“Where do I get nutrients for my hydroponic garden?” “Can I use normal fertilizers?” “Are hydroponic nutrients organic?” These are the types of questions we are often asked by our customers and supporters. We thought of sharing our views on Hydroponics Nutrients and finding answers to these common questions. If you are new to hydroponics, we request you to please read our previous blogs here.
Parents are often concerned about how to offer their children the best diet and nutrients for a healthier upbringing. Similarly, the plants require your attention in order to produce the finest results. This gets trickier when you are growing plants hydroponically as your nutrient solution must contain the entire spectrum of essential elements. Hydroponics makes it easier to measure and fill precise amounts of nutrients in water solutions than soil. As a result, they’re a reliable and comprehensive nutrition source for any garden.
There is no fixed concentration or formula available for preparing hydroponic nutrients. The nutrient recipe depends on plant type, growth phase, temperature, etc. As a result, you’ll find a plethora of nutrient combinations for a single variety of plants on the internet. The key nutrients are usually the same for any plant, although the concentration varies. Our goal with this post is to inform you about the nutrients that plants require so that you may either prepare your own nutrients or use the finest commercial formula available.
Nutritional Requirements of Plants:
Plants are one-of-a-kind organisms that can absorb nutrients, water, and gases from the atmosphere through their root systems. To maintain all of their metabolic demands, plants simply require light, water, and a few elements known as macronutrients and micro-nutrients. Macronutrients are nutrients that plants require in higher proportions, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. In addition to macronutrients, plants require micronutrients or trace elements such as Boron, Iron, and Copper in minute levels.
Macronutrients: Macronutrients are necessary for plant growth and a healthy overall state. Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) are the three most important macronutrients (K).
- Nitrogen: Nitrogen is necessary for plant growth since it is involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. It affects the vegetative growth of plants, including their leaves, stems, and their colours. A nitrogen deficiency causes the plant’s colour to fade and its leaves to fall off, beginning at the bottom.
- Phosphorus: Phosphorus, like Nitrogen, is an important nutrient for plants and plays an important component in DNA structure. Although phosphorus is required for plant growth, it is significantly more important during the flowering stage. A lack of phosphorus causes late, ineffective flowering, as well as browning and wrinkling of the leaves.
- Potassium: Photosynthesis, starch production, protein synthesis, and enzyme activation are all processes that potassium is involved in. Potassium deficiency makes plants more susceptible to dry spells, frosts, and fungus attacks.
- Others: Even though they are consumed in smaller amounts, Magnesium (Mg), Sulphur (S), and Calcium (Ca) are important macronutrients. Calcium has two purposes: it regulates nutrition transit and supports various enzyme operations. Magnesium is required for photosynthesis since it is the core of the chlorophyll molecule. Sulfur is important in nitrogen metabolism because it promotes nitrogen efficiency. Thus a deficiency in any of these macronutrients can adversely affect plant growth.
Micronutrients: Micronutrients are still necessary for plant development, although at much lesser levels. Some of these trace elements include Boron (B), Chlorine (Cl), Manganese (Mn), Iron (Fe), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Molybdenum (Mo), Nickel (Ni), Silicon (Si), and Sodium (Na).
Hydroponics Nutrient Solution:
Any good hydroponic nutrient solution must contain the right balance of macro and micro-nutrients. You can mix your own fertiliser solution or purchase a Hydroponic nutrient package from our store. For beginners, we recommend purchasing ready-to-use nutrients and then making your own recipe once you’ve gained some skill and experience. Pre-mixed concentrates are typically packaged in two packets, one for macronutrients and the other for micronutrients. They are separated because some elements are incompatible with one another when concentrated, and when combined, they generate precipitation. They don’t create precipitates once diluted, therefore they’re safe to use together.
pH and Temperature: The number of nutrients a plant can absorb is greatly influenced by the pH value of a nutrient solution. Even if you are cautious about measuring and mixing your nutritional solution precisely, it is critical to monitor pH levels on a regular basis, preferably daily. The pH value and nutrient concentration requirements of different plants vary slightly. The needs of a single plant can alter according to the weather, season, and temperature. During the summer and winter, the nutritional solution must be kept at a constant temperature. To avoid the reservoir from becoming too heated in the summer, maintain it in a shaded position and top it off with cool water on a regular basis.
General Hydroponic Recipe: To save your time, we have designed a general hydroponic nutrient recipe. Please note that the concentration of nutrients, TDS and pH will vary depending on the individual plant variety and weather conditions.
Important Tips to Remember:
- Always user RO water or fresh water with less than 100 TDS
- After mixing your solution, let it sit for a few minutes and settle, then check the pH, TDS, Temperature and adjust as necessary
- Whenever possible always use two part nutrient solution to avoid precipitation
We hope that this article will help you understand the basics of hydroponics nutrients and if you have some points to share, feel free to comment or reach out to us!