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How to Make the Most of Your Beneficial Microbes for Hydroponic Growing

Even though bacteria are often associated with disease, the number of species of bacteria that are either benign or helpful far outnumber those that can cause illness. In nature, most plants often rely on several species of beneficial microbes to increase the availability of nutrients and protect them from disease. Some high quality hydroponic products take advantage of the benefits of beneficial bacteria by producing and distributing “super strains”, which are strains of bacteria that are several times more potent than what you would commonly find in nature. If you use one of these products in your own hydroponic garden, here are the key ways to make the most of your investment.

Use organic nutrients and fertilizers – You don’t necessarily have to be strictly hydro-organic to get the most benefit form you beneficial microbes, but including a good amount of organic material can help your bacteria thrive. The natural environment of these beneficial bacteria is the soil, which is typically rife with organic material. If your nutrient solution is more chemical, the microbes will have fewer resources to allow them to replicate and survive. Typical organic fertilizers include earthworm castings, bat guano, seaweed and kelp. While it is possible to get a hydroponic fertilizer that contains only these ingredients, most commonly they will be combined into an organic tea. You may also try to invest in an organic bloom enhancer to both help increase your yield and provide you with tastier produce.

Include them in your foliar spray – Your root zone isn’t the only area that can benefit from the kind of increased nutrient uptake that beneficial microbes can provide. Many growers also choose to include them in their foliar spray to ensure that their plant is getting the most possible benefit. In addition to increasing uptake, beneficial bacteria can prevent mold and mildew from forming on your leaves.

Limit Pesticide Use – Especially when you are using your bacteria in your foliar spray, try to avoid using chemical pesticides. In addition to killing aphids and other nasties that can ruin your garden, most pesticides have powerful antibiotic capabilities. That means spraying your plants and leaves with them might be able to protect your plants, but it might also be wasting the money you spent for the beneficial microbes. Even if you are strictly using bacteria for your root zone, it is entirely possible for the pesticide mist to find its way into your reservoir. Obviously, you shouldn’t sacrifice your plants to bugs in order to save your bacteria, but you should try to find organic and less harsh ways to deal with pests before your resort to chemical pesticides, especially if you are benefiting from a product that contains beneficial microbes.

Ensure Your Grow Room is Sufficiently Warm – The reason that you can store food in the refrigerator without it spoiling is because cold temperatures slow bacterial population growth to a crawl. In your grow room, however, you want those beneficial microbes to duplicate as much as possible. If you do increase your grow room temperatures, try to ensure that it is still within the optimal range for your plant development.


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Since 1999, Advanced Nutrients has been committed to educating the community and bringing the most up-to-date knowledge to the forefront of grows across the globe. Every article you read here has been curated by Advanced Nutrients’ industry experts, so you can continue raising your bud weight… and your reputation.

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Over time, components within the nutrients settle on the bottom of the bottle. When you pour a bottle without shaking it, you can potentially be pouring out an unbalanced solution. Shaking up the nutrient bottle ensures you are pouring the right blend into your reservoir, giving your crops the nutrition they need.

Usually, it’s not a problem. But some products are incompatible with each other and can damage your plants when they’re used together. For example, bloom boosters with high PK numbers or low-grade silica products can destabilize your nutrient mix and cause nutrient lockout.

Nutrient manufacturers design their products to be used with each other. In doing so, they include specific portions of each nutrient in each product, so crops receive the right nutrition through each stage of the grow cycle. When you stick with one manufacturer, you don’t have to worry about inadvertently destabilizing your nutrient mixture. One example of why you need to stick with only one manufacturer’s products is Advanced Nutrients’ pH Perfect line. These products are designed to keep your crops’ root zone within a specific pH range. When you use them alongside products from another manufacturer, we can’t guarantee your root zone will maintain its optimal pH level.

Yes! If you’re growing with Advanced Nutrients products, you can use our easy nutrient calculator to generate the correct nutrient chart for your crops in seconds. Check out Advanced Nutrients’ nutrient calculator here. Another great resource is our library of free custom-growing recipes. Try our expert grower-tested nutrient schedules here.

You can also download our official BudLabs app to generate nutrient schedules and receive real-time notifications for specific tasks, including feeding your crops. Upgrade to BudLabs Pro to maintain profiles on an unlimited number of crops.

If you are a grower, visit this link to find the closest Advanced Nutrients Authorized Retailer. If you are a retailer, visit this link to identify our official distributors.

Our greatest passion is growing great cannabis—and helping other growers do the same. That’s why we offer complimentary cultivation support 24/7 from Monday to Friday and from 9 AM until 7 PM PST on Saturday… With the same level of advice licensed producers would pay consultants tens of thousands of dollars to unlock.
Just call 1-800-640-9605 or email support@advancednutrients.com. For Spanish-speaking growers, email spanishsupport@advancednutrients.com.

Yes! If for any reason you are not absolutely thrilled with the results you achieve when you use our products, just bring the unused portion, along with your original sales receipt, back to the place of purchase within six months, and ask for your money back. Find out more about our Grower Guarantee here.

Advanced Nutrients has spent many thousands of man-hours developing a technology that automatically balances your pH for you — putting it in the “sweet spot” and holding it there for one week.

And the technology is so “smart” that it can account for many of the aforementioned variables in your grow room. Our proprietary pH buffering agents and stabilizing mechanisms became the foundation of a new system aptly called pH Perfect® Technology. Learn all about it here.

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