Nutrient Feeding Guide

Weekly Hydroponic Feeding Program
Cuttings / Clones:
When starting an indoor garden using cuttings, follow the dependable and most common procedure of dipping the freshly cut end of the stem into a specialized rooting gel or powder and then firmly inserting the coated stem into a moist rooting media designed to nurture clones. (see cloning video on education page)  Then, the clones should be placed into a special enclosed cloning tray where they will mature under high-humidity and low light intensity.
On average, it takes clones from 7 – 10 days to develop fresh foliage and a sturdy enough root mass before they can be transplanted and transferred into the vegetative stage.  Typically, the grower gives the clones a single watering with no nutrients.  However, since RO water has been stripped of its minerals, many expert growers achieve significant early root expansion by introducing a modest organic boost to the nascent cuttings. This is done by “dusting” the rooting cube with a mychorrizae powder and administering a low-concentration root drench made from a premium root tonic.  0.5 – 1ml per gallon of RO water provides plenty of nutrition.
Note: Young clones are fragile, so care should be taken to ensure proper humidity and light intensity levels.

Vegetative Stage:
A light/dark cycle of 18 on, 6 off is recommended during this period.  If your garden is being started from rooted clones, begin by saturating the grow medium (rockwool, coco coir, soilless) in the feeding tray containing either pure RO water, or a low to moderately concentrated non-synthetic/refined organic nutrient mix. Once the media is sufficiently moist, then “dust” the section which will be receiving the clone with a premium mycorrhizae powder (directly dusting the root of the clone is also a good practice).
Give the new clones one or two days to acclimate to this new environment before proceeding with the full nutrient feeding program.  This step is important because the high level of chemical nutrient salts, especially phosphorous, which the plant will be fed in subsequent weeks will tend to impede the spawning of beneficial spores and microbes.  Thus, a brief pause before administering synthetics allows the mycorrhizal fungi to gain an early foothold and more effectively grow and colonize in the root-zone.  Application of a kelp-based root tonic is also recommended for boosting the microbe colonization rate and enhancing overall rhizosphere vitality.
The nutrient solution/reservoir feeding mix should be kept in the 750 – 900 PPM range for the entire vegetative cycle.  It is recommended not to push the PPM level at this early stage.  However, if higher levels are employed to advance the plant maturity rate, show extreme caution and monitor plants carefully for signs of over-fertilization stress/chlorosis.  Initially, it’s wise to favor the low end of the range and gradually increase PPM concentrations.  This way you’ll be introducing the plants to maximum nutrient levels when they’re well established, healthy and strong.
Before adding the three Maxx base nutrients make sure to add each of the desired additives first.  Last of all add the synthetic base nutrients and raise PPM’s to the desired level.  As the final step be sure to set the pH at 5.8 – 6.1 (6.2 – 6.7 for soil)  Optionally, the inclusion of a premium enzyme product beginning during the final week of an approximately 21 day vegetative growth period, and continuing through bloom, is beneficial for the overall health of the rhizosphere.
The first week of the vegetative phase is also the best time to begin foliar spraying if this method is to be included as part of an overall nutrient feeding program. (Refer to the NAN foliar feeding program listed on the Chart Page)
(NAN recommends using a premium mycorrhizae powder and root tonic as a root zone enhancing option during the first 5 – 6 weeks of veg & bloom)

Flowering Stage
Following dosage amounts listed on the “NAN Expert Feeding Program” chart, begin by administering Maxx 3-part base nutrients, then Nature’s Nectar, Earth’s Energy, and Floralush.  Then add Invigorator last to raise the PPM’s to the target level.  Starting PPM range should be 950 – 1,000 @ pH 5.8 – 6.1 (6.2 – 6.7 for soil)  During the first 5 – 6 weeks of flowering the PPM level should be raised gradually until a maximum level of about 1,400 is reached.
The following weekly indoor gardening regimen was developed by NAN and is used successfully by many New Age Nutrients customers.  However, this weekly guide should not be viewed as a definitive set of instructions, but rather, as a helpful framework meant to be tailored to the specific environment and needs of each high-value urban garden:

Weekly Bloom Cycle Nutrient Feeding Regimen
Week 1: PPM Range: 950 — 1,000  (Transition Week: The photo-period should be reset to 12 on, 12 off)  Fill reservoir using RO water then add mycorrhizae powder, a premium root tonic and enzyme product.
Note: Giving the grow media a direct dusting or root drench is more effect than simply adding the mycorrhizae powder and rooting additives to the reservoir.  Just a small amount of these product ensures root zone health.
Now add to the reservoir Maxx Base Nutrients and additives as directed by NAN feeding chart.  Last of all, add “Invigorator” to raise PPM’s to recommended level.
Note: Enzyme products will raise the PPM level; therefore, when used aggressively some expert growers choose to add enzymes into the mix the day following the reservoir change so as not to interfere with the target PPM level of the main feeding program.  The one-day interval allows time for a drop in the initial PPM level caused by normal plant uptake.
Note: Harvest Bloom may also be used to aid in “jolting” plant metabolisms into the bloom phase.
Note: Creating an enriched CO2 environment by introducing compressed CO2 significantly accelerates plant metabolism and thus the nutrient requirements of a garden will increase.  The addition of a Cal-Mag product will boost chlorophyll production and help support the accelerated photosynthesis in a CO2 enriched environment.        
As a final step adjust pH to 5.8 — 6.1.
At this early stage double check and ensure the stability of all environmental conditions:

