For decades, marijuana growers have wanted an easy, versatile hydroponics feed program that maximally stimulates growth rate, cannabinoid and terpenoid percentages, and harvest weight–but doesn’t require expensive supplementary products and time-consuming, complicated mixing and dosing at every feeding.
“Why can’t you just put all the necessary stuff in one bottle?” is the question we’ve been asking the nutrients companies, as we watch our grow op shelves sag from too many nutrients bottles.
And many of us suspect the real answer is: they make more money watering down their products and selling multiple bottles instead of making a comprehensive one-part base nutrient formula.
Now here’s amazingly welcome news: a Pacific Northwest nutrients company called TPS, founded in 2016, has revolutionized the nutrients game by coming out with a liquid, one-part, all-season base nutrients product called “One.”
It’s important to note how radical a step this is. For years the hydroponic nutrients industry told us they can’t make an effective one-part base nutrients product, especially one that works well in both grow and bloom phase. They said negative chemical interactions occur if a complete feed program is bottled in one container.
These old-school nutrients manufacturers claim cannabis requires at the very least a base nutrient formula for grow phase, and a different base product for bloom phase. They also want to sell you expensive ancillary supplements to go with those bases.
According to Craig Allen, head of TPS product development and technical support, marijuana growers can now use One instead—a one-part complete base nutrients product that works well in ALL phases of plant growth and all types of soil, soilless mix, coco, and pure hydroponics grow ops.
“Plants do uptake different ratios and amounts of nutrients elements based on age, but they’re not as input sensitive as people think, and imbalances from one stage to the next are fairly minimal,” Allen notes. “TPS One is formulated for maximum bioavailability of all nutrient elements, using slow release and quick release minerals. We used scientific plant tissue testing at our grow facility to fully understand mineral uptake and distribution. From this data we tuned ratios of key mineral forms so One provides all nutrition a plant needs at every stage of its life.”
But what about the long-standing belief that you can’t combine essential nutrients, especially calcium and magnesium, in the same container without causing negative chemical reactions, nutrients lockout, and other degradation?
“TPS One is a chemistry breakthrough achieved by our company,” Allen responds. “It’s chemically very stable because of our innovative methods of chelating for better absorption, and symbiotic dynamics using organic acids such as medium to small chain fulvic acids as well as amino acids.”
When you scrutinize TPS One ingredients, you see something very interesting—beneficial microbes are included. Beneficial microbes are installed in the marijuana root zone, where they boost root mass size, root function and protection, and nutrients uptake.
Most hydroponic nutrients companies sell beneficial microbes as extras at high cost in separate bottles. TPS One has them built in.
The TPS one-part-all-seasons base also includes amino acids, properly-configured nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, sufficient and easily bioavailable magnesium and calcium, and specialty compounds that support resin formation, photosynthesis, and nutrients absorption.
Most other nutrients manufacturers leave out sufficient magnesium and calcium, forcing you to buy yet another bottle. In contrast, TPS gives you a comprehensive formula in one bottle.
Imagine only one bottle of hydroponic nutrients fueling your crop cycle from start to finish, instead of two different bases and a bunch of supplements. This makes growing marijuana so much easier, eliminates dosing errors, saves you time and money.
The big question is how do we know for sure that TPS One works well? At present, we’ve tested One for only a couple of weeks and it’s working perfectly.
But usually we never recommend a nutrients product or grow gear like grow lights without testing for at least two seasons.
So what prompted us to recommend TPS One early?
One reason is urgency: growers have been waiting decades for a great one-part base nutrients product. Other one-part bases aren’t all-season–you need a grow base and a bloom base.
But all those products have problems, including sludgy viscosity, poor absorption and solubility, nutrients deficiencies, and pH instability.
We wanted to be the first to tell you the good news that an ethical nutrients company is making an effective one-part nutrient base you use from start to finish.
A main reason we feel confident recommending TPS One is we tested their other marijuana feed program, called the Component Series.
This multi-product hydroponic nutrients program performed as well as the only other nutrients brand we recommend, and has innovative features and benefits no other component feed program has.
We also researched the company’s backstory and science, and queried them intensively about product development, configurations, and performance.
