What are the key differences between base nutrients, growth enhancers, and bloom enhancers?

Q:

What are the key differences between a base nutrient, and a growth enhancer, and a bloom enhancer? Can I just use the enhancers? Do I stop using base nutrients at some point?

A:

Base nutrients are the soup stock of all feed charts. Supplements are the seasoning added to help the soup taste the best it can. While you might be able to grow plants with supplements alone, it would be difficult to navigate and make the right choices to use a supplement as your only plant food. Even their name shows how difficult it would be; it'd sort of be like trying to live off of vitamin supplements.

In general, a base nutrient is going to contain a balanced array of essential elements, including necessary micronutrients. These formulas are most often used from start to finish during a growing cycle and are required to keep plants healthy and growing. Supplements, or enhancers, are just that. Inputs that improve the peak performance of the base nutrient. Each one will contain different ingredients designed to provide a dramatic effect in all stages of growth.

One thing our industry sometimes forgets is that the growing stage is the most critical, even for home growers. If your seedlings or cuttings have a hard life before the changing light cycle, why would you expect them to provide a high-quality yield? Growth enhancers can help with root and foliage development, ensuring your plants have the most potential to unlock as you move to flowering.

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Written by Simon Hart
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With more than 35 years around plants and 20 years in the hydroponic industry, Simon Hart lives to garden. When not working on product development at Grotek or traveling the world to help clients get the most from their plants, he can be found in his green spaces.  Full Bio