Athena is a name known in the growing industry, offering quality biologic products and plant nutrients for the horticultural industry. Athena offers blended nutrients, a Pro powdered line, spider mite and mildew control and Biosis beneficials. Athena nutrients have been perfected and tested to provide reliable and balanced plant nutrition. For high-grade cannabis with cost-effective fertilizer and low cost per mixed gallon, you can find Athena plant nutrients at your Chicago hydroponic grow store, RainMakers Supply.
How to Use Athena Plant Nutrients
Every growing situation is unique and whether you are new to home growing or an experienced grower, monitoring the health of your plants and adapting the recipe is required. Two things that are easy to monitor are your substrate pH and the electrical conductivity (EC) level to make sure that your harvest is on track for success. Commercial horticulturists have followed this monitoring principle for decades and the same principle applies to growing cannabis. Monitoring and managing substrate pH along with EC can help to prevent up to approximately 80% of all problems with plant nutrition that occur in a controlled environment crop.
What is EC?
EC stands for electrical conductivity and refers to the electrical charge that is carried through a solution. A higher concentration of salt results in a higher EC reading. When growing cannabis, this means that a higher concentration of fertilizer salts in the substrate or the solution will produce a higher EC reading. Monitoring the EC level ensures that nutrient levels are where they need to be.
In a controlled grow environment, the primary nutrients required for growing healthy cannabis are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). While an EC reading will not give specific information about each individual element, the level reflects the concentration of these elements in theory and in practice. This can be applied to growing cannabis to ensure the accuracy of plant nutrients and fertilizer concentration to confirm nutritional status.
EC is a reliable reading to monitor fertilizer nutrient levels which must be in the right range and stable for growing healthy cannabis. Water in itself can conduct electricity although this depends entirely on the amount of minerals in the water. Water with a lot of minerals will conduct electricity just like a copper wire. Distilled water, however, will not conduct anything. Knowing the EC level of your water allows you to make an educated estimate about the amount of minerals in the water which lets you know if it will be good for your plants. Tap Water tends to have a large amount of sodium and lime count, which will produce high EC levels.
Best Practices for Athena Plant Nutrients
When using both the Pro Line or the Blended Line of Athena plant nutrients, adhere to the following best practices for the greatest success:
- Use only clean measuring instruments – make sure that anything you put into the bottle is clean to prevent contamination.
- Always use equal parts A & B – use equal parts to maintain mineral balance and increase target EC level.
- Never combine products in undiluted form – combining products in undiluted form renders the formula useless and should be disposed of.
- Key products stored in original packaging – store products closed in original containers at a temperature between 45°F to 85°F as reduced shelf life can occur from exposure to the environment.
- Always shake well before using – Athena nutrient products are run through a 1 micron filter prior to packaging so that microparticles will not clog any emitters or dosing systems.
- Adjust fertilizer recipe as required – every growing environment and cultivar is unique. Adjust fertilizer recipe accordingly to maintain plant health. Contact the horticulture experts at RainMakers Supply with any questions.
Plant Nutrient Requirements Vary Based on Grow Media and System
Your Athena plant nutrients will vary depending on your grow system and cannabis grow media.
Coco is inert which means that while it may look like soil, it has no nutrients like soil and can absorb initial doses of minerals which leave plants potentially deficient during early growing stages. It is a good practice to charge Coco media prior to transplant with a higher dosage. Depending on the irrigation frequency, plants can take a higher dosage in coco, up to 3.0 EC.
Follow the Athena nutrient feeding schedule when using Rockwool. When minerals are properly balanced, many cultivars will perform well with a lower EC. If increasing for heavy feeders, increase slowly and always in equal amounts of A & B.
Soil and Soilless Media
When growing in soil that comes charged with amendments or fertilizer, begin with a lower dosage and monitor the runoff until nominal EC levels are achieved. This works well for most soil conditions. For media that contains 30% or more Perlite, you will want to increase the EC level as Perlite media will not hold as many minerals.
Deep Water Culture (DWC) and Recirculating Systems
Different minerals get absorbed quicker than others in a recirculating reservoir, which leaves an imbalanced solution over time. When topping off water levels, add back fertilizers based on the amount of water added. It is recommended to change reservoir water weekly to reestablish mineral balance.
RainMakers Supply offers high-quality hydroponic growing supplies and equipment for soil and soilless media. We carry a wide selection of the top brands of quality soils, grow media and grow nutrients combined with knowledgeable customer service. Contact us with any questions and stop by to get your Athena plant nutrients today.