FAQ 2017-01-18T14:59:03+00:00

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The concept behind Dyna-Gro is simple: We provide a highly concentrated product that contains all 16 essential elements in one solution including calcium.  Our competitors are not able to offer calcium in their products due to the fact that it will combine into insoluble forms which are not available to plants.  In most cases they also omit magnesium and sulfur as well.  We offer these complete solutions in a variety of N-P-K ratios to be used in the different stages of the plants life cycle.  Invariably, they also omit many trace elements, commonly: nickel, cobalt, chlorine and sodium.

The proper ratio of each of Dyna-Gro, nutrient depends on the crop and the stage of growth (look on the label for specific recommendations for different crops). However, below you will find a general guideline:

  • For seeds, cuttings, or delicate seedlings – use ½ – 1 tsp. GROW or Foliage-Pro®  to 1 gallon water.
  • For the vegetative stage of growth – use 1 tsp.  GROW or Foliage-Pro® to 1 gallon water.
  • For late vegetative to pre-bloom stage – use ½ tsp. GROW  or  ½ tsp Foliage-Pro® and 1 tsp. BLOOM nutrient to 1 gallon water.
  • For bloom initiation to ripening stage – use 1 tsp of BLOOM to 1 gallon water.
  • See Dyna-Gro feed chart for more advanced growing techniques.

Pro-TeKt® is introduced first into the mixing tank/container then add ¾ of the intended volume of water.  Finally, add the other nutrients and top off with the remaining volume of water.  Because a very high pH is required to keep Pro-TeKt® concentrate in solution, it is important to fully dilute it before adding other Dyna-Gro nutrition solutions concentrates which have low pH.  Mixing the two concentrates without first diluting them will turn Pro-TeKt® into a lump of silica gel!

Top off your reservoir with water between adding of nutrients if you have a dissolved solids meter that reads ppm or EC to measure the level of dissolved solids in the hydroponic system.  Dyna-Gro recommends for best practices to empty and refill your reservoir with a fresh solution at a maximum of  2 – 3 week intervals.  If you are seeing your PPM levels drop below 400 PPM (subtracting the water’s natural PPM), you should add more Dyna-Gro.  If you do not have the means to test the level of dissolved solids, add the appropriate amount of nutrients to the volume of water before adding it to the reservoir.  When you drain your reservoir, give your landscape plants, vegetable garden and lawn a treat by feeding them with the dilute solution that you are replacing!

There are many variables on how often to check your reservoir: type of system, evaporation rate, size of plants, stage of plant growth, etc.  It is wise to check every day until you determine the rate at which your plants are consuming your nutrient solution.  Remember, as your plants get larger, they will be taking up increased amounts of water daily.

Yes.  The reservoir should be drained and rinsed every 7-14 days, depending upon plant size and nutrient usage.  It should definitely be drained and cleaned whenever you change the nutrient ratio formula.

Properly stored (cool environment, out of direct sunlight) Dyna-Gro nutrients have a very long shelf lives.  However, both Root-Gel® and K-L-N Concentrate begin to lose their efficacy after 12 months.

Answer: Yes and No.  The Dyna-Gro complete nutrient are intended as standalone formulas, but in a time of transition, it may be beneficial to mix the two at half strength each (makes a full strength nutrient solution).  Use Foliage-Pro® or GROW in the vegetative stage and BLOOM in the fruiting/flowering stage.  Note: If your plant is not fruiting or flowering plant, Foliage-Pro®  or GROW is all that you will need to use.  For further information, refer to our Dyna-Gro feed chart.

Of course.  Make sure you use a weaker nutrient solution than you would for root feeding.  Avoid foliar feeding in the heat of the day.  Generally, the best times to foliar feed are in the early morning and late afternoon.  Make sure you spray the undersides of the leaves.  This is where the stomata or “openings” of the plant are located, and where maximum absorption occurs.

Absolutely!  All of our nutrient products contain the necessary elements for plant growth.  Fertilizers are designed to replenish only some of elements that plants have taken up from soils.  Dyna-Gro nutrients supply all of the elements needed by plants.  For further information, refer to our Drain to Waste or Soil section of our Feed Chart.

