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All About Plant Food – How Much is Too Much?

Every Gardyner seeks lush, beautiful, and healthy plants. Gardyn’s hydroponic control gives the ability to directly add mineral nutrient plant food to keep plants happy and healthy. But does more plant food mean bigger, healthier plants? Understanding how humans turn food into nutrition and energy can help us to demystify the way plants do the same for plant food.

People select foods based on calories and nutrition. The most healthy foods are nutrient dense, meaning they are high in nutrients and low in calories, while unhealthier foods that provide little nutrition but are high in calories are energy dense

(Image from https://image.slidesharecdn.com/nutritionatwork-090330150911-phpapp02/95/nutrition-at-work-7-728.jpg?cb=1238426002)

When considering what to eat, humans must maintain a healthy balance between calories and nutrients. A person eating nothing but broccoli would have little calorie intake and become lethargic and lose weight over time. On the other hand, if a person only ate potato chips they would feel some energy from the calories, but would ultimately gain weight and get sick from lack of nutrition.

For humans, nutrients and calories are present together in the foods we eat, so we often group them as one when conceptualizing “food.” Plants on the other hand receive their nutrients and calories from separate sources — plants absorb nutrients in mineral plant food through their roots, while they get their energy (calories) from photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis is how plants convert light, carbon dioxide, and water into glucose (sugar) and oxygen. Imagine having the ability to make your own sugary snacks on-demand, just from being in the sun! However, like most sugary snacks, there’s no nutritional value in the glucose created by photosynthesis. The energy is made, but there are no vitamins or minerals.

To access nutrients, plants draw water from the soil (or hydroponic yCube/pod), through the roots, and up into the tissue. The dissolved mineral plant food present in the water satisfies the plants’ needs to convert the glucose energy created by photosynthesis into healthy growth.

(Image source: https://www.greenandvibrant.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/Photosynthesis-illustration_1.jpg)

Together, photosynthesis and nutrients work in concert to fuel plant growth. Like humans, if plants get too many vitamins or minerals they can become sick, so Gardyners must be careful with how much plant food is added to the water. More is not always better, and a lot of times straying from recommended levels can cause more harm than good. As long as an adequate amount of nutrients are present, adding more won’t serve to increase plant growth. Gardyners can rest assured their plants receive optimal nutrition by following Gardyn’s guidelines for plant food usage

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