The Genesis Formula
Use and Application Recommendations
General Purpose Fertilizing
Plant fertilization, is in itself a very complex and exact science, because of the nature of living organisms. Put on a practical level, it can be basic and straight forward. Scientists and commercial growers will approach plant nutrition at an atomic level, and utilize elaborate techniques to track and regulate plant productivity. In these instances, a slight variable can equate into significant profits or losses. For the rest of us, our burden is far less dramatic, but no less rewarding.
If you realize a few basic principles, you will be able to make proper nutritional adjustments, and encourage your plants to flourish. There are two fundamental variables to consider. Do I want primarily nitrogen to encourage lush, robust leaf growth, or do I want to reduce the nitrogen and supplement with phosphorus to promote flower and fruit production. This is why fertilizer programs are divided into at least these two formulas variations.
The Genesis Formula is designed to offer flexibility in its elemental make up, for the grower who chooses to manipulate formula values. But, it has also been combined and packaged in a way that makes all purpose routine feeding very simple. For the most part, all common plants require the same minerals, in about the same quantity. If you use the following formulas, you will have healthy, productive plants.
For a general purpose grow formula use 1 tsp. MicroBase and 1 tsp. Grow #1 with each gallon prepared. Use with every watering or as required. Substitute the Grow #1 with the Bloom #3 at the first sign of flower development, and continue with the Bloom formula throughout the floral cycle. Once the flowering has terminated, return to the grow formula. This formula will work well with all types of systems and any kind of growing medium. Note: I do not generally recommend foliar feeding, but if you must, use the same formula at about 1/4 strength.
Cuttings and Seedlings
I do not recommend the use of any fertilizer to germinate seeds. There are however select auxins and other plant hormones that can be beneficial to encourage sprouting and rooting. For the most part seeds and cuttings contain all the foods they need to sprout and root. For seeds the cotyledons will turn green indicating that they are photosynthesizing and the first true leaves will appear. Now it is safe to apply a very dilute nutrient solution. Use the MicroBase and #3 bloom to promote root growth. Start with a concentration no more then 1/4 the normal dose. This would be 300 to 400 ppm. The same concentration would apply to cuttings that have begun to show roots. Without roots fertilizer is of little use. Continue this formula until the plantlets are well established and fully rooted (about 2 weeks). Then switch to a grow formula of 10ml each MB and GW-1 (1200 to 1600 ppm tds (2 to 2.5 mS EC)). After two weeks use the same, but switch to GW-2 to promote accelerated growth. At the point of photoperiod change use 10ml each MB and BM-3. This is the standard for a plant assuming a natural life cycle. If the growth periods are altered relative modifications in the formulas may be required. Just use common sense. Every plant phenotype will exhibit different characteristics and feeding requirements. For advanced formulations based on actual elemental constituents see the formula variation charts on the web site at: http://www.greenair.com/chart.htm
Almost everyone has a plant or two in the house. It's not easy being a house plant. You are usually neglected and taken for granted, often deprived of the basic necessities such as light, water, fertilizer and fresh air circulation. If they die we just buy new ones, which is O.K., at least for the nursery industry. It's not difficult to care for house plants if you observe a few basic principles. Normally we don't want our house plants to grow too fast, we just want them to maintain a lush, compact green foliage.
Use a large enough container to allow for future growth and a good root environment. Use a quality potting soil (not dirt) with adequate water holding potential, while providing good drainage characteristics. Water approximately once a week with a mild strength nutrient solution. Add one teaspoon of the Genesis Grow #1 to each gallon of solution prepared and once a month add a teaspoon of the MicroBase to maintain an adequate supply of trace elements. Substitute the Grow #1 with the Genesis Bloom #3 as soon as flower buds start to appear. This is a very mild formula, but on a routine basis will provide sufficient nutrition for healthy sustainable growth. Larger plants receiving plentiful light, and exhibiting some enthusiasm, may benefit from increased doses. You can double the above formula without fear of over feeding.
Hint: It is a good idea, on occasion, to leach the soil in a potted container plant. Take your plants outside or to the sink (or shower) and run clear luke warm water through the grow medium, to remove excess fertilizer salts and refresh soil. House plants are also subject to dust and residues from furnaces or household sprays and cleaners or anything that may collect on their leaves. Since they are not outside, where rain and wind keep them clean, once in a while it is a good idea to wash them. A mild dish soap solution works well.