We’re impressed by the candidness, intellect, and transparency of Craig Allen. Unlike most hydroponic nutrient companies, TPS doesn’t hide product info behind a veil of secrecy and vapid advertising.
Nor does it have the arrogance and marketing-heavy tone exhibited by General Hydroponics and other mega-corporate nutrients companies.
Indeed, Allen was so forthcoming with insider details of why TPS nutrients products work so well that we had to delete information so as not to give away his trade secrets.
What we can disclose is that TPS uses proprietary materials, techniques and combinations based on the very latest cannabis growing research.
Some of their product innovations should be immediately patented–they are that revolutionary.
In contrast to TPS One, the TPS Component Series is more like the traditional multi-bottle approach to feeding marijuana plants. Its foundation is a two-part base combined in differing ratios depending on plant age.
The Component base is accompanied by the following supplements:
- A nitrogenous product giving slow-release nitrogen for the first six weeks of plants’ life.
- An organic cal-mag that’s the first cal-mag we’ve seen that isn’t overloaded with nitrogen.
- A beneficial microbes product that protects and boosts roots.
- A foliar spray that delivers essential canopy-health nutrition via your plants’ leaves.
- Silica Gold, which we’ve profiled here, the only hydroponic silicon product we’ve used that works well and has no harmful effects. Silicon armors plants against pests and diseases, and supports sturdy stalks, branches, roots and resin glands.
- Signal, a terpenoid and cannabinoid booster using an exclusive array of natural compounds to rev up signaling pathways for increased resin production.
In our testing, we’ve noted the following differences between the TPS component feed program versus other nutrients brands:
- Products are exceptionally clean and uniform, without particulates, precipitates, crystallization, settling, molds, bad smells, and other common problems found in other nutrients brands.
- Product containers are sturdy, leak-proof, easy to use.
- Product labels, descriptions and instructions are accurate and practical.
- The One Kit and the Component Series kit come with handbooks that are easy to understand and give you exceptionally useful tips.
- Product EC, parts per million/TDS, and pH are remarkably uniform.
- The synthetic products smell clean and potent, but not like harsh chemicals. TPS products with organic and/or natural components smell fresh and delicious.
- Feed charts are themed for various types of growing—from deep water culture all the way to amended soil, and their dosage recommendations are very accurate.
- A handy feed clock calendar icon on the bottles facilitates easy dosing.
- The company’s FAQs, website, technical support, customer service, manuals and directions are all clear, concise and understandable. What’s more, you can tell TPS was created and is run by real growers.
- Plants grown using the TPS Component Series show absolutely zero signs of nutrients issues. Growth rate is accelerated. Bud onset, development and resination are impressive.
In conversations with Craig Allen, we learned why the TPS approach is so rewarding for growers. One reason is the TPS team’s willingness “to constantly learn new data, and upgrade products.”
This is a contrast to the major nutrients companies such as General Hydroponics, Canna, Botanicare, House & Garden, Advanced Nutrients, and most other well-known brands, who created their products long ago and haven’t made any meaningful improvements since.
“At TPS we start every day with the philosophy that we can always become better,” Allen explains. “If you’ve watched us develop over the years, you see we tweak formulas, feed charts, grower support FAQs as we learn. At TPS we’re constantly innovating. Other brands are static—once they launch a product it doesn’t change–all that changes is the marketing budget and strategy to sell it. TPS doesn’t spend money on fancy graphics and marketing; we spend it on research and higher quality inputs. We want every grower who uses TPS products to see higher yields, healthier plants, and have more knowledge.”
Allen describes TPS as a “family,” not just a group of workers and bosses. He says his company is set up on an egalitarian model without rigid vertical hierarchy or fancy titles. The company ethos is open-mindedness, flexibility, being centered on what’s best for growers, and striving for product perfection, he said.
TPS design, manufacturing, and analytical work is done by plant scientists and other specialists who hold doctorates and other advanced degrees in microbiology, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, entomology, botany, agronomy, and environmental economics.
“Environmental economics pushes us to design our products to make the most efficient use of all materials so the grower isn’t wasting essential nutrients elements that discharge into the environment,” Allen explains. “It also means we have the strictest quality control standards.”
Innovation, driven solely by pure science and grower experience, is key to TPS company culture, he says.
