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Balancing Hydroponics Inputs and Outputs for Maximum Yield

Balance is important for your hydroponics plants Balance is important for your hydroponics plants

The best way to max the yield and quality potential of your hydroponics plants is to pour on as much hydroponics nutrients as they can handle without burning, right?

Wrong. Your plants eat more than hydroponics nutrients. They also eat light, CO2, oxygen and water. Their main goal in doing all this is to fuel photosynthesis. That’s the lifeblood of their metabolism. It’s how they create energy.

Photosynthesis and other life processes are a lot more complex than most of us suspect. There’s a dynamic interplay between intake, metabolism and output. Your plants take in water, and they also transpire it. Your plants take in CO2 and oxygen, and they also release both. They take in hydroponics nutrients that they mix with light energy, water, CO2 and oxygen to create metabolism and structure.

If you overload your plants by overproviding one or more of these elements, you create plant problems, waste money and defeat your goal of maxing your plants.

For example, let’s say you’ve got a premium hydroponics feed program running at high parts per million (ppm). But if you’re not providing your plants with enough light, CO2 and water to match the amped-up nutrients, your plants can’t utilize those nutrients very well.

You might burn your plants’ roots or toxify the root zone with “extra” nutrients that your plants can’t use because they aren’t getting enough of the other inputs they need.

To use an analogy, it would be like adding nitro fuel to a racecar without increasing its ability to intake and utilize oxygen.

When you understand the complex interplay of life processes that your hydroponics plants are engaged in, you see how easy it is to unbalance those processes.

Let’s say you’ve got hot, intense, uncooled HID lights in a situation with inadequate air conditioning and/or dehumidification. The heat makes your plants struggle to transpire enough to offload internal heat. The humidity, on the other hand, prevents transpiration.

The result? Your plants struggle to keep themselves alive in a grow room that’s above the 74F and 50-55% relative humidity that best allows them to maximize their inputs and output functions.

Here’s an example of how imbalance can harm your bloom phase. Your hydroponics plants are being driven hard by your nutrients, extra CO2, intense light and other factors.

They work hard to make carbohydrates energy, but they fall behind. Again, this makes it hard for your hydroponics plants to utilize the intense input levels you’re handing them.

In that case, the answer is to feed them carbohydrates so they don’t have to work so hard. The same thing goes for other compounds that your plants manufacture internally, such as amino acids. In intense indoor hydroponics situations, your plants struggle to create enough amino acids to match other metabolic factors.

Fortunately, you can feed them amino acids in the optimum “L-form” to augment what they make internally for themselves.

So if you’ve provided your hydroponics plants an aggressive feed, CO2 and light regimen, and you're still seeing plant growth or health problems, then you need to further analyze the balance between what you’re giving your plants, the growth and inputs environment they really need, and their ability to perform.

It’s not simple to create input-output balance, but the way to do it is to use a comprehensive feed program along with optimizing your hydroponics grow room environment, climate, light intensity, watering schedule and CO2. When you max out all your inputs in a balanced approach, you get fast-growing, high-yielding hydroponics plants.

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A humorous take on photosynthesis
Last modified on Thursday, 19 July 2012 16:55

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