Show us how you grow with ZKBoost and win a donation to the charity of your choice

two flowepots with twenty dollar bills sticking out from the soil

It’s springtime here at ZKsciences and we couldn’t be happier to get planting!

We’d like to see how our ZKBoost plant growth enhancer does with your plants where you are! We want to see how ZKBoost helps you further your flowers, boost your blooms and vamp up your vegetables. So we’re announcing another contest for this season!

We’ll be picking the most impressive container plant grown with our ZKBoost plant growth enhancer over the 2023 growing season, and making a donation to the charity of that gardener’s choice. We’ll automatically enroll everyone who makes a ZKBoost purchase from the ZKsciences website – https://www.zksciences.com/store – and we’re offering 23% off ZKBoost for a limited time in celebration of spring. Just use the coupon code ZKSPRING2023 for your discount. That’s in addition to free shipping in the continental US and reduced price shipping to the rest of the US and to Canada for a limited time.

Make sure to send your ZKBoost plant photos and a description of the best plants you grow to hello@zksciences.com to be eligible for our growing season contest. We’ll be choosing one lucky winner from the photos and updates we receive on September 15th, 2023.

Keep checking back here or follow ZKsciences on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for contest reminders and other news over the course of the 2023 growing season.

Thanks and happy planting with ZKBoost!

ZKBoost Spring 2023 Giveaway

Hands holding small plant in planting media

Updated April 14, 2023: Congratulations to all our lucky contest winners! We hope you enjoy your free package of ZKBoost plant growth enhancer!

If you weren’t a winner, we’re sorry! But we have a new contest and a ZKBoost discount. See details at https://www.zksciences.com/2023/04/14/show-us-how-you-grow-with-zkboost-and-win-a-donation-to-the-charity-of-your-choice/.

We at ZKsciences are happy to see spring coming just around the corner! As we enter the spring planting season, growers all across the US and Canada all look for ways to jumpstart their blooms and plants.

To add a little more excitement to your upcoming growing season, we’re giving away boxes of our ZKBoost plant growth enhancer to 5 randomly selected entrants to boost your container growing! Here’s your chance to enter to win your own box of ZKBoost, ready for use for container growing in loose growing media. Whether you’re growing flowers, tomatoes, peppers or something else, ZKBoost can help you see faster growth, bigger flowers and increased yields.

Enter to win your free ZKBoost using the form below. One entry per person permitted. Contest ends on April 7th, 2023 or at the discretion of ZKsciences. Good luck!

Note: this contest has ended but stay tuned for future giveaways!

The fine print

Contest open to residents of the United States and Canada only. No purchase is necessary to enter or win. Entrants sending multiple entries, or believed to be sending multiple entries, may have some or all entries discarded. Entries not giving permission for ZKsciences to contact for contest purposes will be discarded. No permission to contact for marketing purposes is required for entry or to win. Selection of winners will be carried out by random drawing by a representative of ZKsciences. Selection of winners is final.

Up to 5 winners will be selected. Winning entrants will be contacted by April 11th via the email provided and must provide to ZKsciences a valid shipping address via return email. Each winner will be provided with one 140 gram (4.9 ounce) box of ZKBoost, shipped to the winner free of charge to the address provided by the winning entrant. Shipping method to be at the discretion of ZKsciences. Selected winners who do not provide a valid shipping address within the United States or Canada by 5:00pm CDT April 14, 2023 may forfeit their prize. If a Canadian resident wins a prize, that person must also correctly answer, within a 5 minute time period, a mathematical skill-testing question without the benefit of any calculating devices, before the prize will be awarded.

Winners acknowledge that ZKsciences may contact winners from time to time to inquire about winners’ use of and experiences with ZKBoost.

ZKBoost now available for purchase in the US

Picture of ZKBoost plant media enhancer 420 gram size box

ZKsciences is happy to announce that our ZKBoost plant growth enhancer is now available for purchase in the United States.

Interested customers may purchase ZKBoost directly from the ZKsciences web store, or purchase from Amazon.com. ZKBoost is available in small and medium sizes for home gardeners and professional cultivators with container grown plants.

