Most plants grow healthy and strong through the uptake of nutrients. Nutrients in the soil, and the availability of nutrients all depend on the nature of the soil. Almost all soils contain some combination of sand, peat, clay, and other organic matter. A soil mixture should have some texture, and the pH of the soil, and the water/nutrient mixture added determine the extent to which nutrients are available to plants, as well as play a major role in how well the plant uptakes these nutrients. The nutrients you use are very important. X Nutrients products are made with the proper ratios and amounts of macro and micro nutrients for optimal plant growth through all phases, from clone to harvest. Higher amounts of Calcium and Magnesium are available in our Basics, the Grow, Bloom, and Micro reducing the chance of nutrient deficiency. This also increases the overall health and growth rate of plants as well as promotes larger yields.
Soil Texture is important to understand. A good soil should have some aeration, some water holding properties, and be active with beneficial bacteria to promote activity within the living qualities of the soil. Soil texture affects how nutrients and water are available for the plants. A heavier Clay based soil will often hold water well, but it has little aeration qualities. Sand has great aeration qualities, but lacks the ability to hold water. As water drains from sandy soils, it often carries nutrients along with it. This is called leaching, nutrients leach through the soil, so they are not available for plants to use. Organic soils hold nutrients and water much better than sandy soils. They also tend to possess more aeration qualities. An ideal soil contains equivalent portions of sand, peat, and organic matter. Commercial soils vary in their texture, nutrient and beneficial content, which makes some soils more productive than others. The nutrients that a plant needs to grow healthy occur naturally in amended commercial soils. However, some soils require the need for nutrients to be added to sustain healthy vigorous plants. An ideal soil mix is a well balanced texture, with some beneficial amendments, but few, if any nutrient amendments. This gives you, the gardener control of exactly which micro and macro nutrients are added and when to maximize plant growth an crop production.
Soil pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Soil pH is an important factor in the soil's properties that affects the availability of nutrients, therefore effecting growth. Macro nutrients will be less available in soils with low pH, where Micro nutrients will be less available in soils with high pH. It is important to stay within a pH range that allows for proper uptake of both. Lime can be amended to the soil to make it less acidic, and it supplies calcium and magnesium, which the plants also use. A pH range of 6.0 to 6.8 is a good rule of thumb to keep your water/nutrient mix at 6 or slightly above, and always below 7.0. with 6.5 to 6.8 being the optimal range. X Nutrients offers a pH Down Concentrate and milder pH up you can use to adjust the pH to the appropriate range for your nutrient solution. Keep in mind a good PH buffered nutrient, such as X Nutrients Basic Grow, Bloom, and Micro, are most effective when PH is kept in the 6.0 to 6.8 range. After you've set the pH that is ideal for your plants our Basics will maintain that pH level in the nutrient solution you mix to feed your plants. When pH is within this range, nutrients are more readily available to plants, and microbial activity in the soil increase.
Live microbes play a major role in the conversion of nutrients to forms the plants can use. A consistent pH range will also enhance the physical properties of the soil that promote water and air movement. Keep in mind certain species, subspecies, and specific varieties prefer a slightly lower pH, other prefer a higher pH. Knowing the variety you are working with will assist in growing a healthy productive plant. Typically you won't drop below 5.8, nor above 7.0 in any of the soil mixes used for most plant types. Reverse Osmosis, the process of removing all elements from water, will throw pH off after adding nutrients. In addition a high PPM reading of the water used will change the pH as well. Know your soil, know your water, and know your plants for the best possible results when using applying nutrients. When using amended soils, always read, and understand the ratios of the soil amendments included in the mix prior to adding nutrients. Some soils are very well amended to sustain a plant through the vegetative stages, but tend to lack in the fruit and flower portion. While other soils are amended well enough to sustain full cycle growth with the addition of some minor additives later in the bloom stages.