora Series?
Always start with a reservoir filled with water, then add the concentrated nutrients one by one.
Never mix the nutrients together in their concentrated form, as this will cause nutrient "lock-out" making some minerals unavailable. It is best to begin by adding FloraMicro, stirring well, and then adding FloraGro and/or FloraBloom. If both FloraGro and FloraBloom are used, add one, stir well, then add the other.
When the reservoir level begins to drop, should I top it off with fresh water or nutrient solution?
If you drain, clean and remix the nutrients every 7 to 10 days, it's okay to top off with fresh water daily. As plants consume nutrients and water, the nutrient strength in the hydroponic reservoir will change. GENERALLY, nutrient strength should run between 800 to 1500 parts per million (ppm). Your exact ppm requirements will depend on your circumstances and style of growing. We strongly suggest that you measure ppm, you will need to purchase a nutrient testing device and start monitoring your nutrient solution. We use meters with a "sodium chloride" scale. Before using your meter, calibrate it with General Hydroponics Standard Reference Solution. Then, measure the ppm in the solution. If you find that it is greater than what you want, add water to bring the indicated ppm down to a safe level. If you find the ppm is too low, add nutrient solution to bring the indicated ppm up to its desired level. Your water quality will affect your final readings. When in doubt, remember that it is always better to apply too little nutrient than too much. Unless you know the specific ppm tolerance level for the plant you are growing, it is best to keep the nutrient solution between 800 and 1500 ppm.
Between cleanings, how often should I check the reservoir level?
Fast growing crops consume large amounts of nutrients and water so it is important to keep an eye on the reservoir every couple of days. Also consider the size of the plants(bigger plants, more water consumption) and how warm and dry the environment.(hotter, more transpiration).
Do I ever need to drain the reservoir and refill with fresh water and nutrient solution?
Yes. The reservoir should be drained and rinsed every 7-14 days, depending upon plant size and nutrient usage. It should definitely be drained and cleaned whenever you change the nutrient ratio formula. It is also a good idea to rinse off the growing medium (expanded clay pebbles, CocoTek Coir) each time the reservoir is cleaned. Plant waste will tend to accumulate on the growing medium.
What is the shelf life of the Flora Series nutrients?
Properly stored (cool environment, out of sunlight, sealed container) they should last indefinitely.
What is the shelf life of the dry nutrient lines?
Our dry nutrient formulations should be stored in a dry cool environment. Remember to seal the bag and replace the lid on the container. If stored in this manner, they should last indefinitely. Avoid leaving this product in direct sunlight or warm humid environments.
What is the shelf life of the FloraNova series nutrients?
Properly stored (cool environment, out of sunlight, sealed container) the FloraNova series should last up to one year without any problems.
Do I use MaxiGrow and MaxiBloom at the same time?
Yes and no. The Maxi Series is designed to use one part at a time, but in a time of transition it may be beneficial to mix the two at half strength each (makes a full strength nutrient solution). Use MaxiGro in the vegetative stage and MaxiBloom in the fruiting/flowering stage.
Note: If your plant is not fruiting or flowering plant, MaxiGro is all that you will need to use.
For further information, refer to our Maxi Series feed chart.
Do I use FloraNova Grow and FloraNova Bloom at the same time?
Yes and no. The FloraNova series is designed to use one part at a time, but in a time of transition it may be beneficial to mix the two at half strength each (makes a full strength nutrient solution). Use FloraNova Grow in the vegetative stage and FloraNova Bloom in the fruiting/flowering stage.
Note: If your plant is not fruiting or flowering plant, FloraNova Grow is all that you will need to use.
For further information, refer to out FloraNova feed chart.
Can I foliar feed with GH nutrients?
Of course. Make sure you use a weaker nutrient solution than you would for root feeding. Avoid foliar feeding in the heat of the day and under excessive sunlight. Generally, the best times to foliar feed are in the early morning and late afternoon. Make sure you spray the undersides of the leaves. This is where the stomata or "lungs of the plant" are located, and where maximum absorption occurs.
Can GH nutrients be used in soil?
Absolutely! All of our nutrient blends contain the necessary elements for plant growth. Start with the formula ratios identified on the label for the specific plant or crop you are growing, and then adjust and experiment until you find the right formula for your specific need.
For further information, refer to our Drain to Waste feed charts.
Is the Flora Series organic?
First, what is or is not "organic" is the subject of intense debate. In the United States, there are numerous definitions of "organic", many of which differ significantly. Each state has its own regulations for labeling produce as "organic". Additionally, there are 36 non-governmental organizations, which can "certify" produce as organic. Now only crops grown from unrefined minerals are recognized as "organic". The trouble is unrefined minerals do not dissolve well for hydroponic use and some of these unrefined minerals contain quantities of impurities, some of which are toxic to plants. For that reason, FloraBloom, FloraGro, and FloraMicro are made from high quality refined minerals. This ensures high quality crop production, but prevents the crop from being considered "organic".
Is FloraNova series organic?
FloraNova Grow and Bloom contain 3-5% organic substances creating the marriage between mineral and organic gardening.
Can you use more than the recommended dose of KoolBloom at any time during the flowering or fruiting cycle?
No, using too much KoolBloom will actually cause all blooms and possibly the plant to deteriorate and die. KoolBloom works on the premise that the plant is shocked into mass flowering. Shocking the plant too much will cause rotting and in extreme cases death.
When is KoolBloom best used? How much?
KoolBloom can safely be used three to four weeks before the end of the plants life cycle. Use only the recommended dose of 1/4 tsp per gallon (1.5 g / gallon). This will increase the ppm by approximately 200 ppm (0.4 mS).
For further information, refer to the feed charts for your GH program.
What nutrient strength should I use KoolBloom with?
Use a less aggressive nutrient strength in the range of 1000-1200 ppm (2-2.4 mS) before adding the KoolBloom.