Our patent-pending ZKBoost plant growth enhancer brings ZKsciences’ plant growth boosting technology to growers who are using higher porosity loose growing media including coconut coir, peat moss, container mixes such as Sunshine Mix and Pro-Mix, and coco-based and peat-based living soils. ZKBoost enhances nutrient availability to plant roots by boosting the grow media’s cation exchange capacity (CEC) – the ability for your growing media to provide macronutrients and micronutrients to your plants’ roots for uptake. ZKBoost regulates nutrient and moisture availability over the growing cycle to promote more healthy and vigorous plants and better growing results.

Welcoming Jay Caauwe to our advisory board

We’re happy to welcome Jay Caauwe to the ZKsciences advisory board!

Jay brings decades of sales and business development experience and was most recently co-founder of Supercritical, a cannabis growth management and consulting firm. He has helped different cannabis, hemp and other small companies with building and expanding their presences in rapidly changing markets. Jay is also a board member with the Rex Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to providing grants to promote the arts and social services to build stronger communities.

ZKsciences is excited to have Jay join our advisory board and to help us in our quest to help indoor and greenhouse growers boost yields without increasing water, nutrient or electrical usage – our way of helping cultivators increase efficiency and make for a more sustainable industry.

ZKsciences joins the Newchip startup accelerator

We’re proud to announce that ZKsciences has joined the Newchip startup accelerator in the Newchip August 2022 cohort. The Newchip startup accelerator program is a competitive accelerator designed to take promising companies from their initial starting phases through launch, market expansion and to set their cohort companies up for successful operations.

ZKsciences is proud to be part of the Newchip accelerator program and we’re thrilled to have the chance to learn and grow with the other small companies and startups in the program. We’re looking forward to growing with others and the chance for others to come grow with us. We welcome you to reach out as well if you want to grow with us!

ZKsciences ZKBoost hydroponic media enhancer now available for purchase in Canada

Edmonton, AB: ZKsciences CanadaTM announces the immediate availability of ZKBoost hydroponic grow media enhancer for purchase in Canada.

Featuring patent-pending ZK GrowFactorTM engineered zeolite technology, ZKBoost media enhancer significantly increases flower growth and harvestable yield for plants grown in loose hydroponic grow media such as coconut coir, sphagnum peat moss and other soil-like media including Pro-Mix® from Premier Tech Horticulture. Simply mix ZKBoost hydroponic media enhancer into growing media before planting and enjoy dramatically increased yields without changing anything else in the growing process. Independent third-party trials carried out in Alberta showed a mean yield increase of more than 40% in Pro-Mix HP-M with no other change to watering, lighting or nutrient inputs – and without lengthening growth time to harvest.

“We’re proud to bring our revolutionary plant growth enhancer to professional and advanced amateur growers in Canada. Many growers in Canada grow their plants in indoor or greenhouse facilities hydroponically, and can increase their yields by adding ZKBoost to their grow media before planting,” says ZKsciences CEO and co-founder Matt Kuznicki. “Professionals can see increased yields and lower cost per saleable unit from their very next planting, without making any other changes to their current time-tested methods for growing.”

ZKBoost is available on Amazon.ca with special introductory pricing by searching for ZKsciences. For bulk purchases, please reach out to ZKsciences at hello@zksciences.com.

ZKsciences Marketing Director Honored with Emmy Award

The Marketing and Communications Director for ZKsciences has been honored by the National Association of Television Arts and Science for his storytelling efforts.

On October 9th, David Kuznicki was awarded a regional Emmy award for his 2021 film “The Red River Flood” by the Upper Midwest NATAS chapter.  The documentary chronicles a devastating 1997 flood in North Dakota and Minnesota that forced the nation’s largest mass evacuation in more than a century. 

“It’s incredibly gratifying to be recognized by our peers,” Kuznicki says.  “We were fortunate to have assembled such a passionate and talented team for this project.”

This represents David’s fifth Emmy award since 2015.   The Red River Flood documentary is currently screening at film festivals throughout the country.

