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Author Topic: My go to fertilizer recipe for all Trichocereus  (Read 3258 times)


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My go to fertilizer recipe for all Trichocereus
« on: April 24, 2020, 03:34:09 am »

This is the recipe I use for feeding my Trichocereus cacti and they have responded beautifully for it. This is not my recipe a friend made this originally for 50 gallons and I mathed it down to 10 gallons which needs to be diluted to 20-25 gallons by the end of it to be at the proper EC this means you will need a nutrient meter to make this.


Grandma’s Kickin’ ?? Soup ???

(for top-fed container-grown Trichs in a mineral-based media)

10 gallons Aggressive-Strength ?? double mix, approximately 20-25? gallons ready-to-use.

10 gallons de-chlorinated water

Turn on (powerful) air bubbler

Add 220ml->260ml General Hydroponics Micro and mix in the tank FIRST 

Then Add 360ml->440ml General Hydroponics Grow and mix in the tank 

Then Add 110ml->130ml General Hydroponics Bloom and mix in the tank 

Then Add 12g Humic Acid, granular 

Then Add 12g potassium bicarbonate or potassium silicate 

*Then Add 60ml General Organics Cal-mag Plus [always - tho may vary amount slightly] 

*Then Add 25g~ Epsom [always - tho may vary amount slightly] 

*Then Add 50g urea (consider as Ammoniacal N)

*Then Add 25g Ammonium Nitrate (50% Nitrate N, 50% Ammoniacal N) | 25g (12.5g Nitrate N, 12.5g Ammonical N)

                     or use instead:
        25g mix of (50% Ammonium Sulfate, 50% Calcium Nitrate) | 25g (12.5g Nitrate N, 12.5g Ammonical N)
                     ------needs adjustment----

*Add 50g composted chicken manure (coop poop, mostly Ammoniacal N) [spring]

*Add 25g Mexican Bat Guano (mostly Ammoniacal N)

*Add 6g VAM Endo [spring and fall] 

*Add 100ml Advanced Nutrients Carboload or organic table sugar, not molasses [spring and fall] (high 100:1 C:N ratios are desirable)

Optional ??

*Biochar 6g (for increasing the media CEC and improving the C:N ratio, use sparingly and infrequently)

*100ml Advanced Nutrients B-52 (for B-vitamins plus NPK)

*60ml Advanced Nutrients Big Bud (for Amino Acids plus PK)

*These ingredients may vary in amount and usage based on the season and/or the immediate needs of the plants and growing conditions. Nitrogen sources are often varied and adjusted based on plant response. Note that organic nutrient sources do not effect the EC reading of the nutrient solution, neither does urea.

Adjust the solution to a pH of 5.6/5.8, use phosphoric acid (pH down) or potassium hydroxide (pH up). Most common tap water in the US seems to be alkaline, so pH down is usually required.

To mix everything well and oxygenate the solution, allow the air bubbler to run for 2-12 hours (depending on the temperature of the tank, etc.). The organic supplements will begin to breakdown as the nitrifying and endo-mycorrhizal bacteria multiply. The pH will generally climb as a result, don’t allow it to climb above 6.3-6.5. At the same time the bacteria will begin to consume nutes from your solution, the EC will begin to drop slightly as they do. A froth may begin to develop on the surface. Check the pH and readjust to 5.6/5.8. This is your concentrated nutrient feed. Turn off the air bubbler. Use these nutes in a top-feed application, within a few hours to a day is best. Feed in the evening. If you have to keep the nutrients longer, periodically aerate the solution and readjust pH as needed.

This concentrated nutrient solution must be diluted and pH-adjusted before use. Using a second mixing tank, dilute to a strength of approximately 3.0-4.0 EC, adjust the pH to 6.0. Every time you adjust pH, usable nutrients are added to the tank, so adjust methodically. This is an aggressive, Full-Strength solution for feeding 1-3 times per week. The higher the EC, the stronger the feed. For bright, hot conditions reduce the EC from nominal and for cool, shaded conditions, increase the EC from nominal. Allow the media to dry slightly between feedings.

