Did you know that plants also have a sweet tooth? It’s pretty fascinating to think about, isn’t it? If you’re like most new gardeners, you probably had no idea that plants crave sugar--and you probably don’t know why they do either.
However, improving your hydroponic garden means starting to understand what things your plants want. And that includes knowing what additives can make your yields taste even better. It’s actually not difficult at all. It just takes the right knowledge.
Fortunately, that’s exactly what you’ll get in this article. So let’s take a look at a quick way to improve taste from your hydroponic garden, and what sugar has to do with it.
Carb loading for plants
Similar to how athletes require more carbohydrates for energy endurance, so do plants. The more energy exerted, the more carbs are needed to be replenished. When you push your plants to their maximum output with nutrients, they use up more sugar than they can manufacture. The result is less sugar in the final yields.
If you carb load your plants with the right blend of sugars and complex carbohydrates, however, they replenish their supplies so that the flavor is not depleted. Plants that grow in soil outdoors typically don’t require carb loading because decaying plant matter in the soil provides extra carbs. Your indoor garden, on the other hand, may require a little boost from you.
Of course, you want to find the right ingredients to do this with. The easiest method is to use a premade sweetening and carb loading additive, like Bud Candy. Bud Candy also contains vitamins and amino acids to aid growth.
You can also mix your own sugar and carbohydrate blend. A lot of people like to use molasses.
Molasses mixtures vs Bud Candy
Using molasses or your own blend of carbs has its advantages and disadvantages compared to a prepared carb mixture.
Advantages of molasses mixture:
- Lower cost
- Also fuels growth and flavor
Disadvantages of molasses mixture:
- Lacks added vitamins and amino acids
- Different varieties of molasses and other ingredients will provide varying results
- Can clog up hydroponic systems
Whichever method you choose, the carbohydrates should be applied to the root system. For hydroponics, that means adding it to the reservoir. Bud Candy is designed specifically for hydroponic systems. But some growers have had issues with applying molasses mixtures directly to their tanks.
You’ll also need to watch what time frames you use this technique during. Let’s go back to the athlete metaphor. When athletes want peak performance, they carb load several hours before the event. If they do it too soon, the carbs have all been stored or burned before they need them. Wait until right before the event, and they feel full and sluggish instead of energized.
For most plants, this sweet spot is right when they transition from the vegetative to the blooming stage. You continue to feed carbs to the plants until a couple weeks before the flower stage ends.
Regardless of which way you choose to carb load your plants, every type of plant can have different results from the same products. It doesn’t hurt to experiment and try out a few things. Visit Indoor Cultivator to check out our nutrient additives and find the right regimen for your indoor garden.