First, what is or is not “organic” is the subject of intense debate.  In the United States, there are numerous definitions of “organic”, many of which differ significantly.  Each state has its own regulations for labeling produce as “organic”.  Additionally, there are 36 non-governmental organizations, which can “certify” produce as organic.  Now only crops grown from unrefined minerals are recognized as “organic”.  However our Pro-TeKt® is manufactured using raw material that is certified organic!

In chemistry, organic means a molecule that contains carbon.  Accordingly, gasoline, motor oil, paper, etc. are “organic.”  Plants do not take up any organic molecules.  They must be broken down into their constituent ions, none of which are organic!  In soils, these organic molecules are broken down by the action of a wide range of microbes including bacteria and mycorrhizae.  However, many, if not most, certified organic fertilizers contain significant amounts of heavy metals including arsenic, lead, mercury, selenium, and others which can be dangerous to any animal consuming plants grown with those “organic” fertilizers.  To avoid issues with heavy metals, Dyna-Gro uses only highly refined, technical grade raw materials in the production of all of our plant nutrition products.  While this insures high quality, nutritionally healthy crop production, it prevents our nutrients from being considered “organic”.

Organic certification is based upon the source of the raw materials, not upon the absence of heavy metals or other contaminants.  A check of the analyses of registered fertilizers will reveal that some “certified organic” fertilizers contain levels of arsenic, for example, that would be illegal in drinking water!  The one sensible part of the “organic” movement is minimizing or eliminating the use of chemical pesticides.  Providing your plants with proper levels of Pro-TeKt®, The Silicon Solution®, can eliminate the need for pesticides.  Our pure Neem Oil product provides a wide range of benefits from repelling insects to interfering with their ability to eat and reproduce.  Dyna-Gro definitely does not want to encourage the use of any chemical pesticides.

Because typical organic fertilizers require soil born microbes to break down the organic molecules, they are particularly ineffective for hydroponic applications.  Unrefined minerals do not dissolve well for hydroponic use, and many of these unrefined minerals contain quantities of impurities, some of which are toxic to plants and animals.  For that reason, Dyna-Gro products are made from high quality, refined minerals.  This insures high quality crop production, but prevents the crop from being considered “organic”.

We do not recommend using more than the recommended application rates for Mag-Pro®.  A few applications at higher rates are not likely to be harmful and may simply be wasteful.  But continuous applications at significantly higher rates can upset the balance of minerals the plant needs.

Mag-Pro® can be successfully used in the later stages of the vegetative stage and its concentration increased, until harvest.  For further information, refer to the Dyna- Grofeed charts.  Periodic applications of Mag-Pro® will be beneficial to growers who are using water sources that have little or no dissolved solids in them such as RO, DI or rain water.

pH is the measure of acidity/alkalinity of a solution. For more information see the information at our pH UP and pH DOWN products.  Specifically, pH is a measure of the hydronium ion H3O+.  It is based on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. “Pure” water has a pH of 7.0, a neutral pH.  If the pH is less than 7, the solution is acid.  If the pH is greater than 7 it is alkaline.  Because the scale is logarithmic and not linear, a pH of 5 indicates ten times more acidic than a pH of 6, and a pH of 4 indicates 100 times more acidic than a pH of 6.  Conversely, a pH of 8 is 10 times more alkaline that a pH of 7.

The ideal pH range for most hydroponic crops is between 5.5 and 6.5.   At the lower pH range you may have issues maintaining a stable pH.  So for simplicity it is recommended running between 6.0 and 6.2 for a purely hydroponic system and 6.5 and 6.8 for soilless media or soil.

pH is important because it affects availability and absorption of all of the mineral elements needed for plant growth.  Maximum absorption of these elements is found at pH readings 5.5 to 6.8.  When pH falls outside of this range many of the macro elements (N, P, K, etc) have less availability, and absorption of the micro nutrients can reach toxic levels.  See the pH table.