Contact David at davidk@zksciences.com.

How Do Zeolites Work As Soil Enhancers?

Zeolites have a long history of enriching soils and enhancing plant and crop yields. The renowned ability of many volcanic soils to bring better harvests is due in large part to the presence of natural zeolites in these soils, created from the intense interaction between lava and the environment. Natural zeolites have long been added to soil to moderate moisture availability in arid environments, and to hold and gradually release nutrient supplementation in less fertile soils. Zeolites used in soil amendment work in two complimentary ways: by adsorbing nutrients and micronutrients, and by absorbing water. By holding nutrients and water when these are abundant – such as when fertilizer or irrigation are applied – and gradually releasing these when they start to become scarcer, zeolites even out water and nutrient availability over time. This greater and steadier availability over time leads to more consistent plant growth, more reliable and abundant yields, and healthier soil systems.

Let’s dive into how zeolites accomplish these things!

Nutrient enhancement

Plant roots send cations – positively charged hydrogen ions – out into the surrounding soil when they are nutrient-deficient. These cations travel via the moisture in the soil and interact with clay particles and other particles that hold various other cations. Clays in soil contain collections of aluminum and silicon molecules, where the aluminum molecules have negative charge sites to which cations such as calcium, magnesium and copper can bind. When plants increase the concentration of hydrogen ions through signalling, some of these hydrogen cations displace some of the other nutrient cations that are held on these sites. Breakdown of organic matter or application of fertilizer will, in turn, cause the relative concentration of nutrient cations to rise relative to the hydrogen ion concentration in the soil. When this happens, nutrient cations displace some of the hydrogen ions and bind once again to the soil particles.
This holding of cations by these negative charge sites is referred to as adsorption. Adsorption is different from absorption, in that adsorption only happens on the surface of a material: adsorption is only skin deep, so to speak. The ability for soils to hold cations for later release is referred to as the soil’s Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). Higher CEC values indicate soil that can hold larger quantities of cations in reserve through adsorption.

How zeolites enhance cation exchange capacity

Zeolites are similar to clays as they are collections of aluminum and silicon with negatively charged areas able to hold cations. However, zeolites contain huge amounts of surface area relative to their mass. Zeolites contain many different folds and features that are invisible to the naked eye but that dramatically increase their surface area, providing much more surface for cation interaction than meets the eye.
But surface area is not the only factor in determining cation exchange capacity. The specific proportion of aluminum to silicon and other elements determines the number of negative charge sites for cation retention. Greater proportions of negative charge sites bring greater cation holding abilities for the same amount of surface area than lesser proportions. Zeolites contain many more charged sites for cation retention than the clay typically found in soil, on a weight-proportional basis.
Different zeolites have different types of folds and features – different structures – and vary significantly in their surface area and in the quantity of available charged sites. Just like the pages of a book pack a tremendous amount of writing area into a small package, “platey” zeolites containing microscopic stacked sheets pack much more surface area into a space than other configurations. Thus, different zeolites enhance the ability for soil to hold nutrients in different amounts. But all zeolites used for soil amendment feature a vastly greater cation exchange capacity than the typical clays in soil. For bulk mined zeolite, this may be as much as a 10x increase in CEC. But for manufactured zeolites specifically engineered to increase CEC, these can bring as much as a 70x increase or more in CEC vs. soil clays. Therefore, supplementing soil with zeolite can significantly increase soil CEC and therefore increase soil nutrient retention and availability.

