HARVEST GOLD SILICA STUDY
Purpose of the Study:
To see the difference between plants given a high-grade silica nutrient vs those that do not receive the high grade silica. I’d like to see what differences in growth speed, vigor, yield, and subjective qualitative factors.
Do plants treated with HGS grow more robustly than those plants that do not receive the HGS?
Variable: 2 Lemon Betty cuttings will receive the Harvest Gold Silica (1 Lemon Betty will have HGS amended within the medium, 1 Lemon Betty will have the HGS amended on top of the medium).
Control: 2 Lemon Betty cuttings will receive no Harvest Gold Silica.
I will change very little else in my cultivation method. I will use Elite Nutrients for fertilization. I will utilize one Prism Lighting Science 315 watt light and a Phillips 930 3000°K lamp throughout the entire grow cycle. I will report my growth findings with pictures weekly.
1 3x3 Plant House grow tent
1 315 watt Prism Lighting Science Ballast
1 Phillips Agro 3100k 315 Bulb
1 Sun System RA Reflector
4 1 gal square plastic pots
4 10 gal Root Pouch fabric pots
2 2 cubic foot bags Batch 64 Pioneer coco mix
4 Lemon Betty clones grown in 1.5inch Grodan rockwool
GROWERS NOTE: Harvest Gold has generously made samples available to GNET members. If you are interested, reach out to get your sample! I want to make this study not only approachable in a meaningful manner, but also easy to replicate. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to me, and I’ll be here to help the best I am able!
Study Commences January 25, 2018
Day 1: Rooted clones transplanted.
All plants receive Roots Gold from GH post transplant
- PlantA has HGS on top of the Pioneer
- PlantB has HGS with the Pioneer
- PlantC has no HGS mixed with the Pioneer
- PlantD has no HGS mixed with the Pioneer
Day 2: All plants receive feeding of Mammoth P
Day 3: Plants receive H20 with no NPK value
Day 4: Plants receive feeding of H20 with Hi Brix molasses
Day 5: Plants receive Elite Nutrients for NPK
Day 6: Plants receive H20
Day 7: Plants receive Roots Gold and Enzymes Komplete
HGS top dressing in Plant A is beginning to fully leach into the media. Plants all seem healthy and are growing uniformly. Transplant planned after two weeks
Day 8: Plants receive H20.
Day 9: Dry day. Medium fully saturated in all plants at of day. NO WATER. FIM tops
Day 10: Plants receive Elite Nutrients for NPK
Day 11: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 12: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Hygrozyme
Day 13: Plants receive Pure H20
Day 14: (Feb. 10) Plants receive Mammoth P
The plants all seem healthy and are growing uniformly. It seems PlantA (with the top-dressed HGS) is growing slightly slower than the rest. I suspect this is due to a lack of O2 in the rhizosome from a combination of the HGS and the plastic pots.
Day 15: Plants Receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 16: Plants receive pure H20
Day 17: Plants receive Mammoth P
Days 18: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 19: (Feb. 15) Plants receive CarboTerp with Enzymes Komplete in the morning a few hours prior to transplant.
-Transplant in the afternoon just prior to lights-off. Plants watered with Roots Gold post-transplant then left to rest in the dark.
PlantA (HGS on top of medium) has root growth, but less than the other three. One can see the HGS still toward the top 15% of the medium, indicating that HGS only leached down through a portion of the overall medium. I suspect the lack of rhizosomal growth is due to the roots’ lack of exposure to oxygen in the plastic pots. I am transplanting into 10 gallon fabric pots, which should supply more O2 to the roots, allowing for more growth. I will add a top dressing of the manufacturer’s recommendation of 1 part HGS to 3 parts coco medium.
PlantC has recieved no HGS
PlantB has the HGS mixed in the medium. Notice how the roots are well-developed. The HGS when integrated with the medium seems to provide the most vigorous root growth
PlantB (HGS mixed-in) is the plant to the right. PlantC (no HGS) is the plant on the left
Clearly, one can see the plant with the HGS mixed (PlantB) in has more robust root
Day 20: Dry day. PlantA and PlantB seem to be retaining more moisture today than are PlantC and PlantD.