“We’re a small team of twelve,” Allen notes. “We periodically do internal technical audits of chemistry and biological plant science where we evaluate all concepts and design features underlying our products, discuss new information learned, then take that back into product design. When we identify product or system level changes we believe are beneficial, we design those into new manufacturing plans and set up test gardens for the new modified formulas and/or feed charts.
Our process for launching products is very rigorous. After product design and initial manufacturing feasibility studies, we run internal testing in our greenhouse and indoor grow op. We send samples to an evolving group of around 50 serious growers across the country for Beta testing. Our Beta growers are running cannabis gardens of all types—indoors, outdoors, soil, pure hydro, connoisseur, commercial. We scientifically monitor grower results using plant tissue samples. We study their grow records and get their detailed feedback. Then we tune final formulas and dosage rates. This real-world testing in the widest variety of grower circumstances gives helps us create high-performing products and more grower satisfaction.”
Allen’s detailed explanation is a welcome relief to me, after years of asking hydroponics nutrients companies about their research, design, and testing, and getting vague, meaningless and often dishonest responses.
In fact, TPS is the ONLY hydroponic nutrients company that ever provided sufficient third-party lab testing data proving product efficacy in marijuana grow ops.
In the case of their One comprehensive base nutrient, they sent us a thick dossier of scientific lab data in which they competed One (and sometimes One plus Signal) against the best feed programs made by Advanced Nutrients, General Hydroponics, Cutting Edge Solutions, House & Garden, and Veg + Bloom.
The tests were administered by third parties, so the data is unsullied by hype or manipulation. The strains tested were Dutch Treat, Royal Truth, Fire OG, Super Glue, Candy Kush, Maui Wowie, Death Star, Snoop’s Dream, and Blue Dream.
TPS One without Signal yielded an average of 14% higher THC compared to the competing brands. TPS One with Signal had an average of 18% higher THC compared to competing nutrients!
There’s no wiggle room in these results, nor are they hyped up or falsified. What’s most impressive is the tests show TPS One clearly outperforms more-expensive, more-complicated, multi-bottle competitor feed programs!
“One very interesting thing we found is that TPS One seasons tend to finish about seven days earlier than Component Series grows, which is of interest to all growers, but particularly professional growers where return on investment and cost efficiency are paramount,” Allen said. “Our current theory on why One grows finish faster is that the steady, uniform nutrition provided by One keeps plants in a more-constant state of maximum metabolic efficiency, whereas continually changing nutritional mixes in a traditional component feed program causes minor shocks to beneficial microbial populations and plants themselves, so perhaps those minor shocks cause minimally slower growth.”
Beyond the obviously stellar standards TPS has set for itself as manifested in its plant growth formulas are its company culture and how TPS relates to growers.
We’d never heard of TPS until we heard about their Silica Gold formula. When we asked around, we found a handful of cannabis industry connoisseurs who described TPS as far superior to the better-known nutrients brands.
When we contacted TPS as growers wanting info, and later as cannabis journalists, we were impressed by their honesty, lack of hype, and reliance on cannabis science.
TPS represents a new type of hydroponics nutrients company—built from the ground up by growers and scientists, directing its resources to making the most innovative, effective, easy to use products based on cannabis growing research.
“Grower support is a pillar of TPS. We’re eager to help every level of cannabis grower—from the small-scale home hobbyist to the large-scale commercial grower. We help many novice growers, and also get thanks from experienced growers who learn new things from us. We put our phone number and email on everything we sell, and welcome any and all questions. Some nutrient companies sort of ‘hide’ behind marketing and branding, but we welcome technical discussions with growers looking for the most from their gardens,” Allen says.
The bottom line is you know the Growing Marijuana Perfectly team works hard to find for you only the best marijuana seeds, grow lights, meters, soil, coco coir, grow gear, grow tactics and nutrients programs.
To our knowledge, TPS Nutrients, born and raised in the USA, is the ONLY hydroponic nutrients company in the world making a quality liquid one-part start-to-finish base that can be used all by itself for total nutrition, while also making an excellent component feed program that uses a multi-part base and several other formulas. They’re giving you feed program flexibility no other nutrients manufacturer has ever offered.
So far, TPS is only the second hydroponic nutrients company we’ve recommended out of dozens we’ve tested. For us, TPS is the bright future of marijuana nutrients.