Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Using Proper Nutrients in Your Hydroponic Garden

Hydroponics can be defined as a method for growing plants in water rather than soil. The main idea is that plants will grow in any media that contain all the nutrients of natural soil. So it is really these nutrients that are key factors in the process of hydroponics. When using soil for plants, fertilizers contain only those essential nutrients which the soil may be lacking. However, in the case of hydroponic plants, these fertilizers prove inadequate and so fertilizer formulated specifically for hydroponic systems has to be used.

Different plants need different proportions of nutrients for different times. If you are looking for hydroponic nutrients for your plants, look for the ones with easy to read labels. The best ones are the ones that just say "grow" or "bloom" or some such. With this type of mixture, even a new gardener knows what to pick! Alter your plants' nutrients during the different stages of their growth cycle. Another reason to change the solution is that the depletion of the elements is subject to the growth stage of the plant. At certain times, important elements get depleted faster. In an ideal word, the solution should be changed every two weeks. Bear in mind that the proportion of the nutrient solution and the water stays consistent. If a loss of water occurs due to evaporation, the fertilizer levels will increase potentially causing serious damage to root systems.

The hydroponic nutrient solutions available are typically sold in a concentrated form. The grower has to mix it according to the instructions and as per the requirement of the plant. For example, give a diluted form of application for plants exposed to adverse environments such as overheated and crowded conditions or even low lighting. A weaker solution can aid even delicate newly planted cuttings. Use a regular solution on your normally growing healthy plants. You may be able to use a stronger solution if your garden has all of the requirements for high growth.  For example, do you have good air flow and good lighting such as natural sunlight or grow lights like fluorescent grow lights? What about the production and circulation of carbon dioxide? When using fertilizer on your plants you must increase the amount slowly over time so that you to keep the plant from burning up.

Even with a concentrate to water ratio range of 150-600 ppm, the level for many plants is 300-400 parts per million. Remember that these need to be mixed only with water, and no other part of the solution.

Now that you are aware of the need for different nutrients, you need to know which ones to use.  It is important that you know what nutrient you need. You have to first and foremost decide on the growing medium such as stone wool, coco etc. For example, if you are utilizing coco, look into the particular nutrients such as canna coco nutrients. While in the crop stage, a vegetative nutrient formula, such as Super Veg A or Super Veg B, is much better suited to for the vegetative stage of the plant.

The medium determines the kind of nutrients required. The best hydroponic ingredients are composed of mixtures of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Leaf vegetative growth depends on nitrogen Potassium helps in the process of cell production and phosphorus is responsible for root development and flowering.

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