Hydoponic pH Chart

pH is adjusted by using an acid to lower it or a base to raise it.  Dyna-Gro pH Down and pH Up are designed for this purpose.  Many acids and bases are extremely corrosive and dangerous, so care should be used if you are not using a product labeled for hydroponic use.  Also, our Pro-TeKt® can be used to raise pH.

Short-term solutions include citric acid (which degrades in solution) or sulfuric acid made for swimming pools or battery acid.  This is considered a short-term solution due to the high salt content of these chemicals.  Be very careful with this acid.  Vinegar will also work, but generally, the effects are short term.  Citric acid and vinegar introduce organic compounds which can support the growth of pathogens and should be products of last resort as pH buffers.

Until you get a feel for your system, it is a good idea to measure the pH of your water daily.  Measure pH of your water and then add your nutrients.  Within an hour check the pH and adjust accordingly.  Repeat this process until pH stabilizes.  The Dyna-Gro products contain special pH buffers to help maintain a desirable pH.  It is a good idea to note how much water, nutrients and pH modifiers are needed to obtain the desired values.  After several “start- ups,” you can generally get a feel for how much acid or base to use for your situation.  Frequently pH stays within a desirable range for a considerable time, and then rapidly rises or falls to an extreme.  This is usually an indication of the need to do a nutrient change.  If you are using hard water, pH has the tendency to climb above 7.5.  Sometimes this can be neutralized with acid, though one might consider adding a reverse osmosis unit in an extreme case.

Start out with one milliliter per gallon.  Wait 15 – 30 minutes, and test your water again.  Frequently you will only need 1 – 2 ml of pH Up/Down per gallon of water.  You may need additional pH Up/Down if you have hard water.  The Dyna-Gro products are pH buffered to facilitate keeping the pH in a favorable range.

The easiest way is to continue adding pH Up.  This is generally fine because the additional elements that are added are potassium ions.  And Dyna-Gro nutrients do not contain elevated amounts of potassium.  Sometimes pH crashes because of the presence of a large amount of microbial activity in the nutrient solution.  This is usually a result of poor maintenance of the system due to infrequent nutrient changes or other stresses.  The best way to avoid this scenario is to keep a clean system with adequate nutrition.

Water containing too much calcium and magnesium (called “total Hardness”) may create serious problems.  Contact your municipal water supplier who can provide you with an analysis of your water supply.  If you are using well water, many laboratories can provide you with an analysis if you send them a sample.  If the dissolved salts in your water supply measure 200 ppm or more, we strongly recommend that you obtain a water analysis to determine calcium content.  Calcium will elevate the pH, “hard water typical resides in the pH range of 7.5 and 8.  Not to worry as some of the micronutrients in the Dyna-Gro products are chelated  in such a manner that hard water will not affect their absorption.  Just make sure to adjust pH of your water to the recommended pH range (5.8 and 6.8).  Other options are to collect rainwater, install a reverse osmosis filtration system, or use purified water.  Do not use mineral or “spring” water, which can unbalance the nutrient solution.

Chlorine is highly volatile; it outgasses as soon as it hits the air.  By the time the nutrient solution reaches the roots, the chlorine is gone.

In a properly functioning hydroponic unit, the roots receive oxygen from the air, which surrounds them, as well as from the oxygen which is dissolved in the nutrient solution.  The addition of air stones is highly recommended.  Some growers use air pumps in their nutrient reservoirs to oxygenate their nutrient solutions.  At the same time, they are pumping CO2 into their water.  CO2 dissolves into the water to form carbonic acid, lowering pH.  This is a good opportunity to add more Pro-TeKt® to raise the pH.   The proper medium can play an important role in this process.

Temperature of the nutrient solution should be in the range of 65 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 25 degrees Celsius).  Before adding water to your reservoir, it is a good idea to allow it to come to the same temperature as the water in the reservoir.  Plants do not like rapid temperature changes, especially in the root zone.  Aquarium heaters can be used to warm the nutrient solution in the winter, and look for “chillers” to cool the solution in the summer if high temperature becomes a problem.

