Nutrient ‘additives’ are
necessary for supplying substances that are not compatible with
concentrated nutrient formulations.
Additives provide benefits
such as flowering enhancement, disease prevention, root initiation and
increased fruit weight.
Nutrient ‘additives’ supply substances that are “chemically” incompatible
with concentrated nutrient formulations. For example, a meaningful amount
of silica is
unstable in concentrated nutrients and therefore must be stored in a
Additives are also necessary for supplying those substances which have a
dose rate that varies throughout the growth cycle at a different rate than
the base nutrient. This is often the case with plant growth regulators (PGR’s)
or hormone additives.
“PK” Flowering additives
- Silica additives
Humic & Fulvic acids
Nutrient disinfectants (Sterilizing
growth regulators (PGR’S)
Seaweed (kelp) additives
Calcium, magnesium, iron additives
Common issues with additives
Although additives can provide lucrative yield benefits, they can cause
Chemical compatibility: Certain additives are unstable when mixed with
nutrient solutions, or other additives. This problem is often encountered
when employing certain organic compounds, especially those in powdered
form. Such problems can usually be avoided by following a nutrient
manufacturer’s recommended feed schedule.
pH change: All additives will impose some change on the nutrient solution
pH - some more than others. For example, alkaline conditions are needed to
stabilize concentrated solutions of ‘silica’ and many ‘PK’ flowering
additives. Hence, these additives can cause a significant pH increase when
they are added to nutrient solutions. Therefore, as a rule, ensure to
immediately check the nutrient’s pH after dosing with additives.
Algae and slimes: Carbohydrate (or sugary) additives often induce the
growth of algae and slimes in nutrient solutions. This can attract pests
and cause blockage of plumbing (e.g. drippers, jets, feed lines).