Though very popular, PK 13/14 is not everything that it is cracked up to be. There is certainly no denying that phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are necessary to enjoy full blooming flowers and large, tasty fruit. However, contrary to commonly held assumptions, this ratio to phosphorus and potassium is far from ideal.
In fact, PK 13/14 might actually be doing more harm than good. Don’t include this, or for that matter, any, nutrient combination to your reservoir without first getting all of the fact. Here are just a few of the problems that PK 13/14 has been shown to bring to hydroponics systems.
Creates Phosphorus Build Up – One of the main problems of PK 13/14 is that the proportion of phosphorus is simply too high. This causes the phosphorus to build up and actually harm your plants. Excess phosphorus can start a chain reaction that wreck havoc on how your plants develop. When your plants receive too much of this nutrient, it can actually decrease the uptake of iron, zinc and copper.
Signs of excessive phosphorus include your leaves curling inward, the tips of your leaves being “burnt,” and droopy leaves.
Decreases Yield – The large toll that the phosphorus build up can have on your plants’ leaves can have devastating effects on your yield. With damaged leaves, your plants’ ability to make their own carbohydrates through photosynthesis will be severely stunted. It can cause fruits to weight less and flowers to be paler in color and weaker. It can even cause your plant to become more susceptible to disease.
Encourages The Growth of Harmful Fungi – PK 13/14 actually creates favorable conditions for certain kinds of harmful fungi. Most notably, it can encourage the formation of gray mold. This fungus, which usually has its most devastating effects on fruits and vegetables, can attach itself to whatever you are growing and slowly rot it.
To make sure that you aren’t affected by the damage the gray mold can bring, remove all dead organic matter from you hydroponics system, don’t allow your humidity to climb too high, and avoid using PK 13/14.
Unnecessarily Expensive – Here is the really bizarre thing aboutPK 13/14: it actually costs more than other formulations that are much more effective. Because the ratio is difficult to achieve correctly, manyhydroponic manufacturers charge a great deal for this product, in spite of the fact that it doesn’t do much good for most growers. You are much better off spending less money on other, better-suited nutrient solutions.
Though PK 13/14 is not very good for your plants, this doesn’t mean that all hydroponic nutrient products that contain phosphorus and potassium will harm your plants. In fact, a good PK solution can actually help you experience a much more bountiful harvest time and overall bigger yields. But you have to make certain that the ratio of potassium to phosphorus really supports development during the flowering stage.
For more information on what levels of phosphorus and potassium can truly help you get the most out of your plants and what you can use instead of PK 13/14, visit www.advancednutrients.com. Advanced Nutrients backs up each of its hydroponic products with mountains of research to ensure that they all meet the highest standards.