Standard reference solutions are used. The bottles are marked with the conductivity (EC) value in milliSiemens/cm and the corresponding ppm values for sodium chloride (NaCl) and potassium chloride (KCl) solutions, and sometimes for a “442” reference mixture. The conductivity of sodium chloride solutions is close to that of hydroponic mineral nutrients, so a “1000-ppm NaCl” standard is most frequently used when calibrating the meter for hydroponic solutions. You should follow the calibration instructions in the manual, which the manufacturer of your meter provided.

Sea water is a good conductor of electricity.  Fresh water is not.  Conductivity is a measure of the dissolved ions in an aqueous solution.  The mineral salts we add to water as nutrients conduct electricity.  The electrical conductivity (EC) of your nutrient results from motion of mineral ions when the meter applies an electrical voltage. The PPM value of a sodium chloride solution happens to be very close to half of its conductivity value (in milliSiemens/cm), so many meters display the conductivity as an equivalent NaCl amount.

It is a measurement of the concentration of elements in the nutrient solution.  One ppm is one part by weight of the mineral in one million parts of solution.  For example 9% nitrogen in Foliage-Pro® is 90,000 ppm.  When you dilute this 1 tsp./gal. (1:750) you will be applying 120 ppm nitrogen.

  • To obtain an approximate sodium chloride ppm value, multiply the EC reading (in milliSiemens/cm) by 500.
  • To get an EC value, divide ppm by 500.
    • Thus, if your EC is 1 = 500 ppm.
    • And if your ppm is 500  = 1 EC

If you have plant nutrient recommendations in EC units, a TDS meter reading EC meter is convenient.  If your plant nutrient recommendations are in ppm values, a sodium chloride TDS meter calibrated in ppm is easier to use.

Conductivity is a measure of the concentration of ions in the nutrient solution.  The higher the conductivity, the more dissolved solids there are in the solution.  Delicate plants, cuttings, and seedlings can experience fertilizer burn if the conductivity (salt content) is too high.  Once the plants begin growing, they need a stronger nutrient solution, so conductivity must be increased by adding concentrated nutrient.  Some plants prefer a milder nutrient strength, while others grow better and produce better quality fruit with higher concentrations.

Conductivity is really a measure of the nutrients in the solution.  Low conductivity implies a low nutrient concentration, which usually results in nutritional deficiencies and slow growth rates of your plants.  One can look at the situation, as a higher conductivity is more food for your plants.  However, be careful of very high levels as this can burn and or kill the plant.

In indoor hydroponics, ventilation is often overlooked as a problem.  Plants absorb nutrients when the water molecules in the leaves transpire (i.e. evaporate).  Better ventilation aids a high transpiration rate, which translates into a greater rate of nutrient uptake.  Remember that ventilation means changing the air, not just blowing it around the room (circulation).  Also, plants absorb CO2 from the air to extract carbon which is one of the major components of all vegetable matter.  Circulation of fresh air insures that adequate CO2 is available to the plants.

Technically, cloning is reproducing plants from tissue culture of plant cells.  However, the term is loosely applied to propagation of plants by inducing root growth on cuttings.  Cloning then, is taking a cutting (a branch or growing portion of the plant, including a few small leaves to aid growth) from a  plant, and placing it in a medium and forcing it to develop roots, by applying rooting hormones, such as Dyna-Gro™ K-L-N Concentrate™ or the Dyna-Gro™ Root-Gel.®  This cutting then becomes a new plant, identical to the “parent” plant (the plant from which the clone was taken).  This gives us the first benefit of cloning, making many new plants from a single “mother” plant.  This gives you a complete, uniform garden of only the most productive, disease resistant, pest resistant and healthiest plants.

