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Registered: 09/15/21
Posts: 172
Last seen: 1 hour, 17 minutes
Nitrogen Lockout
    #850594 - 10/06/21 08:02 PM (9 days, 12 hours ago)

At what point do you give up on nute-locked plants?
What do you do to fight it before you give up?

I was thinking kelp foliar spray would help, but doesn't seem like it.
I've heard that flushing nute-locked plants works but IME doing the opposite and trying to let them dry out before returning to light waterings seems to work best

currently growing:
colorado hammer
zweet daddy purple
ny diesel

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That Guy

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Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 3,291
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Re: Nitrogen Lockout [Re: kreg] * 1
    #850617 - 10/07/21 05:57 AM (9 days, 2 hours ago)

Nutrient lockup is caused by a buildup of salts and plant metabolites in the soil surrounding the roots. These compounds interfere with active transport of nutrients and metabolites across the root surface.

In mild cases, the uptake of nutrients doesn't completely stop, and the plant will eventually absorb some of the excess nutrients and halfway fix the problem. This is what you are encouraging when letting the plant soil out and then watering lightly. While the plant may survive, it's still not removing the compounds causing issues, so it's not the best solution.

In the majority of cases, it is best to flush the soil to remove the excess nutrient salts and the buildup of plant metabolites. Flushing with pH-balanced water, especially with a chelating agent, will "reset" the root environment, and allow the plant to quickly recover, albeit with a small amount of brief overwatering stress.

I've found that watering plants to 10% runoff (that is, the volume of runoff is roughly equal to 10% of the soil volume) tends to avoid nutrient lockup by continuously removing built up salts and metabolites, much like a plant in outdoor settings. I also like to flush periodically with 200-300% runoff to make sure that the soil is always in that right range of pH and nutrient content.

“The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you” -NDT

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