Hydroponics Nutrients Solutions Explained
Hydroponics gardening is unique in that there is no soil to deliver food to your plants. As a result, it is left up to you to create the right nutrient solution for your garden to thrive. A quality solution contains the right ratio of all the right nutrients and is delivered directly to the roots- optimal for producing big, healthy, plants. The more you know about hydroponic nutrients, the more likely it is that your garden will be a success.
With some effort and a little information, you can grow anything you want from big, juicy tomatoes or ripe strawberries to a crispy head of lettuce. Remember, your garden is only as good as the liquid fertilizer you feed it and no matter what kind of system you have- from simple to elaborate- you still need to provide the best nutrients for hydroponic gardens to grow.
All plants-even those grown in soil- require large amounts of the 6 macro-nutrients. Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (PH), Potassium (K), Calcium ( C), Sulfur (?) and Magnesium(?) in the perfect amounts provide the right balance for plants to grow. Calcium, Sulfur, and magnesium are generally found in soil, which is why traditional fertilizer only contains the Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium (NPP) mix. On account of there being no soil in a hydroponics garden, all 6 macronutrients in hydroponics solutions must be combined in the right ratio.
In addition to the macronutrients, hydroponic plants require a trace amount of micronutrients. Zinc, copper, chlorine, boron, and others must be evident as well.
It’s also important for your hydroponics nutrient solution to have the right pH level. The pH is the number that lets you know exactly how alkaline or acidic your nutrient solution is. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to control the pH levels in your hydroponic nutrient solutions. The simplest way is to buy a test kit or strips. They’re inexpensive, easy to use, and will give you an accurate reading, making it easy for you to keep your solution within the proper range -somewhere between 5.5 and 6.5.
Test your pH levels when you mix up a new batch of nutrient solution. When adjusting levels, test and then let the solution rest or settle for a couple of hours before re-testing. This will ensure you get an accurate reading. Kits are cost-effective and pretty accurate making it possible to test every day if you want. But twice a week is certainly sufficient.
Remember, hydroponics fertilizer is completely different from traditional fertilizer. Only buy solutions especially made for hydroponics gardening to ensure the hydroponics nutrients in the solution are sufficient. If you try to use regular fertilizer, your plants will die. In addition, avoid inexpensive, cheap nutrients. Your plants will certainly know the difference and your end result will reflect the quality of hydroponics nutrient you use.
Use quality water. It doesn’t get any simpler than this to really help your plants excel. If your water is too hard, it’s too high in calcium, and you won’t get the results you’re looking for. Consider having your water tested- you’re looking for softer water with a lower mineral count. Finally, take some time to familiarize yourself with hydroponics nutrients and what makes a great nutrient solution for your garden. In the end, you will be glad you made the effort- and your plants will be too!