Learn This One Simple Trick To Help You Save On Hydroponic Nutrients
Posted by Lee G. Leissett | 6057 views
By Lee G. Leissett
Wetting agents improve nutrients uptake and make foliar pesticides last longer.
(Click to enlarge)
Surfactants are chemical compounds that physically alter the surface tension of a liquid formula. In regard to the medical marijuana industry, surfactants are generally sold as emulsifiers or wetting agents. Many of the products sold as wetting agents are actually a combination of emulsifiers and wetting agents. Some products are specifically one or the other so be sure to read labels carefully and select the surfactant that best suits your needs.
TWO TYPES OF PRODUCTS FOR BETTER NUTRIENT INTAKE
Water and oils tend to naturally separate. Emulsifiers are used to combine oily liquids with water and keep them a uniform mixture. This combination allows the plant to absorb the oily substance through its stomata or root zone. Emulsifiers work great with neem or other oil-based insecticides by creating a uniform solution that stays on the plant leaf surface longer. For growers who want to use an oil-based insecticide as a root drench or in their hydroponic reservoir, an emulsifier is highly recommended. Without an emulsifier, the oily substance could separate and build up in the soil, medium, and/or reservoir.
Wetting agents serve a specific and highly beneficial function: they reduce the surface tension of the liquid solution. More specifically, a wetting agent will reduce the hydrogen bonding that naturally occurs in water. It is the reduction of this hydrogen bonding that makes water absorption easier for the plant. Now consider all the different elements that we add to our hydroponic solutions. Some of these nutrients bond together in a similar way that hydrogen bonding occurs in water. By using a wetting agent some of these bonds are also weakened, which makes the nutrients more available and easier to absorb. Advanced Nutrients’ Wet Betty is a highly concentrated wetting agent that has benefits as both a foliar additive and a nutrient additive. Many growers do not realize that their plants can absorb more of the nutrients they are already being fed by simply adding a wetting agent.
TWO WAYS TO APPLY YOUR EMULSIFIERS AND WETTING AGENTS
The most common application of wetting agents is in combination with foliar treatments. There are many advantages to using a wetting agent with foliar treatments including better coverage and absorption. Probably the biggest benefit of using a wetting agent for foliar treatment is the lengthened duration the applied substance stays on the leaf surface. This is advantageous for foliar feeding because it gives an extended opportunity for the plant to absorb the nutrients, but is even more advantageous for foliar pesticide treatments. The longer a pesticide can stay active on the leaf’s surface the more effective it will be at treating the problem. The addition of a wetting agent to foliar treatments heightens efficiency and actually saves the grower money.
If you want to make a simple change to your feeding regiment to increase efficiency, start adding a wetting agent. Most growers have heard of or even used wetting agents for foliar treatments but don’t realize the vast benefits of adding one to their feeding regiment. With a reduction in water tension, all of the solution that comes in contact with your plant’s roots can be absorbed with less energy consumption. Your plants could use that extra energy to take in more nutrients and/or create bigger flowers.
By reducing the surface tension of the liquids we spray on or feed to our plants, a medical marijuana grower can get more out of every dollar they spend on expensive pesticides and fertilizers. Maximize your plant’s absorption through their roots and leaves with the addition of a surfactant and get bigger, stickier buds.
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Wednesday, 08 August 2012
Article by Lee G. Leissett, on Aug. 20th 2012