General Organics by General Hydroponics Review
I was introduced to the General Organics line of products by my local hydroponic supply store. The General Organics series by General Hydroponics is marketed as an organic nutrient system. I am fully aware of the ongoing debate regarding the value of "organic" fertilizers / methods and how they are applied to hydroponics. In order to be considered "organic" the fertilizer components need to be dependent upon organisms in the soil to convert the "organic" materials into a form useable by plants. The reason I started my own hydroponic vegetable garden was to eliminate produce grown with hazardous chemicals and/or poisons, yield a crop year round, and grow that crop to ripeness before harvesting. So far the General Organics nutrients allow me to do that easily.
The main component of my nutrient solution is BioThrive Grow. General Hydroponics also makes a BioThrive Bloom version for when the plants begin to flower or produce fruit. For seedlings recently transplanted I use 10ml per gallon of water. Once the plants are established I increase the dose to 20ml per gallon for a full feeding.
Soilless growing media needs to be supplemented with Calcium and Magnesium. For that I use CaMg+ and use 5ml per gallon for light feedings and 10ml per gallon for heavy feedings.
As an experiment I've also been adding BioRoot to my nutrient solution to promote root growth in my seedlings and newly transplanted plants. I use 5ml per gallon for light feedings and 10ml per gallon for heavy feedings. I honestly cannot tell a difference with or without this product in terms of root growth and health so once I use up the current stock I will probably stop using it.
The General Organics line of nutrients has a pretty bad reputation due to it's thick viscosity. Due to the organic nature of the product the nutrients are not as water soluble as some growers would like and they claim the nutrient solution can cause clogging in irrigation systems. I've yet to notice any of these issues but to their credit I've only been using the product for three months. I have a five month supply of nutrient left and will post an update if any of these issues occur.
The nutrient reservoirs do contain particulate matter which is filtered before being pumped through the irrigation system. I notice that air stones require constant cleaning to keep them in proper working order. I also notice that the roots tend to build up with organic matter from the nutrients which worried me at first. The buildup is easily rinsed away and underneath you'll find thick healthy white roots. The garden is healthy, grows quickly, and produces food. So far so good.