This week on the blog, I wanted to talk about a great supplement to add to your nutrient solution. Silica can work wonders on your plants, protecting them from heat stress, water drought, pests, and even help pack on more fruit for your harvest. This just might be the missing supplement that you are looking for!
Silica is used to reinforce plant cell walls in leaves, fruits/flowers, branches, and stalks. This reinforcement leads to an increased ability to efficiently move water through the plant. With stronger cell walls you get thicker branches, giving your plants the ability to pack on more fruits & flowers when it comes time to harvest, something every grower wants!
When adding silica into a fresh reservoir you will want this to be the very first product you put in your water. This way the silica will not bond to other molecules, rendering it unavailable to the plant. When you add silica, it is important to note that it will probably raise the pH of your nutrient solution. This is not a problem as long as you check your pH with a pH test kit or a pH pen and adjust the solution back to the desired range using pH up or pH down.
There is a large variety of silica products on the market to choose from; however, one of my personal favorites is the General Hydroponics Armor Si. This is a very concentrated product so you only use it at 1ml per gallon, making it a great bang for your buck! Another Silica product that is great is Advanced Nutrients Rhino Skin. This is the only silica on the market that boasts the ability of not changing the pH of your nutrient solution.
The addition of silica to your garden is something you will see physically affect your plants. You should notice thicker, stronger stems; more turgid leaves that “pray” up to the lights, and larger fruits when you harvest. You should see that adding silica to your nutrient line up was a win for you and for your garden!