Essential Enhancers Explained

In today's indoor gardening marketplace, there are many additives available to the gardener. So many, in fact, that some of the most essential additives often get overlooked or are not fully understood. No matter how many enhancers a grower uses on their plants, there are a few additives that every gardener should always use to help achieve maximum success. This article will take a closer look at these essential must have additives.

Humic Acid

Humic acid is one of the major components of humic substances or organic matter. Humic acids are predominately derived from leonardite ore, of which less than half can be successfully converted to humic acid. Humic acids are also created by microorganisms that decompose dead cells. Due to its molecular structure, humic acids provide many benefits to plants, soil structure and microorganisms. Benefits include: organic chelation of inorganic salts such as calcium, magnesium, iron and other micro nutrients, enhanced soil water retention, increased seed germination rates and stimulated soil microorganisms. Humic acid absorbs ions relatively easily. Potassium hydroxide is used to treat leonardite in the production of humic acids. This saturates the humic acid with potassium which is easily exchanged for other cations in the soil, thus chelating many plant essential nutrients. Once chelated, these nutrients are easily absorbed by the plant’s roots. Due to the insolubility of humic acids at lower pH, it is more suited to soil gardens than hydro gardens.

Products which contain humic acids:
Bio Bizz Root Juice (30% Humic Acid)
Top Max (30% Humic Acid - This is a bloom stimulator and should only be used in the flowering cycle)
Liquid Karma (20% of Liquid Karma is made up of humic acids, fulvic acids and seaweed extracts)

Products which contain Leonardite Ore (for soil only)
Diamond Black (100% Leonardite Ore)
Rare Earth (18% Leonardite Ore)

These two products need to be mixed with soil prior to planting. Once in the soil mix, micro-organisms will break down the ore into humic and fulvic acids. This will be a slow, continuous release of humic and fulvic acids until harvest.

Fulvic Acid

Fulvic acids are organic acids that arise naturally in decomposing organic material called humus (humic acids). As with humic acids, fulvic acids also chelate inorganic nutrients and heavy metals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, cobalt, lead and potassium. Once the calcium and iron ions have been chelated they cannot react with phosphate, sulfur or oxygen and precipitate out of solution. Fulvic acid greatly increases the absorption through the cell membrane, across the cytoplasm and directly to the nucleus of cells. Once inside the plant cells, fulvic acids become catalysts that makes sure the cells get precisely the amount of nutrients they need and chelate harmful toxins, reducing them into a harmless form. Fulvic acids are soluble in a wide pH range, thus making them ideal for hydroponics.

The positive effect that fulvic acids have on the growth and development of plants is due to the chelating of inorganic nutrients, increasing the nutrients ability to pass through cell membranes, increasing micro-organism activity around the root zone, an increase in photosynthesis and transpiration and increased enzyme activity within the plant.

Products which contain fulvic acids:
Liquid Karma (20% of Liquid Karma is made up of humic acids, fulvic acids and seaweed extracts)
Diamond Nectar (less than 1% fulvic acid)