Day 21: Plants receive Roots Gold. FIM tops. PlantA and PlantB are taking longer to fully saturate than are PlantC and PlantD. The HGS seems to be holding the runoff in the medium longer.
Day 22: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 23: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 24: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 25: (Feb 21) Plants receive Elite Nutrients with Enzymes Komplete
Day 26: Plants receive a light dose of Mammoth P.
Day 27: Plants receive Elite Nutrients with Enzymes Komplete
Day 28: Dry day. All plants are still saturated but PlantA and PlantB are the moistest
It seems the plants with the HGS (PlantA and PlantB) are in fact retaining more water in comparison with the control plants (PlantC and PlantD). The medium on the PlantA is visibly more saturated than the others. When I physically lift the fabric pot, I can feel the plants with the HGS are a bit heavier than those without the HGS (this additional weight may be due to the physical weight of the actual product, but also due to the water retention properties of the HGS). Growth rate appears to be comparable, however the main stalk on PlantB seems to be the strongest of all four plants in the study.
Week 5: INDUCE FLOWER
Day 29: (Feb. 25) Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete. Today the lights are flipped to 12/12 to induce flowering. Commence light pruning/FIM
Day 30: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 31: Semi-Dry day. Plants receive a light watering of pure H20 and Enzymes Komplete
Day 32: (Feb. 28) Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete. Prune/FIM.
PlantA is definitely holding noticeably more moisture than the three other plants. PlantB is also holding more moisture than PlantC and PlantD, but less so than PlantA. As this study has thus far demonstrated, the manufacturer’s claim that the plants treated with the Harvest Gold Silica will retain more moisture than those plant without the HGS appears to be holding true. All plants seem to be equal in robust growth and overall vigor. The plants with the HGS also seem to have slightly stronger main stalks. Stand by for further results as we go into full flower.
Day 33: Dry day. Plants are all still visibly saturated (PlantA being the most moist)
Day 34: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete. Prune lower canopy/FIM tops
Day 35: Plants receive a light water of Mammoth P. All plants were visibly praying this morning.
Day 36: (Mar. 4) Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 37: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 38: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 39: Plants receive Mammoth P
All the plants are all growing fairly uniformly. PlantA seemed to be a little slower than the rest of the plants, however as we close in on the two-week mark of bloom, PlantA seems to be catching up in both growth and vigor. The plants treated with the HGS seem to have shorter internodal spacing (i.e. less stretching) than do the control plants. As a grower, this is definitely what I’m looking for in my indoor plants. Flower set has started to show on all the plants. All the plants appear to be uptaking nutrients at similar rates, however the plants treated with the HGS still seem to holding more moisture than are the control plants.
Day 40: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 41: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 42: (Mar. 10) Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 43: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 44: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 45: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 46: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 47: Plants receive Mammoth P
After three weeks of flowering, all the plants are stacking nicely. It appears the plants that have received the Harvest Gold had shorter internodal spacing, but still grew an even canopy similar to the control plants that did not receive the HGS. I hope with the shorter internodes the dry harvest weight increases. Stay tuned for more flowering results.
Day 48: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 49: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 50: (Mar. 18) Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 51: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 52: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 53: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 54: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzyme Komplete
Following four weeks of flowering, I am seeing very positive results. The slightly shorter internodal spacing I observed in the plants with the HGS has definitely proven to be a benefit with the Lemon Betty cultivar. Lemon Betty’s sativa dominance genetically calls for stretching between the nodes. Any mitigation of this effect, however slight (even a centimeter), is a victory. The HGS has allowed for that victory. The overall health of the plants appears to be quite stable and similar in both the control and variable plants.
