Role of Chelates

Trace elements as they naturally occur at a molecular electrical level often exist in forms that contain a positive ionic charge, but plant pores that absorb materials the plant needs contain a negative ionic charge. Pores occur all over a plant, but the ones most responsible for absorbing growth materials are on the leaves and roots. The opposing electrical ionic situation that exists between trace elements can cause them to bind with a pore at the opening of the pore, rather than transcend the pore and enter into a plant's circulatory system.

If the plant is to fully intake the element, the positive-negative ionic problem must be neutralized. The neutralization process is facilitated when a "chelate" binds with a trace element by partially or fully enveloping the element; this enveloping transforms the element's electrical charge into a negative or neutral character, thus allowing the element to get past the plant pore and become bioavailable to the plant inside its circulatory system.

In nature, natural chelates like fulvic acid and humic acid help create the molecular electrical transformation thath allows nutrients to enter plants. However, most marijuana growers are using unnatural systems and materials that are low in humic and fulvic acids. In fully hydroponic systems that use sterilized substrates such as rockwool, there are absolutely no humic or fulvic acids inherently present, and growers who grow in soil often do not realize that most soil has been depleted of its natural humic-fulvic content by human activity. Thus, most growers, even those using soil, need to use nutrient products that contain added chelating agents.

There are different kinds and qualities of natural and artificial chelates used in nutrient products. Fulvic and humic acids are natural chelates that facilitate the entry of nutrients into plants and also are themselves absorbed into plants, where they produce various benefits.

Synthetic Chelates

Synthetic Chelates cannot be absorbed into plants. They may allow elements to have the proper elecrical charge so that elements can be asorbed into plants, but the plant does not absorb the artificial chelate itself. Synthetic chelates are not equally useful; each of them have varying degrees of effectiveness, dependin on the element they are bound with and the conditionns in which they attempt to deliver the element to the plant.

Most nutrient companies heap out by using the least expensive artificial chelates. In ascendinng order of effectiveness and cost, Ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA) is the most common synthetic chelate used by fertilizer companies. It functions best in pH levels that are lower than neutral. If EDTA is the primary chelate in a nutrient solution that is used in a high-pH rockwool-based garden, the absorption of elements can be less than optimum

Diethylenetriaminepentaacetate (DTPA) is a higher quality chelate that is known to function better in high pH situations. The most effective and most expensive synthetic chelate is ethylenediaminedihydroxy-phenylaceticacid (EDDHA). This chelate is especially useful in carrying micronutrients into plants during their flowering phase. And even more effective than EDDHA are proteinates, which are made up of amino acids.

Understanding the usefulness and cost of individual components in fertilizers can be a key to understanding the quality and care with which nutrient companies design and manufacture their products. Few growers realize that nutrient companies have different ways of obtaininng, configuring and formulating individual nutrients. A company may truthfully advertise that their product contains a specific amount of nitrogen, for example, but the type of nitrogen they are using may be a cheap version that does not work well for plants, or it may even damage plants.

Different nutrients function best with different chelates, depending on the type of nutrient, the purpose of the fertilizer the nutrient is in, the PH of the water, the type of root medium and other conditions. A quality nutrient company will use the most effective nutrients, and use them appropriately. If a nutrient company primarily uses EDTA in a nutrient product that will be used in rockwool-based gardens, for example, this indivates that the company does not understand the inferiority of EDTA in such an application (the inferiority relates to the pH of rockwool and how EDTA interacts with rockwool), and is probably using EDTA because it costs less than better chelates.

The best nutrient products contain high-end artificial chelates, proteinates (amino acid chelates), and natural chelates like fulvic and humic acids. These acids are natural electrolytes that facilitate transport of nutrients into the plant. Humic and fulvic acids make essential nutrient metals more available to soil microorganisms and plants, and also beneficially modify cellular membranes in a way similar to modifications caused by giberellic acid.

