Once you have learned to grow and have your environment fully dialed in (you can learn more about perfecting your environment here), you will probably become interested in how to increase your yields. Almost every nutrient manufacturer makes their own flowering booster and/or stimulator.
A PK (Phosphorus and Potassium) booster is usually the first addition to the base nutrient when looking to increase yields. During the peak of flowering, plants’ requirements for these 2 elements (compared to nitrogen) rises. PK boosters provide the extra P and K that plants need to achieve their potential. Virtually all nutrient manufacturers have a PK booster in their line-up.
PK boosters most commonly come in one of 2 formulations i.e. PK 13/14 or PK 9/18. PK 13/14 was the original formulation that was intended for agricultural farming. PK 9/18 has been suggested by some to be a better ratio of P to K. One thing is for sure, they both work quite well.
Growers tend stick with the boosters in the nutrient range that they use. For example, if they use Canna nutrients they will usually use Canna Boost and Canna PK 13/14. Apart from the different ratios, almost all PK boosters are virtually the same with little to distinguish between them.
Flowering Stimulators / Boosters
Flowering stimulators are another matter as they can vary quite a lot from manufacturer to manufacturer. In this article we’ll a take look at a few of the best and most popular.
Shogun’s Sumo Boost is one the very best boosters out there and is one of our firm favourites. It comes in 2 versions – standard and active. The standard Sumo Boost is best used in soil while the active version is designed to be more stable in recirculating hydroponics.
Both versions are not exclusively designed just for flowering. They can be both used in veg as well. In veg it will speed up growth. In flowering it will increase yield. Some of our customers have been astonished by how effective it is.
The secret as to why Sumo Boost is so good lies in the blend of its ingredients. Here are some of them:
- Triacontanol – This is a stimulator that is found to a small extent in plant leaves and in relatively large amounts in alfalfa. As a plant hormone it stimulates plants’ metabolism like nothing else and increases photosynthesis by increasing the amount of chlorophyll in leaves. It also stimulates greater essential oil production. You can read more about it here.
- Betaine – This down-regulates genes associated with plant stress due to outside factors like heat and cold.
- Carbohydrates and sugars – These can help to stimulate the metabolism and activate plant defence mechanisms as well as stimulate enzyme activity.
- Humic acids. These increase nutrient availability and uptake and can help the plant shuttle them around within itself.
- Sea Kelp extracts – This contains around 70 micronutrients and also plant hormones which promote health and growth.
- Free amino acids – these are the building blocks of proteins.
Canna have never revealed the ingredients in their Boost Accelerator but we can guess it contains carbohydrates which increase plant metabolism and uptake of nutrients. What we do know is that it is very, very popular, possibly the most popular of all the flowering stimulators that we stock.
This one is a bit out there on its own although Evoponic Elixir Steroids is very similar. It is the only one we know of that contains something called “Brassinosteroids”. These are a particular group of plant hormones which work for plants in the same way that steroids work in humans. They help to strengthen the plant against stress, and pack on the weight during flowering.
Emerald Harvest’s Emerald Goddess contains Alfalfa and Kelp extracts, just like Shogun Sumo Boost. It stimulates a plant metabolism at a cellular level triggering shoot development, root growth and bigger yields. Very popular in the USA. It works hand in hand with Emerald Harvest Honey Chome for increased crop quality.
Advanced Nutrients Bud Factor X is not cheap booster but it does work. It triggers a “fight or flight” response in plants which stimulates plants immune systems and encourages bigger yields and greater essential oil production. It’s not the cheapest option out there but definitely worth a mention.