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Interest piqued by a PK peek? Potassium and phosphorus (PK) boosters can work wonders for your plants as they bloom, but exactly how and why should you indulge your plants these high value additives?

Above: Whilst predominantly associated with fruits and flowers in bloom stage plants, the phosphorous and potassium found in PK boosters is integral to all stages of growth

Perhaps the first thing worth asserting is that the application of extra phosphorous and potassium is neither unnatural nor ‘cheating’. These naturally occurring elements are absolutely integral to growth and development. Plants require phosphorus in order to draw and store energy from light. Without a ready supply of energy to draw upon, plant processes would all but stall at every developmental stage.

If your ultimate goal is a healthy plant from root to shoot, that can move water and nutrients fast and freely, that flowers beautifully, and that produces tasty, heavy fruits then you’ll be wanting potassium onboard. Very much ‘The Fat Controller’, potassium’s many regulatory roles include the stimulation of sugar and starch production which is pivotal to crop development.

Above: Potassium plays a key role in the stimulation of sugar and starch production which, in turn, contributes to heavy fruits

Hence phosphorous and potassium aren’t just about enhancement. Regardless of the juicy improvements that any given PK booster claims to offer, these elements do require attention – being as they are fundamental to growth.

Yes, your nutrients may very well include sufficient quantities of phosphorous and potassium to be getting along with. No, not all the claimed advantages of PK boosters are always applicable. No, you don’t always need a PK boost. But some plants, in some situations do simply need more PK than your nutrients and substrates can offer. In that eventuality you really don’t want you plant to be going without.

Above: Sugar and starch also help develop flavour

The benefits of an ample PK supply are manifold. Preponderant phosphorous can help advance flowering. Initially this takes the form of more flower sites, often in a more uniform distribution. It can also bring the physical process of flowering forward which gives flowers longer to develop and mature during the bloom phase. Later on, extra potassium means more sugars and oils to engorge your crop. It helps ensure that your fruits keep on swelling and helps them develop flavours worthy of their bountiful size.

A decent PK Booster is a gift that keeps on giving, in that it can trigger processes that sustain exponential improvements in health, flowering, crop size, and quality. These processes include cell formation, enzyme stimulation, root expansion, and nutrient uptake. It all sounds incredibly tempting and that’s before you get into the extra claimed advantages of PK Boosters, which are as varied as they are intriguing.

Above: Abundant phosphorous can help advance flowering, extending the period in which blooms can mature

Many boosters advertise properties such as root zone enhancement, defence against diseases, and aids to plant aesthetics. Small wonder that it’s possible, easy, tempting even, to overdo the dosage.

A little bit of PK magic goes a long, long way so a progressive approach to the use of any boost is highly recommended. This is far better than knocking your plants equilibrium and having to waste time, and possibly plant productivity, as you strive to rectify things. The good news is that phosphorous or potassium overdosing or ‘toxicity’ is rarely if ever fatal. At worst excessive use will impede the uptake of other nutrients such as magnesium, leading to yellowing of leaves which can ultimately be fixed. Overdosing is largely just expensive in terms of PK boosters wasted on limited returns.

Going forward we’re excited to be producing a range of mini guides to nutrient and booster use with AutoPot Watering Systems, look out for further announcements @autopot_global.

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