A note on altitude and how it affects the required nutrient strength for best plant performance. The transpiration rate of a plant is a measure of how much water flows through the plant over a given period of time. Since nutrients are generally taken-up with the movement of the water through the plant, this is an important concept when considering altitude effects. Transpiration rates, measured at the plant canopy, are directly dependent on the atmospheric vapor pressure. Atmospheric vapor pressure is a function of humidity and is dependent on temperature and altitude. For a given air temperature and relative humidity, as altitude increases, atmospheric vapor pressure decreases. As a result, under the same growing conditions, at altitude less water moves through the plant than at a lower altitude. When less water is moving, less nutrients are available for the plant. We compensate by increasing the strength of the feed. If you are growing at sea level, you won’t need or want full-strength 4.0+ EC for your plants ??

Tips ??

To use these nutes effectively, reading the plant response is key. Adjust the nutrients to dial-in for your growing conditions. Start conservatively and work your way up slowly. Shoot for a Nitrogen Ratio of 80% nitrate nitrogen and 20% ammoniacal nitrogen. Vary the ratio with the season. Lower EC and less overall nitrogen and ammoniacal nitrogen in the heat of summer. So maybe cut back on Urea, Ammonium Nitrate and Guano and drop the base EC by 5-10%. Higher EC’s and more overall nitrogen and ammoniacal nitrogen in spring. Keep the phosphorus low unless they are flowering. Restricting phosphorus will keep them in (on the edge of) CAM metabolism yet still growing well, the best of both worlds. Do not simultaneous apply high levels of phosphorus and potassium as it may encourage disease. Calcium and potassium are essential for disease resistance; and fat, healthy plants. High levels of ammoniacal nitrogen will interfere with uptake of calcium, magnesium and potassium, encouraging disease; use ammoniacal nitrogen sparingly.

The nutrients, the feeding frequency, the container and the media all work together as a system. Trichs like regular feedings during the growing season, generally 1-3 times per week. Notice that stressed and dehydrated plants are often saying ‘feed me’ - think {internal water potential}. Of the total nutrients applied, Look for 10-20% run-off out the drain holes. Deeper containers are ‘better’ as they have a more desirable water-retention profile. The steeper retention profile allows the surface roots to breath easier, even when flooded. However, don’t leave your plants in standing water and do allow the bottoms to drain freely. Trichs also like a heavy mineral-salt media; without sodium present. A good media-mix will crust on the top and harden when dry.

Occasionally check the run-off EC and pH. If the EC is climbing or the pH is trending out of range, corrections can be made. When the EC climbs too high, the plant will struggle for uptake from the media. In this case, gently flush extra salts from the media by using plain de-chlorinated water; though rain water is better imho. Boosting the EC of the nutrient solution, or increasing the frequency of the feed, usually resolves a climbing EC. If the pH is out of range, then changes can be made to the Nitrogen Ratio by adjusting nitrogen sources. pH trending high indicates too much nitrate nitrogen in the nutrient solution. pH trending low indicates too much ammoniacal nitrogen in the nutrient solution. Ammoniacal nitrogen is not easily flushed from the media, so low pH can be difficult to correct and may take time. If you are in a jam, flushing with a gypsum solution can help. Calcium Sulfate interacts with the Ammoniacal Nitrogen to form water soluble (and flush-able) Ammonium Sulfate. The remaining Calcium will form Calcium Carbonate and buffer the media, acting slowly to raise the pH. Imbalances are difficult to correct and best avoided if possible.

For seedlings 2-6 months, extra phosphorus and less potassium is often desirable. Red coloration on seedlings generally indicates a need for a stronger feed and more phosphorus overall. Too much light or a high temperature in the grow can also contribute to the red coloration. Nitrogen may need to be adjusted as seedling roots are delicate and high nitrogen levels can inhibit and/or burn sensitive roots. Start with a lower EC and work up to full strength by 3 months. Depends heavily on growing conditions.