Definition - What does Fertilizer Flush mean?
Flushing a plant's root system is done to correct a problem with the roots. In some cases, the fertilizer flush is also used before plant harvest to improve the finished product's taste.
A fertilizer flush entails mixing up a combination of nutrients at a third of the normal strength with water and pouring it into the soil surrounding the plant’s root system. Some growers bypass the use of nutrients and simply flush with pure water.
MaximumYield explains Fertilizer Flush
Ideally, the grower should pour three times the volume of water/nutrients or plain water as the pot’s size into the soil surrounding the plant. The runoff water/nutrients are collected at the base of the plant and removed so the plant’s root system does not reabsorb the fertilizer flush. Finally, the last dose of water and full strength fertilizer is applied to the plant to restore its nutrient balance.
A fertilizer flush cleans the dirt around a sick plant and removes any harmful substances that might be adversely affecting the plant’s roots. It is also used to correct the soil’s pH levels and restore them to the correct balance.
Growers also use fertilizer flushing before a plant flowers to improve the taste of the crop being grown. Slow-release fertilizers often contain high levels of nitrogen that can adversely flavor the plant and gives it an unpleasant green taste. The time-released nitrogen will also cause the buds of certain plants to not attain their full growth potential so the fertilizer must be flushed from the soil around the plant before it begins to form flower buds.