Outdoor flower and vegetable gardens can be quite productive, if properly prepared and maintained. Old tried and true techniques have been handed down for centuries. This usually involves adding an assortment of soil amendments such as compost, mulch or humus, manure's and other such organic materials. This is usually turned into the soil in the late fall or early spring and accompanied by lime to adjust pH and promote decomposition. Microorganisms will work hard in your behalf to break down the crude materials into elements that plants can assimilate. As good a system as this is, sometimes it doesn't cover all the bases and we find it beneficial to add supplemental fertilizer compounds. Outdoor garden conditions vary dramatically from place to place, but a routine of watering with a liquid nutrient will assure desirable results.
Drench the soil with a solution of two teaspoons of the Genesis MicroBase and two teaspoons of the Grow #2 per gallon of solution prepared. Apply weekly during the rapid growth stage, and use half strength in the early stages when the plants are becoming established. Switch to the MicroBase and Bloom #3 as fruit or flowers begin to develop.
Lawns are plants to. A whole bunch of small plants maybe, but they require the same nutrients as larger ones. You can really green up a pale, listless lawn by giving it some nitrogen. You probably don't need to give it the MicroBase, although, once in awhile, it couldn't hurt. Dilute Grow #1 or #2 at 10 tbsp. per quart, in a hose end sprayer canister, and set dilution ratio dial to 100:1. Thoroughly soak topsoil several times during the season. The lawn is an excellent way to utilize the used solutions from your hydroponic systems. Spray directly or use an inexpensive siphon-x hose end injector with a lawn sprinkler.
Tomatoes are by a long measure the most popular crop grown hydroponically on a production scale in this country. There is an insatiable demand for them ,especially when available as vine ripened. They are hearty and highly productive offering a harvestable lifetime of approximately one year. Tomatoes are heavy feeders, requiring abundant nutrient concentrations to encourage a rapid, accelerated growth rate.
As fresh cuttings or seedlings strive to gain a foothold and establish a vigorous root initiation, a minimal nitrogen and generous phosphorus fertilizer is desirable. Use a 1200 ppm TDS solution of MicroBase, Grow #1 and Bloom #3 at one teaspoon each per gallon. Use this for the first two weeks until well settled in. Now it is time to force aggressive top growth. Change nutrient formulation to 1600 ppm TDS with MicroBase and Grow #2 at two teaspoons each per gallon. Demanding growers, under desirable conditions, can add additional nitrogen and calcium with one more teaspoon of the Grow #2 raising concentration to about 2000 ppm TDS. As flowers begin to develop, switch to a formula ratio of 2 teaspoons MicroBase, and 2 teaspoons of Bloom #3. This will once again discourage excessive leaf and stem growth, and shift the emphasis to fruit production.
Common nutrient stress symptoms are interveinal chlorosis (leaf yellowing) or defoliation, stem and petioles become red or purple, and assorted fruit deformities including blossom end rot. See deficiency and toxicity data to determine possible remedies. When using a grow medium, especially a soil or similar substrate, it is advisable to rinse the grow medium with a mild nutrient solution, (1/4 dose) or clear water once a month to leach mineral salts that might otherwise accumulate to excessive levels.
Leafy Vegetables and Herbs
Lettuce, spinach, cabbage, celery, bok choy, chard and mustard greens are just a few of the common leafy vegetables which thrive in hydroponic systems as well as soil. These types of plants are generally fast growing, short cycle crops. They are light feeders and will grow quickly even with mild solutions. In fact, strong nutrient solutions will cause weak and elongated leaf growth and a bitter flavor. Generally, with leafy crops, our emphasis is on the first stage of growth, the leaves. Therefore, nitrogen is the dominant element to promote this type of growth. A little phosphorus is necessary, but too much will signal the plant to bolt or prematurely begin it's seed production process. This will detract from the compact and succulent characteristics we prefer. Use the MicroBase and the Grow #1, at one teaspoon each for the first 2 weeks, and maybe increase the strength slightly after that, if they seem to be vigorous and exhibit a favorable response. Increase doses gradually, and use the taste test to find your limit.
