When you mention the word booster to many growers the first things they think of are flowering boosters, but just as important are boosters for the vegetative stage of growth. These help the plant to reach maturity faster, can increase the size of the root system and increase the number of new shoots on the plant. All of these things, along with vigorous increase in vertical growth rate, leads to higher yields.
Cress seedlings sprouting
Most vegetative boosters are made of, or derived from natural bio stimulants and hormones. These products work by extracting certain chemicals from plants that are produced naturally as a ‘signal’ for the plant to grow. When these ‘signal chemicals’ are fed into another plant, it reads them as a stronger signal, speeding up growth. Alongside the bio stimulants, vegetative boosters often contain vitamins, amino acids, carbohydrates and trace elements that allow the plant to cope with the increase in growth rate without becoming deficient in key elements. By providing the vitamins and amino acids fully formed, this cuts down the time and energy the plant would take to synthesize the molecules itself, allowing it to focus on growing. The addition of humates and fulvic acids can also help to improve the Cation Exchange Capacity in your medium. The CEC is a measure of the amount of positively ions, such as Potassium (K+), Calcium (Ca2+?) and Magnesium (Mg2+) you medium can 'store'. The more macro and micro nutrients are stored, the greater their availability to the root system.
Vegetative boosters also contain levels of NPK. Nitrogen helps the plant produce proteins, hormones and chlorophyll. Phosphorus is added for root development and to accelerate energy transfer processes within the plant. Finally Potassium is used by the plant to activate over 60 different enzymes.
Diagram showing the role of ATP in an energy transfer process
Unlike flowering boosters, vegetative boosters are often applied as a foliar feed. This allows the boosters to be absorbed directly into the plants vascular system, triggering the increase in growth much faster than a soil drench or as an additive in a tank or reservoir. By applying the booster to the leaves, it has a much shorter distance to travel to get to the growing points than it would do coming from the roots. Foliar feeds also permit a better balance of the nutrients that are needed, which can get into disarray in a soil system, due to reactions with the minerals already present in soil.
Leaf showing the beading of a foliar spray
Like flowering boosters, care must be taken when using vegetative boosters. As the vegetative stages of plant growth encompass a broad range of maturity, the big danger is over-fertilisation. This means that caution must be taken with dosages so as not to cause nutrient burn or 'lock-out', which will slow growth or even kill your plant! Most boosters should only be applied once the plant has established itself, with foliar boosters needing a few decent sized ‘true’ leaves (not seed leaves) to absorb the nutrients.
Plant Magic Plus' own Veg Boost is a powerful bio-stimulant that is used to increase the biological activity of beneficial organisms resulting in improved nutrient availability and uptake. Used as a soil drench it not only improves the structure of soil-based mediums, but dramatically increases the Cation Exchange Capacity meaning more nutrients can be available to the plant for more of the time. Veg Boost is used in the first week after potting up in place of standard nutrients, ideally in conjunction with Plant Magic Plus Granules to kick-start beneficial microbes in the rhizosphere.
Evolution is a foliar vegetative booster containing plant hormones, vitamins, trace elements, polysaccharide sugars, amino acids and bio-stimulants. It is used once a week on top of your standard nutrients to significantly speed up the vegetative stages of growth, preparing the plant to produce more new shoots. Evolution can also help to green up plants, recover weak or stressed plants, and encourage mother plants to produce more shoots for cuttings with higher strike-rates. Evolution can be used once the plant has established the first set of ‘true leaves’ up until the second week of flowering.
Whether you are an expert who already has a thriving crop of healthy plants, or you are trying to grow your very first hydroponic yield, we can help you to grow the strong and healthy crops you have always wanted.
Here at Plant Magic Plus, our team of gardening experts work very hard behind the scenes to provide you with the high quality nutrients, additives and growing media that will help you to get the most out of your growing plants.
But we understand that successful horticulture is about more than just having good quality chemicals, nutrients or fetilisers, that's why we have written this blog to provide you with the insights, tips and techniques you will need to give your garden that extra magic touch.
From helpful advice about watering your plants in soil and a guide to magnesium nutrients, to top tips about growing hydroponic vegetables and a comprehensive overview of microbes, we’ve got everything covered.
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