Fertilizing, the main Nutritions and interaction between the nutritional elements;
As described in Plant growth factors , nutrition has a 6 percent influence on the growth of the plant. A small but important element in a succesful breeding process.
Breeding outside takes several months. Therefore biological fertilising is the most succesful, because organic/biological fertilizer (existing from blood and bonewheat, added with kali and magnesium) slowly comes free and no ingredients are lost. It takes 3 months before the fertilizing is fully working.
For breeding indoors biological fertilizing is not very usefull, because it only takes 10 weeks for a succesful growth. That's why you have to work with fluid and fast transferable mineral fertilizers with less or no sodium or chlorine.
As written in Botany (plant biology), the growth speed is determined by 6 factors. If you boost one of these factors, you have to boost the others too. It all must have the right proportion. Otherwise, antagonism will occur. That means that the 'bigger' or 'higher' nutritional element will oppress the 'smaller' or 'lower' elements, and the plant won't be able to use those elements. For example, too much kali means that the plant can't get enough calcium. And even worse, if there is too much calcium, all other elements (besides nitrogen) will get useless.
On the other hand, there are also elements which amplify eachother. Like magnesium and fosfor. And some elements will combine. For instance, sodium and chlorine will make kitchen salt (which is really poisonous!) and calcium and magnesium make plaster (which may cause the blocking of the ducts and dripper). That's why A and B-nutritions may never be blended in one tub. A-nutritions contain sodium, phosfor, kali and calcium. B-nutritions contain sodium, phosfor, kali and magnesium. Therefore, it is better to use 2 tubs.
For a small grower it is advisable first to give the plants A-nutrition, and the next time B-nutrition with some extra magnesium.
Next, I will describe all important nutritions which must be used for a succesful growth. Just read it and I will be sure that it will give you some useful suggestions.
The Ph-value of the earth gives you an idea how quickly nutrition can be transferred by the plant and how much nutrition the earth contains. The higher the Ph-value, the lesser the transfer. If the Ph-value is too low, excess will occur. The ideal Ph-value lies between 6.0 and 6.5. 'Potgrond' and coco have a Ph-value of 5.5, but it is not advised to add more Ph-acid. This acid will burn important elements of the roots.
Because the Ph-value of sandy soil is too low I advise you to scatter (in January/February) 200 grammes of lime per 10 m2.
EC is short for Electrical Conductivity. For a succesful growth all nutritional elements must be in reach and the right proportions must be taken care for. The optimal EC for most plants is about 1.0.
THE MAIN NUTRITIONS:
N stands for nitrate or nitrogen.
This element is the most used by the plant, especially in case of strong growth (just after planting) and during the first weeks of vegetative growth. In case of shortage the leaves will get a light green colour, the plant won't get tall, there will be an early blooming and the plant will suffer more quickly from mold. This might occur when the ground is too wet.In case of too much N, the plants will get thin and fragile.
P stands for phosfor. Phosfor plays an important role in the breathing and assimilation (to create nutriotion by using light) of the plant. Several weeks before blooming, kali, in combination with phosfor will have a favourable effect. Therefor, it is advised to add some extra phosfor and kali. In case of shortage, leaves will get smaller and purple, flowers will be more pale and blooming may not occur.Principally, there is no chance of too much P, although it may cause a shortage of magnesium.
K stands for Potassium. This element plays an important role in the contruction, transport and storage of carbo-hydrates. Potassium makes the leaves and stalk more sturdy, and provides for bigger and thicker tops. Enough Potassium also gives the plant a better defense against mold and bacteria. In case of shortage the edges of the leaves may get yellow, to begin with the older and lowest leaves. Also, all leaves will get smaller and the branches get thinner.In case of too much Potassium, salt damage will occur and the plant will have a bad growth.
Ca stands for calcium. Calcium makes the plant sturdy and plays an important role in the building of cells, cell membranes and cell walls. Also, calcium is crucial with high temperatures. Shortage of calcium develops when the plant grows too fast or the humidity is too high. Consequently, the plant can’t pick up any water or nutrition. In case of shortage young leaves and tops die, and the plant will suffer earlier from mold. When there is a shortage of kali or magnesium, there might be too much calcium.
MgO stands for magnesium. Magnesium gives the plant that refreshing, healthy and green appearance. Magnesium is the building stone for chlorofyl and plays a key role in photosynthesis (the conversion of light energy into chemical energy by living organisms). Further more, it is important for the function of cell walls, the strength of the tissue of the plants and the building stone of several enzymns. In case of shortage the leaves turn yellow, while the leaf nerves stay green. Chiefly, there is no case of too much magnesium.
Unfortunately, too little attention is given to spore elements in the breeding bussiness. Spore elements are the vitamins and minerals for the plant. Spore elements are: Fe, Mn, B, Zn, Cu and Mo.
All these elements have an important function and are also building stones for the plant. Spore elements are required for the watermanagement, cell separation, productivity and the protein metabolism of the plant.
Because the nutrition, which can be bought in normal shops, contains little or no spore elements, these have to be added during every time of feeding.
Excessity only occurs when there is too much Mn. In this case the ground probably contains too much peat.
Shortage of Mn occurs more often. This phenomenon is hard to describe and can only be recognized by experts. However, by giving the plants enough spore elements, this will not happen.
You will now know that all nutritional elements must occur in the right proportions. To prevent problems I advise you to do bottom or soil research before every new growing process. The costs of this research do not weigh up against the benefits. It will tell you about the Ph-value and EC of your soil, which nutritional elements it contains and which negative salts still are present. This way, you can be advised properly which and how much fluid nutritions must be added. Fluid nutritions are used to point out the right direction of the breeding process. This does not count for those who grow on Hydro and use drips.
Explaining the interaction between the nutritional elements:
Antagonism (red lines): interaction between elements in which one partially or completely blocks the effect of the other.
Synergism (green lines): two or more elements working together to produce a result not obtainable by any of the elements independently.
Note: The absolute value as well as the relationship of one element to another is very important.
Figure: Schematic presentation of the several interactions between the essential nutritions.