  • Air conditioning, circulation fans, irrigation pump timers, light timers
  • Ensure that lamps are emitting adequate lumen / PAR intensity
  • Ensure proper intensity setting on light ballast and bulb strength
  • Ensure complete drainage of trays/pots after feeding
  • Maintain water temp. between 65 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Maintain air temp. from 75 — 82 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity at 45 — 55%
  • Make sure to use multiple air stones to ensure ample reservoir aeration
  • Take advance steps to combat against harmful insects such as spider-mites

Week 2:  PPM Range: 1,050 — 1,150  Drain and refill reservoir with fresh RO water.
Note: Some expert gardeners recommend reservoir change-outs every 5th day
Add recommended amounts of mychorrizae powder, root tonic and enzyme products. Now add to the reservoir Maxx Base Nutrients and additives as directed by NAN feeding chart.  Last of all, add “Invigorator” to raise PPM’s to recommended level.  As a final step adjust pH to 5.8 — 6.1.
Make it a routine practice to closely inspect plants for over-fertilization and harmful pest infestation.

Week 3:  PPM Range: 1,150 — 1,250  Drain and refill reservoir with fresh RO water.  Add recommended amounts of mychorrizae powder, root tonic and enzyme products. Now add to the reservoir Maxx Base Nutrients and additives as directed by NAN feeding chart.  Last of all, add “Invigorator” to raise PPM’s to recommended level.  As a final step adjust pH to 5.8 — 6.1.
At this stage flower/bud sites should be appearing and the root system should be responding well to a thriving mychorrizae colony and the refined organics in the nutrient mix.  Roots should display a mass of fine white root hairs.

Week 4:  PPM Range: 1,250 — 1,325  Drain and refill reservoir with fresh RO water.  Add recommended amounts of mychorrizae powder, root tonic and enzyme products. Now add to the reservoir Maxx Base Nutrients and additives as directed by NAN feeding chart.  Last of all, add “Invigorator” to raise PPM’s to recommended level.  As a final step adjust pH to 5.8 — 6.1.
At this stage flower/bud sites should be maturing rapidly.  Thus, foliar spraying should end during this week of development to avoid moisture buildup in the flowers which can create  a breeding area for mold.

Week 5:  PPM Range: 1,325 — 1,375  In addition to the usual reservoir change-out, a mid-term flush using a nutrient salt extractor is recommended.  At this stage the PPM level is nearing its peak, so extracting residual nutrient salts prior to pushing plants to their feeding limit is a wise practice.
Add recommended amounts of mychorrizae powder, root tonic and enzyme products. Now add to the reservoir Maxx Base Nutrients and additives as directed by NAN feeding chart.  Last of all, add “Invigorator” to raise PPM’s to recommended level.  As a final step adjust pH to 5.8 — 6.1.

Week 6:  PPM Range: 1,375 — 1,425  Drain and refill reservoir with fresh RO water.  Add recommended amounts of root tonic and enzyme products, but discontinue the use of mychorrihzae powder because the high concentration of synthetic nutrients now in the reservoir cause it to be far less effective.
But as usual, continue adding to the reservoir Maxx Base Nutrients and additives, including “Invigorator”, as directed by NAN feeding chart.  As a final step adjust pH to 5.8 — 6.1.
At this point flowers/buds should be rapidly increasing in density and entering the ripening stage, so now it’s time to add “Harvest Bloom” in order to accelerate the ripening process.  However, add “Harvest Bloom” sparingly and with caution because it’s very potent and overuse will cause “nutrient burn”. (Refer to the subjects: “Over-Fertilization” and “PPM”, on the NAN Education page of our website)
Closely inspect the roots for any signs of nutrient burn/toxicity.  Now that the plants are reaching maturity, it’s normal for the roots to be turning slightly cream-colored or yellow; but not brown!  Also, it’s normal if a few of the lower leaves begin to yellow from a lack of nitrogen and light, but the upper leaves should be a deep, healthy green.
For the sake of rapid maturity and the largest possible flowers/buds, the nutrient concentration is now being pushed to the limit which a garden can endure, so carefully monitor plants for signs of nutrient burn.  If leaf tips are beginning to yellow, immediately change-out the reservoir and reduce PPM’s by about 200.

