Like most of you on here, the black hole of at home cannabis cultivation has taken me prisoner. I can’t get enough of it. I’ve never been the most patient person in the room either so to medicate my anxiousness for my first harvest, all I’ve been doing after work and basically with any free time that i have is reading articles, forum threads, even a couple science journals here and there. Still can’t get enough haha.
Anyway, one of the words that keeps popping up in all of the research I’ve been doing is “Chelation” (pronounced key-lay-shun). Its popped up on a few threads here lately, or at least topics related to chelation, but I couldn’t find a good explanation. I turned to my trusted, tried and true Maximum Yield website for a quick fix and they delivered with two really good articles. The first one I’ll post is a little bit easier to read. The second one is much more dense. Reading the first one is a good primer for the second.
Chelation is basically a way to protect valuable micronutrients from being bio unavailable, due to flushing or bonding with other charged particles that then make them into something the plants can’t use. Chelating agents bond with your metal ions (calcium, magnesium, copper, etc) and carry them to root hairs to be absorbed by the plant. The cool thing is, when this process is done they don’t just go away. They go back into the medium to search for other metal ions, put their “shell” around them and head back towards the roots. I tried to think of a good analogy and the best I could come up with is this. Chelating Agents are like Ushers at church, concerts, sports games, arena/stadium events, etc. When you enter an arena (soil medium or hydroponic environment) you are there to be entertained by whatever it is that you want to see (the plant). If we didn’t have ushers to show us to our seats, everybody would likely head straight to the front row. Chaos would ensue. Some of us (the nutrients) get punched in the face and become unconscious, missing the show, some of us decide to just leave because the chaos isn’t worth it, some of us get pushed up into the nose bleed sections where the show is barely worth seeing (adding in a little drama if you can’t tell haha). But having ushers ensures us that we get to our seats that we paid for in a peaceful, unobstructed, organized way. When they are done showing us to our seats, they head to the section entrance and help someone else. Ushers are chelating agents.
Chelation ensures that the nutrients you feed your plants will stay bio available and eventually be absorbed by your plants. Sounds synthetic, which there are quite a few synthetic chelating agents out there, but there are many ways this happens organically. All of this is explained in these articles in detail. I just wanted to share a basic overview of what I comprehended and learned this morning. If I’m wrong in any way, please feel free to amend this thread! Happy growing!