Going Proactive with Jeff Winterborne’s Nutrients

Proactive Nutrients – Commercial Expertise in a Bottle!

Proactive Suite of Nutrients and Additives

The Whole Proactive Nutrient Suite

Brought to us by industry God Jeffrey Winterborne, author of Hydroponics – Indoor Horticulture, Proactive Nutrients have been inspired by similar products used by the commercial greenhouse industry.

There are some notable differences between growing your own fruits and vegetables as a hobby and growing them as a business. Commercial growers need the reassurance that their growing equipment, growing methods and the nutrients they use are going to be as foolproof as possible, and that they will deliver consistent results time after time. A lost crop, or even a low quality crop can spell disaster for a company that relies on the income that their harvests bring in. They also need to know that the crop yield will be as high as possible, and that the quality will be superb.

Apart from consistency and reliability, simplicity also counts for a lot. The more complicated that any system is, the more that there is to go wrong. In a commercial greenhouse it makes sense to eradicate as much room for error as possible. In other words – keep it simple! When it comes to nutrients, the fewer the bottles the better!

If you take a look at choices of base nutrients on the market you will notice that most come in either 2 or 3 parts – i.e. in a part A and part B, or as something like Grow, Micro, and Bloom. This, we have been told, is because certain minerals and nutrients need to be kept separate, otherwise they can combine and then precipitate out of the solution while in the bottle. This has always led us to believe that single part nutrients must be inferior, or lacking in some way.

Introducing the Proactive All-in-One Base Nutrient!

The Proactive All-in-One Nutrient

Proactive All-in-One Nutrient

Proactive’s new All-In-One Nutrient challenges the mindset that Base nutrients should be 2 or 3 part.

Although Proactive’s base nutrient is a true 1-part, it is completely stable in the bottle. Virtually all the main elements in it are in a chelated form which do not react with one another – hence no precipitation. Chelated nutrients are also much easier for a plant to absorb, assimilate and circulate around itself. There aren’t different Grow or Bloom formulations of All-in-One. The same bottle of nutrient is used all the way through from start to finish. It really couldn’t be simpler!

On top of that, specific amino acids are included in All-in-One which rev up a plant’s metabolism and provide a dose of carbon. Amino acids also help recovery after stress or after a period of low growth. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins which plants need. Plants have to use a lot of energy to make their own amino acids. By making amino acids available in the root-zone, the plant can simply absorb them when needed. This leaves the plant to use its energy for other things such as growth and self defense.

Also included in the bottle are bio-activators which optimises a plant’s immune reaction to attacks from pathogens, helping it to fend off diseases and insects. Usually used as a root feed only.

Proactive’s Innovative Boosters and Safeguards

The Proactive range includes several very interesting boosters, additives and safeguarding products, the formulations of which are not found in other manufacturers’ ranges. Most of these products are truly innovative in the hobby growing sector, containing  technology that exhibits some clever alternative thinking to overcome common problems that indoor growers face.

Proactive pH Water Conditioner

Proactive pH Water Conditioner

Proactive pH Water Conditioner

To begin with we will introduce the Proactive pH Water Conditioner. This amazing product pre-conditions and pH buffers your feed water. This means there is much less pH adjusting to do later with acids and alkalis. Cations are ions that have a positive charge. Hard water generally contains a lot of calcium and magnesium. When they are dissolved in solution they become positive ions, also known as cations. Excesses of these hard water “cations” can cause lock outs of other cations such as potassium and phosphorous. Proactive’s pH Water Conditioner neutralises the cations (calcium and magnesium) found in hard water. This means that Proactive pH Water Conditioner further works to avoid plant deficiencies which can be caused by lock outs of 2 of the vital macronutrients.

I’m sure that many experienced growers will have already clocked the value of using water that is more pH stable than standard tap water. Water that causes pH swings means that there is increased pH management for the grower in order to ensure deficiencies don’t arise. Also, water which also doesn’t negatively affect the availability of 2 of the vital macronutrients is a huge bonus. Nutrient lockouts can seriously affect yields and crop quality. By using Proactive Water Conditioner you will be taking large steps to mitigate the problems (particularly pH problems and nutrient lock outs) of using hard water. Only used for root feed water.

Proactive Boost and Fungicide Effect

Proactive Boost and Fungicide Effect

Proactive Boost and Fungicide Effect

Next up is the Proactive Boost and Fungicide Effect. This product contains (amongst other ingredients) sulphur, nitrogen and lignosulfonates. It has the effect of providing a gentle boost for your plants while having a powerful effect on pathogenic fungi like powdery mildew. Lignosulfonates are derived from wood lignins and have natural chelating properties – a little bit like fulvic acid – which makes nutrients (particularly metallic ions like iron, copper, Manganese and Zinc) more available to the plant. It is also a natural wetting agent, and helps to avoid crystallisation of salts out of solution. Ideally used as both a root feed and a foliar spray.

Proactive Nano Power Powder

Proactive Nano Power Powder

Proactive Nano Power Powder

Another innovative product from Proactive is their Nano Power Powder. This powder contains tiny nano particles of calcite. Nano particles are so small that they are considerably more absorbable than normal size particles. Calcite has the special ability to increase the CO2 content inside of leaves. CO2 is used in photosynthesis, so Nano Power Powder helps to optimise the photosynthetic ability of the plant. Nano Power Powder also contains silicon which provides a whole wealth of benefits – increased photosynthesis, thicker cell walls, and better drought resistance to name a few. Only used as a foliar spray.

Proactive Root Stimulator

Proactive Root Stimulator

Proactive Root Stimulator

Proactive Root Stimulator is actually a balanced fertiliser (NPK 9.5-3.9-7.8) which contains something called ACRECIACTIVTM. This unique molecule has a very strong effect on root growth and development while simultaneously lowering the effect of abiotic (environmental) stress on the plant such as drought, salinity and cold/frost. Proactive have combined this with a blend of Amino Acids and Humic Acids for a very positive synergistic effect on root development, and the root’s ability to absorb nutrients. Only used as a root feed.

Proactive Self Defence

Proactive Self Defence

Proactive Self Defence

The final product in the Proactive line-up is called “Self Defence”.  As the name suggests, Self Defence acts a little like a vaccine, stimulating the immune system from inside the plant. The result is that plants are ready and waiting for fungal attacks to occur. Plants then use their own mechanisms to take preventative action against any spores that are germinating on their leaves’ surface. Self Defence contains enzymes that have been extracted from Trichoderma fungi. Trichoderma fungi kill and feed off other fungi, usually in a root-zone, by first using a toxin to kill them and then by using these “lytic” enzymes to dissolve and digest other the other fungi. The extraction process of these enzymes is so cutting edge that it has been patented worldwide.

Self Defence also encourages the plant to produce higher levels of peroxidases which improve final crop quality. Self Defence thickens the cell walls of plants, toughening them up against fungal attacks. Ideally used as both a root feed and a foliar spray.

Proactive Nutrients are Cutting Edge

The nutrients and boosters in the Proactive nutrient line-up almost all contain new technology derived from a lateral-thinking approach to growing, boosting and safeguarding plants. With virtually every bottle containing something new and different, this really is a cutting edge nutrient line-up. Why not give it a go?

Top Tip: Proactive nutrients need to be kept very well mixed in a reservoir as the heavier components will tend to sink to the bottom. An air stone will not be sufficient for this job. We recommend that you use a proper water circulator for this job, such as the Sicce Voyager Nano 1000 or for larger tanks – the Sicce Voyager Nano 2000