Welcome Soft Secret readers, here is a guide to using VitaLink in your grow. Scroll down for a testimonial and details to enter our competition!
Please remember growing cannabis is strictly prohibited in the United Kingdom.
Start your seeds or cuttings in a root plug, grow cube, or other suitable substrate that has been pre-soaked in a solution of VitaLink PlantStart at a dilution of 4 ml per litre of water (it is good practice to allow tap water to stand for at least 24 hours before using with any nutrient concentrate). Make sure whatever substrate you are using is well drained and not “waterlogged” before planting your precious seeds/clones, moist but not wet is the key. When handling the chosen substrate there should not be any drips, but a gentle squeeze should bring moisture to the surface. Once planted keep the substrate at this moisture level with a slightly stronger mix of VitaLink PlantStart at 6 ml per litre of water. After a few days when from cuttings, or after a week or so when growing from seed, when you see some positive root growth you can start to use VitaLink RootStim along with the VitaLink PlantStart, RootStim should be added at 1 ml per litre.
As your young plants thrive and grow, lighting levels can be increased, and when you see genuine growth (as in recognizable leaves) and decent root development, your young wonders can be transplanted into your long term growing substrate or hydroponic grow system. Now the growth, or vegetative phase can begin in earnest, and you will now start using a full spectrum nutrient concentrate instead of the VitaLink PlantStart. VitaLink Earth MAX for soil grown plants, VitaLink Hydro MAX for full hydroponic systems, and VitaLink Coir MAX or VitaLink Coir Classic for plants growing in the popular coconut fibre substrates such as VitaLink 100% Coir Growing Media. Throughout the growth period you will continue to use VitaLink RootStim as part of your nutrient regime, initially increasing the dilution rate to 2 ml per litre then after a week or two reducing it back to 1 ml per litre. In addition to this we recommend using two or three other additives at this stage. VitaLink Fulvic, used at 2 ml per litre, aids in both nutrient uptake through the roots and the transportation of nutrients within the plant itself. VitaLink Silicon MAX, added at 0.5 ml per litre initially and increased to 1 ml per litre for more mature plants, will strengthen the plants cell structure, generally toughen up the plant, boost the plants resistance to disease and pests, and it will also help to stabilise pH fluctuations in the nutrient solution when using recirculating irrigation systems to feed your plants, (this product is the most concentrated silicon additive we know of and care must be taken with its usage, always follow the instructions on the packaging). Thirdly VitaLink Turbo, used at 1 ml per litre, is a plant growth hormone that triggers key signals within the plant causing faster and stronger development throughout all stages of the plants growth and flowering. The base, full spectrum, nutrient concentrates are started at lower dilutions and can be gradually increased as the plant develops, whereas the additives and boosters are nearly all used at the same dilution for the duration of the crop. Never exceed the maximum recommended dosage for any of your nutrients, boosters, or additives.
As a very general rule of thumb, when left to their own devices, cannabis plants will double in height during the flowering or generative phase of their cycle. So, unless you are pruning or training your plants to cope with this increased growth, this should be your main guide as to when to initiate the flowering/generative phase of your crop. To start this phase of the crop cycle, change your lighting times to a shorter day length (usually 12 hours on, 12 hours off) and switch the base nutrients to the bloom/flowering version of your chosen product. For passive (hand watered) set ups, simply switch the base nutrient from the grow to bloom formulation. In active systems or systems that use a nutrient reservoir, a complete nutrient change will be required, so whenever possible, try coinciding this with the reservoir being at a low level to avoid undue waste.
Regarding additives and boosters, VitaLink RootStim use should now be suspended, VitaLink Fulvic continues at 2 ml per litre, VitaLink Silicon MAX continues at 1 ml per litre, and VitaLink Turbo remains at 1 ml per litre. In addition to these we recommend using a PK booster to improve flower and bud production, VitaLink Buddy can be used continuously from the first signs of flower initiation at 1 ml per litre, but we would recommend replacing this with VitaLink PK during peak flowering (roughly week 5/6 of flowering) again at 1 ml per litre.
Lastly, after peak flowering and when you see the buds starting to change colour and mature (usually around the start of week 7) you will want to finish with all nutrients, additives and boosters, and use VitaLink Finale for one week at a dilution of 4 ml per litre. VitaLink Finale is a finishing/ripening agent that will help to produce uniform maturity over the entire plant and ensure everything is ready for harvest. For the final week (normally week 8) it is best practice to use just water to irrigate, this will wash any unused nutrients from the rootzone and flush stored nutrient from the plant, this will help to improve the quality of your end product.
Please follow the link below for our easy to use nutrient calculator,
good luck and happy gardening.
The HG Team