Cucumbers and Squash
These types of heavy bodied vegetables which include pumpkins and gourds are large, fast growing plants and they are demanding feeders. This plant structure has large leaves and the stems are designed to move a lot of water to nourish a sizeable plant and fruit load. With plentiful sunlight, staggering growth rates can be expected. These plants often exhibit deficiencies because of their insatiable appetite, which will be very apparent as leaf disorders. Usually they just need more fertilizer, and lots of water. Start young seedlings with one tsp. each MicroBase, Grow #1, and Bloom #3. After 2 or 3 weeks add a tsp. of Grow #2 and continue until fruit blossoms appear. During fruit production use 2 teaspoons MicroBase and 2 teaspoons Bloom #3 per gallon.
Peppers are a favorite with many folks, because they are a very attractive plant with fruit of many sizes, shapes, and colors. They are hearty, easy to grow and produce a lot of peppers, over a lengthy harvest period. There are jumbo and miniature varieties for production, as well as dwarf and ornamental cultivars breed to grow indoors in containers like house plants.
As fresh cuttings or seedlings strive to gain a foothold and establish a vigorous root initiation a minimal nitrogen and generous phosphorus fertilizer is desirable. Use a 1200 ppm tds solution of MicroBase, Grow #1 and Bloom #3 at one tsp. each per gallon. Use this for the first two weeks until well settled in. Now it is time to force aggressive top growth. Change nutrient formulation to 1600 ppm tds with MicroBase and Grow #2 at two tsp. each per gallon. Demanding growers, under desirable conditions, can add additional nitrogen and calcium with one more teaspoon of the Grow #2 raising concentration to about 2000 ppm tds. As flowers begin to develop switch to a formula ratio of 2 tsp. MicroBase and 2 tsp. of Bloom #3. This will once again discourage excessive leaf and stem growth and shift the emphasis to fruit production.
This herb is in high demand by restaurants, because good, fresh basil is hard to acquire consistently. I have never met a grower who could grow enough to satisfy the market. As it grows, keep cutting it back as you harvest the new growth. Basil is a leaf product and therefore should have abundant nitrogen. It is a medium strength feeder and a bitter flavor could result from forced feeding.
Use 2 tsp. MicroBase and 2 tsp. Grow #1 per gallon. You can push growth by using the Grow #2 if light is plentiful. The Grow #1 and Grow #2 can be mixed or alternated as you see fit.
Cactus and Succulents
These unique plants have the ability to accumulate and store water internally, as a resource for long dry periods. They generally have a slow metabolism, saving up energy for a sudden flush of flowers when all conditions are favorable for pollination. Although this type of plant is very hardy under hot dry conditions, it is susceptible to rot if left to stand in moist conditions. They are often adapted to aggregate soils with harsh environments and limited fertility. With this understanding, we realize that mild fertilizer and infrequent watering is most suitable for these species.
Use 1/2 teaspoon per gallon each of the Genesis MicroBase and Grow #1. Water once a month during the warm weather and even less during the winter months. Use a well drained substrate and water to saturation. The grow medium should dry back completely within 3 or 4 days.
Water plants, both surface and submerged varieties, require the same nutrient elements as terrestrial plant life. Fresh water plants have evolved in lakes and ponds which maintain very low levels of soluble minerals. Never the less, these plants flourish and reproduce rapidly. Hobbyist grow exotic varieties in tanks and ponds where natural forms of nutrition are not available. Therefore, supplementary nutrients must be provided.
Use 2 milliliters of the MicroBase and 2 milliliters of the Grow #1 for each gallon of water every 3 or 4 days depending on population and demand. Maintain a neutral pH and cut back on feedings if algae becomes a problem. Every month or so replace about half the water with fresh water to avoid a toxic accumulation of trace minerals. This formula is not suitable for waters containing fish. Ask for the Genesis Aquatic Formula for plants growing in fish aquariums.
Light and Temperature
Temperature is the area to be examined first, as it effects watering, humidity and feeding. Intermediate temperature, low humidity and low light as a rule are the conditions most prevalent in the home. Bright, cool to warm light is the most desirable, not direct hot sunlight. A simple test to find whether an orchid is too warm or too cool is simply to grasp a leaf using your fingers like scissors. If the leaf is warm to your touch, the area is too warm for your plant. If the leaf is cold, the plant needs to be moved to a warmer location. Orchids like indirect air movement and drafts should be avoided.
