Everybody talks about change, but they don’t know if the change is really better or just different. Coca Cola discovered the hard way that changing the formula of this iconic soft drink was a bad idea. But when change brings true innovation by raising a good product to the next level, everybody wins.
Sunshine #4 was the standard of early hydroponic growers who began this revolution in indoor horticulture. It was a time of experimentation with a new way of cultivating plants that could vary considerably in the way each indoor garden was established. Those growing in an inorganic media soon discovered the importance of a holistic organic root zone to the overall size and vigor of their plants. The value of symbiotic microorganisms was clearly shown to result in larger yields.
To provide a superior organic product, our soil scientists went to work on three ways to transform #4 into a living organic media that better mimics the structural, microbial and nutritional content of natural soil. So even if you are cultivating hydroponically, you can now obtain the best results nature has to offer.
As indoor growing is surging toward a more organic approach to hydroponics, the need arose to change #4 to increase drainage while maintaining moisture holding capacity. The first step was to reduce the proportions of peat to add coir, a coconut byproduct famous for its ability to provide both aeration and water holding potential. In the past these two qualities have been mutually exclusive until the advent of fine coir provided a sustainable solution. To bump up aeration even more, coarse perlite content was increased.
This change to #4 increased bio-activity because growers learned that 90% of the world’s plants are dependent on mycorhizzae in the wild and indoor gardeners desperately needed it in their own crops. This is a microscopic fungus that colonizes plant roots to help them grow faster and access greater amounts of moisture and nutrients in the soil. As this symbiotic relationship develops, the holistic health of every plant increases to better cope with occasional drought. Media already teeming with this beneficial microbe will be far more able to produce outstanding plants.
The first weeks of an indoor garden are vital as these precede the applications of various fertilizers to direct plants in their life cycle advancement. This inspired the next change in #4 with the addition of organic fertilizer in low doses ideal for young seedlings or even early adolescents. Phosphorus content was purposefully kept low as this nutrient can inhibit the development of mycorhizzae. Slightly higher nitrogen levels from bone and feather meal come on gently and continue to feed over these early weeks for stem development essential to larger more prolific plants.
Plan to add your own fertilizer program within 7 days of planting, but keep phosphorus levels below 10 parts per million to ensure the microbes maintain active growth and expansion.
With Sunshine Advanced Mix #4, change isn’t just good; it’s a revolution in media that stimulates plants to perform using a careful combination of modern science and a blend of age old organic matter. Together they create a root zone that welcomes your plants as perfectly as Mother Nature would herself.
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