Whether you are a complete greenhorn or an experienced individual in hydroponics, boosting your seedlings’ growth with organic fertilizers ensures that you get the ultimate yield with limited effort.
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Let’s unlock the true potential of your hydroponics farm through the magical hydroponic fertilizers. Here’s what you need to know about hydroponic fertilizers if you are looking to revolutionize your garden to new heights.
What are hydroponic fertilizers?
Hydroponic fertilizers are simply water-soluble combinations of macronutrients and micronutrients necessary for optimal plant growth and development.
These types of fertilizers are formulated to be easily absorbed by plants, providing them with readily available nutrients. They are designed to maintain stable pH levels and prevent nutrient imbalances that may negatively affect plant health and growth.
Which is the best hydroponic fertilizer?
Choosing the best hydroponic nutrient for your plants can feel overwhelming, given the multitude of brands and products available in any hydro store near you.
Here are some of the best hydroponic fertilizers you can choose from.
- Botanicare Pure Blend Pro Grow is a liquid fertilizer that improves both the flavor and color of your plants. The NPK ratio embodies the perfect balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium for maximum plant vitality.
- MARPHYL Organic Liquid Fertilizer gives you 100% naturally harvested organic solution that’s packed with beneficial microbes, marine phytoplankton, and other minerals.
- Trifecta Myco Supreme is a powder fertilizer made up of all-natural mycorrhizae spores specifically designed to improve the strength and vitality of your plants. The fertilizer helps your plants better manage water intake.
Also Read: Hydroponic Tomatoes
How to make your own hydroponic fertilizer
Maintaining the quality of your plants with hydroponic fertilizer can be expensive especially when you are working with a fixed budget. Luckily you can make your own nutrient mixes and it is much easier than you think.
To make your own hydroponic fertilizer you will need nutrient salts which you can get at any grow store near you.
Follow these steps:
Understand plant nutrient requirements
Different plants have varying nutrient requirements. It’s important to understand the specific nutrient needs of the plants you intend to grow hydroponically. The three primary nutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), often referred to as NPK. Additionally, secondary nutrients like calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S), as well as trace elements, are also essential.
Source raw materials
You can obtain various raw materials to create a balanced hydroponic fertilizer. Some common sources of nutrients include:
- Nitrogen (N): Ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, urea.
- Phosphorus (P): Monopotassium phosphate, rock phosphate.
- Potassium (K): Potassium nitrate, potassium sulfate.
- Calcium (Ca): Calcium nitrate, calcium chloride.
- Magnesium (Mg): Magnesium sulfate.
- Sulfur (S): Magnesium sulfate, sulfuric acid.
- Trace elements: Iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), molybdenum (Mo), boron (B), etc.
Based on the nutrient requirements of your plants, you can create a fertilizer recipe. The recipe will consist of different raw materials combined in specific ratios. Here’s an example formulation for a general-purpose hydroponic fertilizer:
- Nitrogen (N): 200 ppm (parts per million)
- Phosphorus (P): 100 ppm
- Potassium (K): 300 ppm
- Calcium (Ca): 150 ppm
- Magnesium (Mg): 50 ppm
- Sulfur (S): 50 ppm
- Trace elements: Follow recommended concentrations for each element.
Mix the fertilizer solution
Once you have the raw materials, you can mix them to create your hydroponic fertilizer solution. Use this process.
- Start with a clean container or reservoir suitable for your hydroponic system.
- Fill the container with the desired volume of water (usually distilled or reverse osmosis water).
- Add the nutrients in the order specified by the manufacturer or recipe. Dissolve them thoroughly before adding the next nutrient.
- Monitor and adjust the pH of the solution using pH test strips or a pH meter. Most plants prefer a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5.
- Stir or agitate the solution to ensure even distribution of nutrients.
- Check the electrical conductivity (EC) of the solution using an EC meter to ensure it falls within the desired range for your plants.
Use the hydroponic fertilizer solution to irrigate or feed your plants according to their growth stage and nutrient requirements. Monitor the pH and EC levels regularly and make adjustments as necessary to maintain optimal nutrient availability.
Remember, it’s recommended to consult with experienced hydroponic gardeners or experts to ensure you’re providing the right nutrients in the correct amounts.
If you are into organic food, then you might be wondering if there are organic hydroponic fertilizers. The answer is yes. These are mostly derived from natural byproducts like manure, plant matter, and more.
Most hydroponic farmers prefer to use liquid hydroponic fertilizers. These are formulated to contain all the essential nutrients that plants need for healthy growth and development. You can easily dissolve the nutrients in water and your plants will be ready to take up the nutrients.