So you have decided to take up cloning as your fun, new gardening hobby.  Well, cloning is not only a great way to save money, but is also a very easy way to improve the overall health of your garden.  MATERIALS NEEDED:

  • A plant that is at least two months old
  • Rooting hormone, such as Dyna-Gro K-L-N Concentrate or the Dyna-Gro Root-Gel®.
  • Pro-TeKt®
  • Piece of screen or shade cloth to protect your clones from large amounts of intense light for their first few days
  • Foliar feeding via a water spray bottle.  In their first few days it is critical that you spray the leaves of your clones with water about 4-5 times a day to supply the water that isn’t able to be supplied to the plant through the roots
  • One pair of scissors to cut your clipping and remove excess foliage
  • Sterile Razor blade or scalpel
  • Shallow Tray
  • A glass of fresh, tepid, water
  • Container (filled with the planting mix of your choice) in which to transfer your new clone.

STEPS:

  • If using medium to clone your plants soak the medium with 5ml K-L-N Concentrate and 5ml of Pro-TeKt® per gallon of water.  If using an aeroponic cloner put the solution in the machine and let in circulate.
  • Locate some older, lower branches with about four to six sets of leaves on them, and that are about 1/8 to 1/4 inches wide and three to eight inches long. With your scissors, make a 45o cut across the intended clones branch, being careful not to smash the stem.  Trim the two to three sets of bottom leaves off the stem, leaving two to three sets of leaves above ground.
  • In the shallow tray place the 5ml K-L-N Concentrate and 5ml of Pro-TeKt® per gallon of water. Take your fresh cutting place the cut section in the shallow tray and re-cut the under the solution with the sterile blade at a 45o angle.  Leave the freshly cut cutting underwater for 1 -3 minutes.
  • After the cutting has set in the solution for 1 – 3 minutes then immediately place in your pre-soaked media or clone chamber.
  • Place your new clones under filtered sunlight, a piece of shade cloth or a screen to prevent excessive shock to the plant.  After four or five days they can be moved into a sunny area where they will begin to adjust and continue to grow.
  • With your spray bottle of water, gently mist the leaves of your clones, just lightly covering the surface of the leaves.  This will help the plant continue to absorb water without needing roots.  Spray about four to seven times a day, just to keep the leaves from drying out completely.
  • Maintain the temperature of clones at about 75o to 80o for about three days after growth, bringing them inside if you need to.  Place them on a heat mat of 75o to 80o increases the success of rooting.
  • Some of your cuttings may wilt for the first few days or have rotting leaves if the leaves were in contact with moist soil. Remove any rotting leaves as they may occur.  Your clones should look like normal, small, uniform plants after about the first five to seven days.  If any of the plants are still badly wilted at the end of the first week they probably will not survive or if they do it is unlikely they will catch up with the rest of your plants, and should be removed from the garden.
  • In one to four weeks the clones should be well rooted and ready to be checked. To check simply remove one of the clones from its container to look for the off-white strands of roots.  After your plants have rooted they are now ready to be put into their regular growing area and resume growth. In about another month these plants will be ready to be parents themselves.

When you take a cutting off a parent plant to clone, you want it to do two things: stay alive with photosynthesis and focus on root development.  Here are six tips to help the process along:

  • Don’t blast your cuttings with too much light or they will focus more energy on photosynthesis and less on rooting development, so don’t put the light source too close.
  • Cut the existing foliage in half so that there is a little less focus on transpiration and photosynthesis but enough to keep the cutting alive, which helps with root development.
  • Don’t heavily fertilize the parent plant prior to taking cuts.  If a cutting is full of nutrients it will delay root development because it has everything it needs. Until the nutrients are depleted, the cutting will not feel the need to grow roots in search of food.
  • Create a humid atmosphere surrounding the cuttings to promote root growth.  Clone machines will create a humid atmosphere at the root zone, while the use of a tray and dome will create that humidity around the foliage.
  • Roots will form from the open wounds created when taking cuts, the more open wounds created at the root zone, the better the chance of a bigger root mass.
  • If using Root-Gel®, when dipping your cuttingss into your Root-Gel® you have the potential to contaminate the entire contents. It’s better to dump out a little at a time and not dip directly into your gel container,  so that you cannot contaminate the contents of your supply should your cuttings have any pathogens.