Day 55: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 54: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzyme Komplete
Day 55: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 56: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzyme Komplete
Day 57: (Mar. 27) Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 58: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzyme Komplete
Day 59: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 60: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 61: Plants receive Mammoth P
5 weeks of flowering have passed since we first changed the photoperiod to 12/12. All the plants are growing well, but I am noticing the control plants (PlantC and PlantD) are experience a bit of chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves). I suspect the reason the plants treated with the Harvest Gold Silica are staying greener is the advanced bio-availability of micronutrients. The amorphous shape of the silicon molecule is retaining more moisture and thus making available more micronutrients to sustain the plants’ needs.
Day 62: (Apr. 1) Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 63: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 64: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 65: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 66: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 67: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 68: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
We have closed 6 weeks of flowering now and the control plants (PlantC and PlantD) are definitely more yellow than the plants that were treated with the HGS. Lemon Betty is a cultivar that I have traditionally experienced issues with yellowing prematurely and I can comfortably say this product has helped mitigate that problem. The buds are all stacking nicely and are filling out quite well, The whole room has a pungent odor of fresh lemons…its delightful! I’ll be excited to see how the flowers finish up as we draw close to the end of this study.
Day 69: (Apr. 8) Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 70 Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 71: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 72: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 73: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 74 Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 75: Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 76: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
After 7 weeks of flowering, the plants treated with the Harvest Gold Silica are definitely looking healthier than the control plants that received no silica. I don’t see much difference in overall weight (it is still early), but in terms of overall health, the plants with the HGS are still much greener and just healthier looking than are the control plants.
Day 77: (Apr. 16) Plants receive Mammoth P
Day 78: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 79: Plants receive Mammoth P and Hi Brix molasses
Day 80: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 81: Plants receive Mammoth P and Hi Brix molasses
Day 82: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 83: Plants receive Mammoth P and Hi Brix molasses
Eight weeks have passed since we induced flowering in these Lemon Betty cuttings, and now we are closing in on the final phase of growth. Since Lemon Betty tends to be a 9-10 week cultivar, it’s safe to say that we will begin flushing sometime this week. The control plants are still exhibiting demonstrably more chlorosis than are the variable plants. Harvest Gold Silica definitely offers some serious bioavailability for my plants!
Day 84: (Apr. 23) Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 85: Plants receive Mammoth P and Hi Brix molasses
Day 86: Plants receive Elite Nutrients and Enzymes Komplete
Day 87: Plants receive Mammoth P and Hi Brix molasses. Flush Status
Day 88: Full 2 step flush
Day 89: Dry day
Day 90: Flush
Day 91 Flush
It’s the end of April and we’re coming to the end of this grow study. I have completed 9 weeks of flowering and the plants are looking - and smelling - quite lovely. The control plants yellowed out much faster than did the variable plants treated with the Harvest Gold Silica. Once I initiated the flush, I started to notice a bit of chlerosis (which is what I want, as this yellowing phenomenon indicates the plant is using up residual micronutrients) in the Harvest Gold plants, but not nearly as rapidly as the control plants. I also noticed that the Harvest Gold plants were better able to hold themselves up under the gathering weight of the filling flowers. The control plants all began to fall over this week. Clearly the cell walls in the Harvest Gold plants are stronger than the plants not treated with the silica and thus the Harvest Gold plants are able to support themselves.
Day 92: (May 1)Flush
Day 93 Flush
Day 94: Flush
Day 95 Flush
Day 96: Flush
Day 97 Dry Day
Day 98: Harvest in Dark
Two weeks of drying time were given between harvest and curing.
After the duration of the study some interesting facts came to light: the biggest and most glaring was the Harvest Gold plants actually yielded significantly LESS weight than the two control plants. I suspect this phenomenon may be due to to the top dressing choking out the roots of PlantA and restricting oxygen. Interesting and surprising results, to say the least. I would definitely need to study this product further before recommending it to any other growers. I wonder about the residual silica in the finished flowers, especially given the amorphous shape of the silica molecule and the fact that it cannot be flushed from the medium.
All things considered, the plants all grew vigorously and produced a decent yield.
The final weights of the plants (below):
- PlantA: 88 grams
- PlantB: 116 grams
- PlantC: 149 grams
- PlantD: 152 grams
This marks the culmination of the study. What are your thoughts, GNET?