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Should Silica be added first or last?
Silica 0-0-8 is highly concentrated and should always be pre-diluted least 10-fold with water before adding to the reservoir.  Failure to do this may cause white particles to form when it is added to the nutrient solution.  This problem is more pronounced at higher EC’s especially when using hard or salty waters.  Note, these “white particles” will normally dissolve if the nutrient is immediately stirred and is therefore typically only an aesthetic problem if treated correctly.    If you do NOT want to predilute Silica, then it should be added to the reservoir first, before the base nutrient and other additives – like many other brands. The problem with this is it increases the water’s pH – subsequent addition of pH sensitive elements will be potentially destabilized unless pH is quickly corrected. By adding Silica last, we only need to worry about pH right at the end.  If you add it first, you need to worry about pH the whole way through!
Will System Maintenance improve the effective working life of nutrient batches?

Yes, provided light ingress and evaporation are minimized, shade (or bury) the reservoir to minimize nutrient temperature, and avoid the use of sugary additives such as carbohydrates and molasses.  With a super-stable nutrient such as Veg-1 or VegaFlora and their associated additives, batches can be stored for several weeks or even months provided pH is set well below 6.5 on day 1.  By keeping everything clean – reservoir, drippers, feedlines, pump and filters – System Maintenance will help ensure all plants are being watered properly.

Can I use Growth-XS with “auto-flowers”?

Yes, however to prevent additional vegetative growth during early flower, it is important to cease usage of Growth-XS 14-days prior to the ‘expected’ switch to flower.  Therefore, generally begin usage 3-weeks PRIOR to flower and use for a maximum of 7-days.  The plant will continue to benefit for about 14-days *post* application.

Using Growth-XS with hungry strains?

To prevent deficiency symptoms during accelerated vegetative growth, it may be necessary to increase EC by 0.2-0.4mS while Growth-XS is being used, and in the week or two following.

Can Flowering Enhancer be used in veg (or flower) with OTHER nutrient ranges?

Yes.  In veg, many growers now use Flowering Enhancer to prevent purple stems and petioles, and to avoid calcium, magnesium and iron deficiencies.   In bloom, Flowering Enhancer integrates very well into other ranges along with Resin-XS as the stand-alone PK additives.  This combination prevents the need for a cal-mag additive, provides pH stability and prevents the need for messy resin enhancers, carbohydrates and finishing agents.

Should I be adding *extra* PK additives to the FloraMax feeding schedule during bloom?

No, the PK levels (Phosphorous and Potassium) are optimized with Flowering Enhancer, Resin-XS and the FloraMax base nutrient (VegaFlora AB or Veg-1).  Avoid using Resin-XS during early-bloom as extra PK may negatively impact yields with certain strains.  During mid-to-late bloom, we generally recommend using Resin-XS at 2ml/L (7.5ml/Gal).

Nutrient deficiencies?

Over 90% of the “alleged” deficiency incidents that we have responded to (with FloraMax), the grower has not followed the chart. For example, the plants are in week-4 veg but are still being fed the week-2 veg schedule. Why? Sometimes growers are hesitant to advance the schedule to successive weeks. High pH and humidity, and under-watering are other common causes.  If this is not the case and the nutrient solution is in fact truly deficient under the given conditions, employ Ca-Mg-Fe at 0.5ml/L (2ml/Gal). If that fails to fix the problem within 1-week, increase its usage rate to 1ml/L (4ml/Gal). If that fails then the issue is probably not due to cal-mag or trace elements (Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, Mo or B).

NOTE: If the nutrient solution is deficient, Ca-Mg-Fe is the most effective way of rectifying the issue. Increasing EC by increasing the base nutrient dose is a common remedy, however, the most likely elements to be deficient in ‘most’ nutrient solutions are those contained within Ca-Mg-Fe – and is therefore why we recommend it for this purpose.

When using FloraMax, do I need a “cal-mag”?