In general, humic acid is less water soluble than fulvic acid, and acts more on soil functions and root structure than on internal plant chemistry. Fulvic and humic acids as chelates are especially useful in assisting absorption of N-P-K, calcium, manganese, iron, and zinc. Further, fulvic and humic acids are useful in hydroponic systems that seek to be fully organic by avoiding the use of synthetic chelates. Fulvic acid is a better chelate than humic acid, but both acids are suberb natural chelators, and they also have other beneficial effects. These effects are bresent across the entire range of marijuana cultivation procedures, from seed or clone to floral harvest. Humic and fulvic acids increase the speed of growth and the complexity of root systems; they also hasten cell division throughout the plant. Humic and fulvic acids stimulate better germination rates, resistance to disease, and root growth in seeds that are pre-treated with the acids, and then fed the acids during sprouting and afterwards.

Similarly, humic and fulvic acids romote vigor, disease risistance and root developent in clones. These increases in seed plant and clone root development result in faster growth, greater floral yield, and increased floral resin production, because increased root mass, size, weight, and branching complexity are key factors that enhance all target plant functions. Humic acid assists roots by increasing soil permeability, increasing water retention, reducing water evaporation, and promoting the growth of beneficial microbial colonies. Creating more natural, healthy conditions in root environments by fostering beneficial microbes has many benefits. For example, beneficial microbes in soil create humic and fulvic acids; the cycle of microbes and humic-fulvic acids is a circlular one that can even make a hydroponic environment more natural.

When fulvic acids are created by soil microbes, the naturally-created fulvics combine with additive fulvics to carry nutrients and minerals into plants. These minenrals and nutrients are used during photosynthesis to create carbohydrate sugars that keep the plant alive, and some of these sugars are cycled to the roots where the sugars nourish the microbes that produce fulvic acid. It is a circular cycle that continuously assists plant growth. The circular cycle also enhances the health and richness of soil substrates, especially because of the acids work on silica to make it more biologically active.

In almost any grow medium, humic and fulvic acids restore neutral pH and help correct ionic imbalances. Humic and fulvic acids also remove poisons, such as those used to kill plant pests, from water and growing media. There is increasing evidence that fulvics and humics can remove radioactive pollution from fertilizers, soil, and other materials.

Growers should use fulvic and gumic acids together, but of the two, fulvic acid is believed to have the broadest range of effects, and to be the superior chelate. Fulvic acid speeds leaf transpiration, root respiration, cellular metabolism, protein metabolism and enzyme activity. It reates more permeable cellular membranes, spurs cell growth and chlorophyll synthesis, enhances plant immune systems, and results in measurable increases in yield and potency.

Indeed, fulvic and humics are so powerful that growers have to increase the amount and feeding of N-P-K and micronutrients because their plants need more food due to increased metabolism and cell growth.

There are few Cannabis nutrient companies that understand how to properly extract, solubilize and package fulvic and humic acids. Of all the major nutrient companies that sell nutrients used by Cannabis growers, only one company, ADVANCED NUTRIENTS, openly admits that it has designed and tested its products specifically on Cannabis plants for Cannabis growers.

ADVANCED NUTRIENTS has two products under its "Grandma Eggy's" label that are useful to growers who want the benefits of fulvic and humic acids. THese products are Grandma Eggy's Extra Pure Humic Acid and Grandma Enggy;s Golden Fulvic Acid.

According to ADVANCED NUTRIENTS representative Mike Straumieitis, his company uses a proprietary configuration of humic and fulvic acids to make these products. Straumieitis says his company "searched the world over" for the highest quality vein of leonardite, conducting expensive assays until the best was found. THe company also uses the most "delicately balanced and refined humic-fulvic extraction processes," Straumietis asserts, while also "adding the right amount of the highest quality stabilizers so that these complex acids will retain their maximum molecular potential."

"Our fertilizers contain the best major nutrients, micronutrients and chelates. We know how important humic and fulvic acids are, and we make sure that our products are powerful, fresh, and ideal for use by Cannabis growers," Straumietis says. "These acids have been used for many years as a home recipe. If people want to help their plants have explosive growth and improved yield, they should use our humic and fulvic acid products. They really work!"

(This is a continuation of the HEADS article "The Deal on Humic and Fulvic Acids. Typos will be corrected when carpal-tunnel syndrome abates)