For Ben's last feature this month we asked him to delve into the intricacies of carbohydrate products for plants. His explanation below will help you understand the importance of sugars in your high performance garden.
Sugars, they are for your brix count right? WRONG. Sugars, and proper use in a garden has been an emerging topic as of late. The truth is most of us are using them under false pretenses. They are never for your plant. They are in fact, for your microbes, and some fungi. This has nothing to do with sugars in your plant.
In nature plants produce sugars for the spring uprising of the grounds microbe and fungi populations. Sugars are actually a byproduct of photosynthesis, they end up being useless to plant tissue production and actually slow things down when over abundant within the plant.
Think of unnecessary things (sugar, unused salts) in this system is like having clogged arteries (as it is the same processes). The one item that starts to stick causes others to then form eventual road blocks. One of them is sugars in your plant, the plant will naturally want to purge these blockers, and as an effect does out of its root base.
Yes, everybody poops, even your plants. When this occurs your microbes then feed on the sugars and catalyze (or break down further. (The enzymatic process (Sensizym))). The plant can then reuptake “used” nutrition. This is how most microbes work with plants. So, sugars power the recyclers to recycle. Under this thought we add sugars to our blank mediums and as an agent to create more mycology in our mediums.
YES, SUGAR IS FOR YOUR MICROBES, AND FUNGI.
In recreating a spring time soil sugars (carboload / bud candy) are your control to reassemble or build your soil. Sugars are especially important when using microbes in peat, coco, grow blocks, and even in some soil. This is to set the right conditions for maximum colonization. Sugars are like the vegetable in a proper diet with meats (nutritional salts). Sugars help maintain a healthy digestive process in the microbe’s diet. Without sugars the microbes would bind up and not be able to pass its food at a heightened rate, or even normally. So, sugars are the fiber in your microbial diet.
Sugars are also healthy to add in light number throughout your grow as long as you are nourishing your oversized microbe population that can create more hydro like results, in a medium based grow. (I’ll save that topic for next time….microbes in mass) This means constantly adding microbes / sugars, throughout your set even late in bloom. To ensure the sugars are used properly I as a safety feature add Microbes until flushing starts. Benefits to this is you grow a much larger microbe colony than your plant can normally provide (through its excreted sugars). This makes for crazy growth and maximizing your genetics capabilities. (During this time bud candy)
These are the magical ways you can provide an unnatural entry, for very natural boosting mechanisms in the plants growth cycle. Kind of like untapped process the plant learned by generations growing up in different soil mixes (its evolutionary boosting). It is quite cool that we as gardeners have the abilities to grow such great colonies and plants, in such a controlled environment. These are tricks we use to trigger what I call the kudzu effect. Like how that plant will grow slowly in Japan, but in Southern America it grows 12 inches a day. (Climate caused)
Why Advanced Nutrients over Molasses?
Molasses is very thick, and it is a lot of long chain carbs. This means it takes longer to break down, (stuck in medium during flush) will not hydrolyze as easy (spread out in the water easily). Whereas Advanced Nutrients sugars are meant to hydrolyze evenly and be shorter carbs so microbes will eat them much quicker, as well as penetrate deeper into the medium.
Does Sugar add flavor?
Yes, and no, but only through charging your microbe colonies to break free more organics and rock minerals that are the cause to the flavor adding, not sugar for inside my plant, as that actually degrades the end product if the brix counts are high (in some plants).
Sales on all Advanced Nutrients products run through February 28th. Stop by your local Indoor Gardens and give your microbe's and fungi a sweet treat today.