No, the FloraMax line is designed to eliminate the requirement for additional “cal-mag” additives as it is built into our base nutrients and Flowering Enhancer product.  Over hundreds of test grows during the development phase there was never any need for a dedicated cal-mag additive. Furthermore, use of additional “cal-mag” may result in excessive calcium precipitate leading to clogged lines or build-up in the reservoir.  Therefore, avoid using a cal-mag (Ca-Mg-Fe) unless deficiency symptoms are eradicated by their use.

Should I use an air-stone? 

Generally no.  Claimed growth benefits from “super- oxygenated” nutrient have nil scientific merit.  For run-to-waste systems (soil and coco) an air-stone is not required and should be avoided as they can cause adverse reactions with organic additives and destabilize pH, especially if too much air is being injected.  If batches are being stored for more than a few days, System Maintenance should be used to prevent any build-ups in the reservoir especially if any light is able to enter.  Also, cover the reservoir, however, ensure the lid is raised to allow airflow – this will prevent the growth of mould on the hard surfaces inside the reservoir.

For recirculating systems, air-stones can be beneficial especially if the dump frequency is infrequent, however as mentioned above, minimize the air injection rate if using organics. This does not apply to DWC – the nutrient solution must be aerated, hence the clause, “feasible”.

Can I use chlorine or hydrogen peroxide with FloraMax?

No, System Maintenance should be used instead.  Growers must be made aware that many of the FloraMax products contain essential “purified extracted organics”. These appear more-or-less identical to synthetics or salts, and lack the typical characteristics of organic additive e.g. sludgy, sticky and stinky. The trouble is, grower’s can unwittingly assume FloraMax is a “synthetic-line” and employ chlorines or peroxide – which can destroy the organics!

Can cal-mag additives or base nutrients be used as foliar sprays?

These are NOT recommended for use as foliar sprays.  Firstly, the calcium in cal-mag additives (and base nutrients) will cause white staining on the surface of foliage.  During daylight (lights-on), this can hinder photosynthesis and cause burning of foliage (aka “necrosis”).  Also, the nutrient species used in cal-mags or base nutrients are not ideally suited for uptake via stomata.  For maximum uptake and efficacy, it is best to use a specialized foliar spray such as FloraMax Clone Spray.  This can be used for seedlings and clones, then throughout veg and in early bloom through to about week 3 or 4 – but generally not later than this.  The ingredients in Clone Spray are designed for maximum uptake via stomata and will impart the necessary benefits desired from a foliar spray e.g. improved foliage growth, increased number and quality of bud sites, improved plant structure and increased root mass.

What do I do if the EC of the nutrient batch is higher or lower than expected?

The EC target can be verified by calculating the sum total of the EC contributed from each product in the nutrient solution.  For example, on the VegaFlora A+B Dose Chart (v. 25 Aug 22), the schedule for Veg Week-1 contains four components that contribute to the EC target: VegaFlora A contributes 0.67mS (at 2.4ml/L; 9ml/Gal)) + VegaFlora B, 0.58mS + Root-XS, 0.1mS and OrganaBud, 0.07mS.  The sum total of the EC is 1.42mS (i.e., 0.67+0.58+0.1+0.07=1.42mS).  Note, System Maintenance and Silica contribute negligible EC, hence their EC contribution is not specified.
Now, if the EC target is not achieved, the reasons might be as follows:

EC is lower than expected:

  1. EC meter is reading low.
  2. You have under-dosed with one or more products.
  3. Reservoir is larger than specified i.e., need to calibrate the reservoir.
  4. Failed to add one or more products that contribute EC.
  5. Measuring devices are incorrect.

EC is higher than expected: 

  1. EC meter is reading high.
  2. Have over-dosed with one or more products.
  3. Reservoir is smaller than specified i.e., need to calibrate the reservoir.
  4. Failed to consider the EC contributed by the water and extra additives.  For example, if water has an EC of 0.3mS, then this needs to be added to the EC target (1.42+0.3 = 1.72mS).  Similarly, if Ca-Mg-Fe is added at 0.5ml/L, this will contribute 0.14mS, or 1ml/L will contribute 0.28mS.
  5. Measuring devices are incorrect.
Should I run low EC/TDS, or even just water, in the last 7-14 days?

