What’s in a Nutrient?
By: The SD OG Grower
Ever wonder what the difference is between the words â€œorganicâ€ and â€œnon-organicâ€? The term â€œorganicâ€ means, â€œOf or relating to an organism, a living entity.â€ The term â€œorganic matterâ€ means, â€œMatter that has come from a once-living organism, is capable of decay or the product of decay, or is composed of organic compound.â€ Basically, these terms refer to things in natural organic form, not altered or changed in any way by man or technology. For agriculture, these terms refer to not using any synthetic nutrients or pesticides on the plants. But are organic products really better and healthier for your plants? And, are nutrients that are not certified organic, the so-called â€œchemical nutrients,â€ actually worse than organic nutrients for the nutritional value of your produce and food?
All nutrients are made up of salts and minerals. Organic nutrients consist of products like earthworm castings (worm shit), manures (shit from animals), bone meal (ground up bones and hoofs from animals), ureas (animal piss), and bat guanos (bat shit). Other organic nutrients include plant extracts, kelp or seaweed, humic acids, compost teas and brews, or combinations of these different organic compounds. But are these the only nutrients plants need? Can they get everything they need from organic matter such as the items listed above?
The answer is yes, in soil!!! A healthy organic soil is a whole other living bio-ecosystem full of living organisms, beneficial bacteria, enzymes and life all working in harmony with each other, making a plantâ€™s breakdown and uptake of these organic matters used for nutrients all work systematically the way Mother Nature designed . Itâ€™s only when man messes with, disrupts, and tries to modify and change the natural bio-ecosystem that we as humans create our own problems, diseases and illnesses through the food we feed ourselves!
Nutrients such as General Hydroponics, Cutting Edge, and my two favorite Heavy 16 and Canna Hydroponics, are all acceptable nutrients made for food production. But they are not organic! These non-organic nutrients are refined minerals and salts all derived from the ground, or other natural organic sources. But, just because they have been refined and altered from their original state, they are considered to be non-organic. Wow, thatâ€™s absolutely fucking crazy to me, that something refined into a purer, more absorbable soluble form is considered non-organic?Â Having been refined, are all the impurities and other matter that are mixed with it taken out? Refined minerals and salts are much more absorbable by the plant; therefore, they can and do lead to higher sugar and nutritional levels, less pest problems because of a healthier plant, and less problems in a nutrient reservoir by not creating bad bacteria from decomposing manures and organic matter.
Having and using organic supplements and microbes to create bio-microbial activity is very important in hydroponics growing! There needs to be a balance between the two. But even now in 2011, there is not an organic nutrient that is as stable, as efficient, or that produces as superior crops in hydroponics as the main base nutrient in non-organic (not chemical), mineral-based nutrients! Tests have proven that non-organic, refined, mineral-based nutrients can produce superior crops that are more nutritional, bigger and healthier with a higher sugar level over soil-based crops and organic nutrients! And not to mention that true organics in hydroponicsÂ have the possibility of creating bad bacteria that could contaminate the food and create sickness, disease, or even death in humans if consumed!
So why does everyone ask for organic nutrients, produce, and organic herbs or marijuana? The answer is simply a lack of education of the whole picture and a misunderstanding of how a plant breaks down pure ingredients versus organic decomposing ingredients without soil as the natural ecosystem processing and converting these organic matters into useable, absorbable food sources or minerals for the plant. Basically the soil microbes, enzymes and ecosystem as a whole are refining the organic matterâ€™s minerals into an uptake-able source of food for the plant.
So, understand that non-organic nutrients are not all chemicals! Some are, but the ones previously listed and most that youâ€™re going to find in your local garden or hydroponics shop are refined minerals, and not chemical nutrients as many falsely believe. A good and properly run hydroponic system consists of a good, stable, mineral-based nutrient like Heavy 16 or Canna Nutrients as a base nutrient. The cocktail or nutrient mix would have a good, healthy blend of organic supplements and additives. This will create a perfect balance of microbes and enzymes with a high quality mineral-based nutrient that is stable and produces the best quality produce and herbs, and also produces larger, heavier, and healthier harvests!
Using a base nutrient like Canna or Heavy 16, and adding in things like Cannazyme, a great enzyme, Rhizotonic, Mychorizae, and any other beneficial bacteria innoculant- all great root and immune enhancers- and things like compost tea, such as Vermicrop Tea, seaweed or sea kelp, organic plant stimulant blends, and carbohydrates to feed the enzymes will all harmonize and create a perfect blend of minerals, microbes, and enzymes to produce a healthy nutritional plant and fruit!