Posted by Buddy Bernier on 7/29/2012
How to Mix Nutrients.
If you're like me, you have spent a considerable amount of time in your local Hydro shop looking at bottles of nutrients and even more time studying feet charts. When you are considering making a change to your nutrient program there is a lot to consider. How much product will you need to do a complete run, will I have enough product in my final weeks, will this product give my plant what they need to excel and what exactly is the right mix ratio I will need for my particular garden.
The old saying "haste makes waste" is never more true that when you are gardening. We have all learned this lesson at some point in our lives and nobody wants to make costly mistakes when they are so simple to avoid. When you rush, mistakes happen. Period. I try to eliminate the probability of mistakes in my garden and streamlining my feeding program is one simple way to avoid mistakes. After being a regular user of Gen Hydro and Botanicare and a few others,
I decided to give Advanced a try. For the purposes of this explanation we will use them as an example. The reason why I selected Advanced might surprise you.
Certainly I had heard about the outstanding results others have had and
the quality of the end product and so on. The thing that really hooked
me was the strength of the product and most importantly the simplicity
of the mix ratios. You see I am busy and I can't always spend as much
time in the garden as I want to. Marketing hype aside, I wanted to see for myself if there was a dead simple feed program that would yield like I am used to and that I could easily teach to others if need be. Most importantly it had to be easy for me to knock out in a hurry if I needed to rush to get a feeding in.
Every nutrient company has pros and cons and their evangelists. In my case, I was not a devotee of the line, just a curious grower. The biggest challenge after you determine the right choice of products for me is the mixing ratios. With the new Bigger Yields Flowering System, Advanced Nutrients has in my opinion, the single most uncomplicated feeding program in the industry. Granted, there are a heck of a lot of products to mix if you run the expert level of the program. But it is still really uncomplicated. The base nutrients are all mixed at a ratio of 4 milliliters per liter and the additives are mixed at 2 milliliters per liter. It doesn't get much simpler than that.
There are 3.7854118 liters in each gallon. Since I am in the United States and we mix up gallons, I choose to round up to 4 liters per gallon for my mixing with no ill effects. Of course when you are desire lower strengths in early veg or flower you adjust accordingly. I suspect that this program is a bit wasteful and you can back off of the strength in early flower with no ill effects. If you simply follow the chart, you will get good results unless you break some other plant care rules. Thus far I am extremely happy with the results. Especially when considering my admitted lack of attention to plant care beyond week 3 thinning. Basically I water or feed, check for bugs and leave. I know, not very caring am I.
So here is the breakdown:
Bases ( Sensi-Grow and Bloom, GMB or Connoisseur)
Mix 4ml per liter x 4liters =16 ml total per gallon.
Additives ( Big Bud, Carboload, Bud Candy, Budfactor X etc.)
Mix 2 ml per liter x 4 liters = 8 ml total per gallon.
Doesn't get much easier than this.
Tips for Mixing NutesHere's a few tips for having success when you mix. These suggestions apply for all nutrients lines in my experience.
1 Always uses RO or de-clorinated water to get the best results.
2 Mix all of the additives you will be using in order as they appear on the schedule. You want to mix these first as they have all of the essential "secret sauce" that will make your garden all you hoped for. Then add your bases.
3 Check your PPM's on the water you start with, check again after you mix in all additives and THEN add your base nutes to get to your desired PPM strength.
4 If you are using powders, mix those first using a smaller amount of water to start to achieve the consistency and complete product dissolution. Then add the rest of your water and the balance of the nutrients in your schedule.
This procedure will help you avoid over fertilizing. Most additives are lighter in the NPK department so you usually don' t have deficiencies or over do it using this method. It gets you in the habit of checking PPM in flowering and it helps you learn what the various products do to the PPM levels as you add them in. The more awareness you have, the less likely you are to be surprised by seemingly random issues. It also allows you to fine tune by making adjustments that are strain specific when you have a full grasp of what each product does and how it effects the mix.
So next time you are prepping your girls for a feed, give these simple steps a try and see for yourself how much easier your feeding becomes and how much happier your plants are too.
Anonymous Date 9/14/2012 11:12:23 AM
Good article, I see this question come up a lot online and now I have a good place to point people to so they don't just have to take my word for it!