Elite Blog

The Science Behind: Elite Base Nutrients A and B

by Dr. NPK on Sep 29, 2017

The Science Behind: Elite Base Nutrients A and B

The Science Behind: Elite Base Nutrients A and B

There is, without question, quite a bit of art and alchemy in growing: certain growers swear that certain aminos provide the perfect bud, whereas others swear that the same amino killed his/her crop! No matter how you slice it, one key ingredient that surrounds growing is science. Unfortunately, many use science in nefarious ways to benefit; this has caused a significant proliferation of “faux science” – also known as “fake science.” At Elite, our goal is to cut through this “faux science” and provide you with hard, evidenced-based growing information.

With that in mind, today’s blog post kicks off the science behind two of our core products: base nutrients A and B. After all, since we developed these products following scientific principles, we may as well tell you what those principles were, right?

Product Development: Why Two Base Nutrients?

Look, I get it: consolidation is always nice. Instead of getting a salad and a pizza at dinner, I usually get a pizza with arugula on top – kills two birds with one stone. The goal of our entire Elite product line was to minimize the total amount of products in the product line; however, sometimes consolidation is not possible. One of the key reasons is elemental incompatibility. Here are all the nutrients provided in Base Nutrients A and B:

  • Nitrogen                                                 
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorous                                          
  • Sulfur
  • Potassium                                              
  • Copper
  • Calcium  
  • Molybdenum
  • Zinc                                                            
  • Cobalt
  • Boron                                                         
  • Iron
  • Manganese  

  • As you can see from the above…that’s a lot of elements! There are certain incompatibilities that exist between calcium and other elements (ever see that white sludge in your res? Chances are, it’s a calcium phosphate salt). We must strategically divide our product line to ensure extended shelf stability while still being able to deliver 13 total elements in a concentrated form. I should take this moment to remind you: never mix concentrates together! Mix one of the base nutrients into your res with water, mix thoroughly, then add the next. If you are making a white precipitate (precipitate = solid that doesn’t dissolve in water), it is likely from mixing too quickly and forming a calcium phosphate salt.


    For our base nutrient line, we incorporated all the essential micronutrients (e.g., all those small percentage elements) into one product and Base nutrient A was born! One pesky detail of micronutrients is that they have a high affinity for almost any ion; this can result in these micros not being taken up by the plant, but instead binding to something in your res! To combat this, the micronutrients are chelated, which is a process that binds the metal ion to an organic compound so the plant can more easily uptake. This is done using a well-known chelator in the agricultural industry. This ensures that the micros are rapidly taken up by the plant. The implementation of micronutrients is crucial for rapid growth (deficiencies in these nutrients can cause issues quickly in your crop), so we recommend using Base Nutrient A during all weeks of feeding.

    Left: Label for Base Nutrient A; Right: Label for Base Nutrient B.

    In the same way, we developed base nutrient B to be able to supply the necessary secondary nutrients for plants: calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Base nutrient B is naturally a pink color: this is a result of the naturally derived soluble potassium sulfate (sulfate of potash) that is used in the formula. Base Nutrient B provides a high level of phosphorous and potassium (0-5-4), which rounds out the primary nutrients when used in conjunction with Base Nutrient A.

    Learn more: What is NPK | Blog Post

    pH Balance

    Another important facet of developing a base nutrient line is pH balance. Base nutrients are designed to be used through the entire feed cycle. Whether it is veg or bloom, Elite Base nutrients deliver important nutrition required for plant growth, but we believe your crop needs an additional boost of phosphorous and potassium in both veg and bloom phases. We accomplish this through the addition of either Elite Root Tonic C or Elite Resin D, depending on which week of your feed you are in. High “P” and “K” products are almost always higher in pH (our Root Tonic C and Resin D are), so we wanted to make our Base nutrient products inherently lower in pH. That way, once everything is in the reservoir, minimal pH adjustment is required. This also lowers the probability of pH drift, which is a value-added bonus.

    Closing Thoughts

    Elite Base Nutrients A and B were designed to be the perfect full cycle nutrition regiment. With their pH balance and total elemental nutrition in a fully soluble form, the Elite Base Nutrients are scientifically proven to improve yield and correct major nutrient deficiencies in your crop.

    Who is Dr. NPK? With a PhD in Chemistry from UC Irvine, Dr. NPK was instrumental in developing the Elite Nutrient line.  Learn more about him here.