Although this is a common trend, our best testers – and we have them in many countries – find that it’s best to continue high EC until harvest.  Low final EC/TDS harms final quality and flavour.  Some common causes of bad flavour/quality are:

  1. Failure to dry the final product adequately causes a harsh taste.
  2. Nuisance chemicals in the nutrients and additives – metallic tastes are common.  Some nutrient brands have a “signature” taste…
  3. PGRs such as paclobutrazol and daminozide reduce flavour.
  4. Excess sugars/carbs have a similar affect as the above-mentioned PGRs.
  5. Poorly balanced nutrients (some elements run deficient, others run excessive i.e. toxic) can cause a harsh taste.
Are FloraMax products ‘organic’ or ‘inorganic’ (aka synthetic)?

It is foolish to think plant growth can be optimized using one solitary method.  For this reason the FloraMax range incorporates a sophisticated blend of both organics and inorganics – although government regulation prohibits the disclosure of the organic ingredients in most cases. Importantly FloraMax is free of harmful PGR’s such as paclobutrazol and daminozide.

Revolutionary Organic Compounds
Organics are usually supplied to a plant using animal or plant sources like guano, fish emulsions, kelp meal, etc.  These organic sources can contain hundreds of different organic molecules.  The majority of these molecules either provide no nutrient-effect to plants, or act as nuisance chemicals that can cause foaming in the reservoir, build-up, odors or blocked drippers, etc.  Also, where beneficial molecules do exist in these organic sources, their concentration is unreliable and fails to provide consistent benefit to the plant, especially where fast, predictable cropping speed is required.
How does Floramax differ?  Over half of the FloraMax additives contain organics, but being analytical chemists, we have been able to isolate specific ‘beneficial’ organic molecules and supply them to our additives in a purified, potent form.  This enables their concentration to be optimized for maximum nutrient effect and  with no negative side-effects.  The result is a range of products that produce unique and tangible results without the foaming, build-up, odors or blockages.

Is every FloraMax batch tested for quality?

Every batch of FloraMax is manufactured by our in-house chemist, then tested for quality before being bottled.  This ensures every bottle performs to specification. Growers can be confident of achieving consistent yields from crop-to-crop.

What is the expected shelf-life of a FloraMax product?

Product shelf-life is essential for ensuring every bottle performs to the manufacturer’s original specification.  Our range boasts extra long shelf-life, typically at least 3-5 years. Hence growers can be confident of achieving consistent yields from crop-to-crop.

How many bottles do I need to grow a crop using FloraMax?

The use of 1-part technology throughout our range ensures each product is multi-purpose. This means you require only 4-5 bottles (base nutrient included) to cover a multitude of issues and ensure outstanding yields.

Simplicity is further demonstrated with our base nutrients.  Growers only require a single nutrient for seed-to-harvest growth instead of a separate grow and bloom formulation.  Less bottles means less confusion!

Does FloraMax use high quality ingredients?

FloraMax utilizes the highest grade of ingredients available for plant nutrient products.   Further, these are carefully balanced to avoid any unnecessary excess. This ensures the nutrient solution “runs clean” without blocking drippers or emitters.

How much pH adjustment is required with FloraMax nutrients?

Our pH buffering control is 5x stronger than other leading brands.  This means pH adjustment is not required in coco coir or soil and is reduced significantly in recirculating hydroponic systems.  Also, when dosing with alkaline additives you are unlikely to ever see white deposits or “clouds” in the nutrient.

Does FloraMax prevent common nutrient issues?

In most cases, good product design will prevent nutrient problems.  FloraMax’s products contains the latest nutrient technology which helps avoid common issues such as nutrient deficiencies, large pH fluctuations, fruit rot, blocked drippers, disease and hot weather wilt.  This allows growers to focus on other important areas such as lighting and the grow room environment.