Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Hydro Organics Cal-n-Mag Plant Food. This review rounds out my 7 items for my fertility program for my vegetable growing. It addresses the most common mineral deficiency in plants, which is calcium and magnesium.
When it comes to Calcium and Magnesium. These two are often deficient and you really need both in order for the plants to absorb them and use them well. Calcium deficiency is usually caused due to low calcium availability or due to water stress which results in low transpiration rates. The symptoms of calcium deficiency include curling of young leaves or shoots scorching or spotting on young leaves, poor growth, leaf tip burns, stunted roots, and damage to fruit.
Magnesium deficiency, like any deficiency, leads to reduction in yield. It also leads to higher susceptibility to plant disease. Since magnesium is mobile within the plant, deficiency symptoms appear on lower and older leaves first. The first symptom is pale leaves, which then develop an interveinal chlorosis, which is yellowing of the leaves between the veins with the veins remaining green. In some plants, reddish or purple spots will appear on the leaves.
The expression of symptoms is greatly dependent on the intensity to which leaves are exposed to light. Deficient plants that are exposed to high light intensities will show more symptoms. Any of that sound familiar to you? Now as plants need calcium and magnesium together to effectively utilize both, most supplements come as a combination.
The best product I have found for this need is, Hydro Organics Earth Juice Cal-n-Mag Plant Food. Again this is a liquid form, and that makes it available instantly. We are also going to use it first as a drench and then in follow up treatments as a foliar feed. You can even just mix it with Garrett juice and do it all at one time, how simple and easy is that?
Now for a bit of a note, one reason many people have Cal-Mag deficiency is due to very alkaline soils. Now using a product like this helps a lot, because the plant can access it immediately but a bit of acidity with it is helpful. The good news is if you are using it with Garrett Juice you already have some Apple Cider Vinegar in it, so you have a naturally slightly acidic plant feed. If for any reason you are using it without Garrett Juice just add about 1 tsp of ACV per gallon, I use a half gallon hand sprayer so I would use a half a tsp (note teaspoon, not tablespoon).
This is also a great product for aquaponics systems, specifically ebb and flow beds. Rather than dump it into your system, just mist ebb and flow beds if they show any signs of deficiency.
A reminder on any foliar feeding, do it when the sun is low. That is either early morning or late evening. I prefer late evening, because you know the sun won’t be back until morning. Foliar feeding when the sun is high is at best a waste of your time and money and at worst can damage your plants and even burn them. So stick again to either very early or in the evening as the sun is setting.
Again I want to point out the issues with alkaline soils can be a real problem. You can dump all the egg shells and ground up shells you want into alkaline soil, and it may help but you will still likely see some cal/mag deficiency. Just a small bit of a liquid, instantly bio available cal/mag supplement is a solution to a chronic problem many people never even identify. Since they bury say and egg shell with every plant, they don’t even consider it. Again if you have alkaline soils, it is going to be difficult for your plants to get enough calcium without some help and if you have a magnesium deficiency, you are sunk on calcium, as the plants need both minerals to effectively make use of either one.
So give Hydro Organics Cal-n-Mag Plant Food a shot, in fact start using my entire fertility program this year and I promise you will be amazed at the results. At only 16 dollars a quart it is a great deal, I only use about 1/2 – 1 oz. to the gallon of this stuff, so a quart lasts a long time.
Generally I use about 1/2 ounce to the gallon at regular intervals (once plants have full leaves and about half way into the growing season, and when plants flower) and up it to one ounce if I see anything that appears to look like a deficiency. So 16 bucks is buying you 16-32 gallons of feed for your plants. By the way this stuff is also 3% nitrogen so it gives you a little boost of N as well.
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P.S. – I noticed this item was in low stock volume this morning so when I feature it, it may very well sell out. It should come back in stock fast but here is an alternative I have also used that works very well. Bloom City Cal-Mag Growing Supplement. It contains a bit less Calcium and Magnesium then my preferred brand so it doesn’t quite make as much per quart but it is a solid second choice and it is what I would buy if I needed it now and could not get my preferred option. It also costs less and is still a solid product if you are on a budget.