Water and Humidity
The home orchid growers worst offenses are over-watering and over-feeding. These plants do not like wet, soggy soils. Moist, but not wet. Short dry periods are more easily tolerated than excessive soakings. Heavy applications of nutrient will burn roots and damage tender new growth. Generally orchids are purchased when in bloom and need only to be fed and watered mildly. Due to the low humidity in the home, watering may need to be increased slightly and misting could be very beneficial. Orchids in bloom may last for several months, if properly cared for. Some types of orchid media only require watering once weekly, while others several times weekly. This depends upon the temperature and the amount of light. The plant should never be allowed to dry out completely when in bloom. Remember cool and moist, takes less water than warm and moist, and the home growing area is generally in the intermediate zone. Heavy watering can cause root rot and flower buds to drop. Never use cold tap water when watering your orchids. Draw your water in a container and let sit for 24 hours to eliminate chlorine. Water should be at room temperature or slightly above.
Feeding the plant during blooming is a fairly simple matter. Light levels set the requirements for nutrient needs. A mild general purpose formula, 1/8 to 1/4 recommended application rate can be used to provide good health and continued blooming. Use 1/2 tsp. of the Genesis MicroBase and 1/2 tsp. Grow #1 per gallon of water. The reason a general purpose formula is preferred is that plants may be in bloom and growth stage simultaneously and a general purpose formula is more beneficial to overall health than a bloom formula. One thing that should always be remembered with orchid nutrition is, do not use urea nitrogen or high ammonium nitrogen nutrients. Generally it is best to water and feed at the same time and approximately every fourth watering, exclude nutrient, using only clear water. This is to flush the media and prevent an accumulation of nutrient salts. During rapid growing periods, if a plant needs watering only once weekly, use 1 tsp. each, MicroBase and Grow #1. Plants watered two to three times weekly only require 1/2 strength application rate per watering. If you are familiar with orchids and want to use a flowering formula, substitute the Grow #1 with the Bloom #3, and use with every watering, and clear water with every fourth watering. If you are growing orchids in a greenhouse the light values will be much higher. This increase, will require a corresponding increase in the nutrient solution or the frequency of application.
Following these simple guidelines can produce a great deal of success and since orchids can be found in bloom all through the year it is becoming more common to have flowering plants year round. Many orchid growers brighten the winter and spring months with masses of brilliant blooms.
1. Check for new growth and vigor. Inspect flowers, fruit or terminal shoots for signs of normal healthy progress. Color and firmness are good indicators. Leaves and branches should stand upright and facing the light. Observe leaf color and texture. Note any spotting, scorched edges, holes or splitting. These symptoms are usually associated with environmental conditions i.e. temperature, humidity, air circulation.
2. Inspect for presence of insects or their eggs or pupa. They are often very small and usually found first on the undersides of the leaves. Many times the damage resulting from infestation, is noticed before the pests themselves are recognized. Speckling and discolored tissue or a sticky residue on the leaf surface are results of insect habitation. Become familiar with common pests and their growth cycles, especially regarding aphids, spider mites, thrips and white fly.
3. Nutritional symptoms are diverse, and are suspect for disorders only after all environmental and insect conditions are determined to be ok. Limp, curled or yellowing leaves, spotted, brittle or burned edges, not to mention premature leaf drop or death, are all possible results of toxic or inadequate essential nutrients. Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron and sulfur are considered macro nutrients and are used in substantial quantity by all terrestrial plant species. Manganese, copper, boron, zinc, cobalt, chloride and silicon are essential micro nutrients used in slight quantities, usually as coenzymes to support and trigger plant internal functions. Plants however, are composed primarily from carbon which is fixed through the leaves from atmospheric CO2 and converted to carbohydrates by the process of photosynthesis.
4. Take notice of the roots health and vigor as they are often the first tissues to exhibit signs of nutrient solution problems. Limp, discolored or rotting roots usually means a nutrient toxicity or pH imbalance exists. Plants must be kept clean and free of spent or diseased branches or leaves. Dead plant materials will promote fungal and insect environments. Good air circulation is of major importance. Lighting is an important factor and must be maintained in sufficient quantity and at proper cycles. Photoperiod timing dramatically effects many of the maturing stages of the plant's growth cycle. Foliage growth, flowering, fruiting, seed production and senescence are all known to be triggered by quantity and length of daylight.
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Every plant phenotype will exhibit different characteristics and feeding requirements. To tailor make advanced formulations based on actual elemental constituents see the formula variation charts on the web site at:
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