Moisture retention enhancement

Zeolites take up moisture in the soil via absorption, in a manner very much like a molecular sponge. Unlike adsorption, absorption takes advantage of the volume made by the empty spaces created in the microscopic folds and features of zeolites. Like a sponge, water comes into zeolites and is absorbed when the soil is sufficiently saturated. As the soil dries out and becomes less water-saturated, the water contained in the zeolite seeks to bring the moisture content of the soil closer into equilibrium with that of the zeolite. This causes the retained water to leave the zeolite and enter the surrounding soil, becoming available again, until the zeolite and soil are closer to the same moisture content.
While zeolites have a greater ability to absorb and release moisture than the clay in soil, different zeolites with different microscopic features have different abilities to absorb moisture. But all zeolites share the unique ability to absorb moisture without dissolving or compacting. Unlike clay, zeolites do not swell or change shape at all when they absorb water. This means that zeolites help to reduce soil compaction and keep moist soil aerated and looser, leading to better plant rooting and root growth.
Moisture retention is important not just so that plant roots can obtain moisture! Having adequate soil moisture is also vital for letting hydrogen cations diffuse from plant roots into the soil, and nutrient cations travel from adsorption sites back to the plant roots. Without adequate wetting, these cations will not be able to travel and nutrients remain locked within soil, inaccessible to the plants signalling for these.

What’s right for me?

Across a wide variety of applications, the nutrient and moisture retention and release capabilities of zeolites make them highly effective as soil amendments for increasing plant growth and yields. Zeolites do so by improving the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of soil, which in turn leads to greater nutrient and micronutrient availability. Zeolites also increase the moisture retention of soil, releasing moisture as prompted by the drying out of the surrounding soil.
Different zeolites have different levels of soil amendment ability. Bulk mined zeolites may be less effective than purpose-engineered zeolites, but they are affordable and ideal for high-volume applications such as outdoor produce and tree farms. For higher-value indoor agriculture, where each plant is grown in a relatively low amount of soil, engineered zeolites such as the ZK GrowFactor family of zeolite soil amendments bring a higher level of soil amendment and a greater increase in yields over commodity zeolites.

Back from GISC 2019!

We’ve had a lot to catch up on since getting back from the Green Industry Show and Conference last week in Calgary. Over the course of two days, we had the chance to meet some great people in the nursery and greenhouse space as well as retail and wholesale plant material distributors. As a group where many of us are coming from a variety of different backgrounds, we all really appreciate the help and advice that so many different people were willing to give us as we move through our pre-production and trial phases.
We were also positively surprised by the number of people we found who are interested in trying out our ZK GrowFactor zeolite soil amendments in their own nurseries, greenhouses and environments. Right now we’re working towards scaling up our pre-production capacity to support everyone who has expressed interest in running a trial with ZK GrowFactor. We’re aiming to be able to start sending trial material out to those we met who are interested in mid-December – so stay tuned!
Are you a professional grower interested in trying ZK GrowFactor out with your plants? Want to see how ZKSciences’s engineered soil amendments can help you achieve higher yields with better plant growth? Want to keep informed of the latest as we progress through trials and into production? Reach out and contact us!

Here are Liz and Dan at the ZKSciences booth at #GISC2019. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to ask us about ZK GrowFactor and to everyone whom we talked to at the show!

ZK GrowFactor: starting up large-scale trials

One of the first good challenges to hit ZKSciences came soon after we started seeing great results with the first of our engineered zeolites: how do we scale up our trials to get from neat anecdotes to statistically valid data? While some of us are skilled hobbyist gardeners, we knew we needed help in order to really know how much of an improvement the ZK GrowFactor™ family of zeolites offers over traditional natural zeolites.

After a long search, ZKSciences teamed up with InnoTech Alberta to design and run a large-scale trial of the ZK GrowFactor zeolites on cannabis plants. We’re proud to be working with InnoTech Alberta, who are leaders in industrial agricultural and cannabis research.

We had an important question to answer: how many plants does it take to run a statistically useful multi-variable research study? Over the field of several ZK GrowFactor zeolite family members, different levels of soil supplement with these zeolites, and different grow media (PRO-MIX® and traditional potting soil) – it turns out we needed a lot of plants! Almost 200, it turns out! And to get 200 good, useful plants one needs to germinate a lot of seedlings. Over 700 seedlings to make sure there are enough good seedlings for this ZK GrowFactor trial. That’s a lot of seedlings, as you can see here:

We’re excited to see what this trial tells us! Stay tuned for more information as our trials continue!

(C) Copyright 2017-2023 ZKsciences Incorporated. All rights reserved.