Cal Kick vs. Spike (CaMg) – When to Use Which Source of Calcium

If you’re familiar with our Plant-Prod MJ program, then there’s a chance you’re not quite sure just how Spike fits into the lineup. In today’s article we’ll put the record straight.

First, let’s talk about the need for calcium within the program. Calcium is a vital nutrient to plants and is essential for optimal growth. This element plays a unique role in maintaining the expansion and structural integrity of cell walls. It also plays a central part of intracellular signaling. Plants such as cannabis that require a robust structure to support a large mass of vegetative and fruiting growth will have a higher demand for calcium. Due to this demand, calcium is required throughout most of the growing cycle, from the beginning of the vegetative phase through to the end of the flowering phase.

How to use Cal Kick
Plant-Prod MJ Cal Kick was created with a traditional high calcium NPK formulation in mind, that was enhanced to meet the high demands of cannabis production. These enhancements include elevated levels of iron and the addition of a second chelating agent – EDDHA. Since this formulation contains nitrogen, potassium and a complete micronutrient package, it is ideal for alternating or simultaneous feeding with other growth stage specific formulations. The micronutrient package allows for flexibility in feeding styles and ensures that at no point, micronutrients are deficient. Feeding rates should be based on water analysis to avoid overfeeding calcium. For more information on the A-B system and why this formulation cannot be mixed with others, see our previous post here.

The source of calcium in Cal Kick is calcium nitrate. This relatively reactive salt compound is frequently used to buffer coco growing media to replace potassium or sodium ions with calcium in cation exchange sites.

How to use Spike (CaMg)
Plant-Prod MJ Spike (CaMg) was formulated to meet the needs of cannabis growers who desired to supplement calcium and magnesium without additional elements, such as nitrogen, sulphur or chloride. Spike (CaMg) contains chelated calcium and chelated magnesium, and nothing else. It is intended to be used as a periodic supplemental source of calcium and magnesium, in addition to the standard 5 product Plant-Prod MJ program. Due to the lack of NPK and micronutrients, this product cannot substitute Cal Kick.

The source of calcium in Spike (CaMg) is EDTA chelated calcium. This metal complex is far less reactive to cation exchange sites than calcium nitrate and cannot be used in the same way to buffer coco media. The claw-like EDTA structure surrounding the calcium ion allows it to remain in solution and be more readily available for plant uptake.

Things to keep in mind when using Spike (CaMg)

Plant-Prod MJ Spike (CaMg) is a unique product and should be used with the following in mind:

  • Use only as a supplemental feed at first sign of deficiency
  • Curb feeding to no more than twice a week, at low rates
  • Refrain from tank mixing with other Plant-Prod MJ formulations
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