Bio-nutrient, Bio-pesticide, Bio-fungicide
AgSil potassium silicates provide the beneficial element silicon to plants.
Silicon is recognized as a plant beneficial element. Plants benefit from the silicon in AgSil fertilizers in many ways.
- Provides resistance to mineral stress
- Decreases climate stress
- Improves strength
- Increases growth and yield
Soluble silicon is plant available silicon and low concentrations should be constantly maintained for root uptake. Plant uptake and incorporation of soluble silicon is necessary for the benefits to be realized. After uptake by the roots, movement up through the plant relies on the transpiration stream. Foliar application does not have the prophylactic benefits provided by plant uptake and fortification with silicon. However foliar formulations may have direct effect on several plant pests and pathogens. Foliar applications also may provide plant bio-stimulant effects like increased growth. source: Silicon in Agriculture; From Theory to Practice
In hydroponics and soilless greenhouse media, growers should supply a constant low level of soluble silicon in the fertigation feed. If using fertilizer injectors (Dosatron, Dosamatic, Argus, Anderson, Netafim etc.), concentrated stock solutions can be prepared and fed via an injector dedicated to AgSil potassium silicate. Concentrated solutions of potassium silicate must be kept separate from any other concentrated fertilizer solution. While silicic acid is the form of silicon actually taken up by plants and is the stable form in solution after dilution of potassium silicate to below 50 ppm silicon at environmental pH (near neutral). Concentrated potassium silicate solutions are not stable at environmental pH and stock solutions must be prepared with special consideration to avoid precipitation, cloudiness and polymerization(gelling). It is advised to use distilled or deionized water to prepare the concentrated solution. Start with a half full stock tank of de-ionized water and PRIOR to adding the required potassium silicate, raise the pH of the starting solution (deionized water) above 11.3 with potassium hydroxide (approx. 0.3 grams KOH per liter). Now add the required potassium silicate to reach your desired silicon concentration and finally top off with deionized water with a pH >11.3. Keep this concentrated stock solution of soluble silicon covered to help prevent the solution absorbing carbon dioxide and lowering the pH which will cause the solution to become unstable and cloudy.
Fatzinger, Brendan and Bugbee, Bruce, "pH 11.3 Enhances the Solubility of Potassium Silicate for Liquid Fertilizer" (2021). Nutrients. Paper 9.
When mixing silicon fertilizers into fertigation or hydroponics systems, the silicon fertilizer should be the first input diluted into the working strength solution. For automatic fertilizer injectors the first injector in the series should be dedicated to the silicon input. Always also include a mixing chamber after the silicon injector to ensure complete dilution prior to adding other fertilizer inputs.
Please note that silicon cannot be injected into common headers with other concentrated fertilizer solutions. So, venturi style injector systems with common A-B headers will require you to add a separate auxiliary injector channel for silicon incorporation.