Out of all of the areas for your learning curve as you embark upon growing your first crop, you might find all of the information out their concerning fertilizers and nutrients to be the most daunting. The sheer quantity of information available on the subject along with the staggering amount of products offered can be a lot to digest.
There certainly is a ton of information, but there is no need for you to get lost in it as long as you understand what the basic needs are for your plants and can design a simple and effective regimen, that once adopted, you can stick to successfully for future crops.
Let’s start off with a basic background for understanding fertilizers, fertilizer types, and what’s useful about them:
All plants need three elements to grow and thrive – Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium. (N-P-K). In addition to these, numerous trace elements benefit plants.
When you buy a fertilizer, it will always be label that states the three numbers such as (10-5-5-) indicating the percentages of the (N-P-K), always in that order.
Happily, the manufacturers have devoted countless dollars and research to figuring out exactly what works best for plants, so you don’t need to feel overburdened with the need to understand 100% of the science before you can embark upon your mission to grow a successful crop.
There are quite a few options you will have for choosing a good fertilizer in order to have a great “Tomato” crop:
We recommend the generic gardening mixes such as Happy Frog or Fox Farms line. These generally have the full 3 – 4 months worth of nutrients you will need for all growth.
Recommended: Advanced Nutrients in conjunction with Humboldts Secret Golden Tree.
Fox Farms’ Marine Cuisine (meal, shrimp meal, seabird guano, and kelp) and American Pride (earthworm castings, bat guano and cottonseed meal). Don’t put near the base of your plant.
ADVICE ON UNUSED NUTRIENT SALTS…
What is left after your plant uses a nutrient solution for feeding is NOT the same as what you started with. While it is possible to re-fortify such waste with the nutrients and ingredients to again make it viable for use, for most growers this would be a tremendous waste of time and effort. Always discard and clean out your grow medium from buildup of old, unused nutrient salts. The plants have already decided they don’t need them, so let’s get them out of their way, especially when preparing a grow medium for additional future use.
ADVICE ON USING NUTRIENT PRODUCTS CORRECTLY AND SAFELY:
It’s always smart to start your young plants off on half dosages of the manufacturers guidelines and see how they respond. Given good results, you can gradually work your way up to the full dosage amounts as your plants get used to their new foods and gain strength as they grow.
SOME IMPORTANT BASICS…
Follow the manufacturers instructions for methods of use and do not think that going over the guidelines for usage will create bigger and better plants. The biggest cause of plant death is from over feeding.
Pay special attention to your young plants and feed them on half dosages until they are strong and more developed.
Keep your plant nutrient solution at a stable room temperature (about 68-74 degrees F)
RECOMMENDED ADDITIVE OF NOTE:
We’ve singled out some highly effective products that we recommend for the serious grower’s consideration. Here’s some information courtesy of the manufacturers.
This is our premier additive product, and quite simply, it’s the best on the market. We’ve been developing this since the 1980’s, and the huge amount of experience and knowledge gained from our team of scientist and old-school Humboldt growers has amounted in a finely-tuned and perfectly balanced product that takes all the guest work out of the equation for both the novice beginner grower and the most experienced.
It’s great to help boost the OVERALL HEALTH of your plants and the yield of your crops.