Week 7:  PPM Range: 1,350 — 1,4000  Drain and refill reservoir with fresh RO water.  Add recommended amounts of root tonic and enzyme products. Now add to the reservoir Maxx Base Nutrients and additives as directed by NAN feeding chart.  Last of all, add “Harvest Bloom” to raise PPM’s to recommended level.  As a final step adjust pH to 5.8 — 6.1.
Make a thorough health inspection of roots and leaves for signs of nutrient toxicity.

Week 8:  PPM Range: 1,000 — 1,200  Drain and refill reservoir with fresh RO water.  Add recommended amounts of root tonic and enzyme products. Now add to the reservoir Maxx Base Nutrients and additives as directed by NAN feeding chart.  Last of all, add “Harvest Bloom” to raise PPM’s to recommended level.  As a final step adjust pH to 5.8 — 6.1.
Flowers/buds should now be large, dense, aromatic and fully matured.  If at this advanced stage of the bloom cycle the roots are beginning to darken and some leaf tips are yellowing, it really won’t effect the crop.  But it does mean that the nutrient salt concentration has been pushed slightly above the safe limit; so the PPM level should be recorded and used as a ceiling for future growing cycles.
Now prepare the garden for a thorough flushing.
Note: During this stage, some expert gardeners significantly lower the synthetic nutrient dosage / PPM level because the plants have reached their peak growth and flowering maturity, thus their nutritional demands have diminished.

Week 9:  PPM Range: 100 — 500,  Begin the flushing process by draining and refilling reservoir with fresh RO water anywhere from 4-7 days before harvest.  Now add a nutrient salt extractor/flushing agent and allow about 1 – 2 days for effective salt extraction.  Then repeat the process by changing-out the reservoir water a second time.  Give special attention to flushing the grow medium because it’s likely retaining some of the salt extracted from the plant vascular and root systems.
At this stage the reservoir water should be registering no more than 100 PPM’s higher than when it was fresh.  Now the garden is ready for a third and final flush.
Drain and refill reservoir for the third time without adding a nutrient salt extractor.  Instead, you will be adding about 3 ml per gal. of the organic humic acid product, “Nature’s Nectar”.  Not only will this additive continue to draw out nutrient salts, but it will also serve to moderate the reservoir pH level during these last few days before harvest.

Note:  The purpose and function of Invigorator is to accelerate plant maturity and increase fruit and flower size.  Nature’s Nectar, Earth’s Energy and Floralush bring about larger and denser fruit / flower sites, enhanced color, aroma and flavor.  Thus, as these additives perform their functions plants rapidly grow in size; so a gradual increase in the dosage of these additives is required throughout the course of the bloom phase in order to satisfy the increasing nutritional needs brought about by this accelerated growth .

However, as the PPM level is raised, keep in mind that over-fertilization and nutrient toxicity is a common hazard and frequent occurrence, so If any signs of plant/root stress appear, immediately reduce the strength of chemical/synthetic nutrients in the mix.
Typically, a crop is ready for harvest sometime during the 8th thru 10th week of bloom depending upon the genetic strain used and environmental conditions.  Just prior to harvest you will need to flush-out the residual nutrient salts contained in the plant’s vascular system using a specialized nutrient salt extractor.
In summary, from the beginning of the bloom cycle the objective is to methodically increase the nutrient quantity commensurate with the nutritional demands of the rapidly maturing plants by raising the TDS/PPM up from 750 — 900 at week 1, all the way up to about 1,400 PPM’s by the 8th, or final week of bloom. (Be aware that different genetic strains require varying amounts of time to fully develop fruits/flowers)
Caution: If at any point there appear signs of new leaves yellowing, leaf tip burn, discoloration around leaf edges, rust colored spotting, etc., take immediate action!  First check pH, then carefully examine roots, lower PPM’s by 200-300.  If the stress condition persists, flush plants of nutrient salts and re-blend nutrient mix at a lower PPM level.

General Notes:
o  Always maintain proper light intensity via height above plants, new lamps, and ballast adjustment
o Trays and pots should provide complete drainage so that roots are never allowed to remain in standing water for extended periods
o  An abundant number of high output air stones is vital to root zone health
o  Maintain water temp. from 65 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Water kept at cool temperatures retains higher amounts of oxygen
o  It’s not necessary to use the many additives available. You’ll end up with product overlap that is potentially counter productive
o  Avoid over-watering by adjusting watering pump timer to feed plants for the proper time duration. Plants will appear saggy if over-watered
o Foliar spraying provides an excellent supplemental feeding option for energizing plants. Following the NAN Foliar Feeding Guide, soak plant leaves during the vegetative cycle and then a more moderate fogging through week four of the bloom cycle.
o Flushing need not be restricted to the final week before harvest.  A mid-term flush is also beneficial.