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With the growing popularity of hydroponics methods of growing plants, it is a good idea to be aware of the many types of hydroponic nutrient solutions available that can be used. This includes flower mix, big shoot, lettuce mix, special tomato, one, two, and three mixes, and many varieties to choose from, like Iguana Juice, Happy Frog, Dr., Hornby’s Big Bud etc.
What is common to all hydroponic systems is the nutrient solution – the hydroponic solution. This solution contains all the nutrients that the plant needs, and in a fast absorbing form, it can be delivered directly to the roots of the plants. As a result, you can expect a large crop yield, and this is where the beauty of hydroponics lies!
Although one may not understand the scientific formulas and chemical processes involved in the mixing of hydroponics solutions, it can be useful to have a little knowledge about them, just in case something goes wrong in the process of growing plants. The method of hydroponics is very dependent on the proper nutrition of the plants, and therefore it is necessary for one to be aware of what is involved in creating hydroponic solutions. Discussed below are the factors involved in making a successful hydroponics solution
• Good water
• Macro & micronutrients
• Nutrient mix?
It would be wise to get a well-tested tap or water source, if you are going to use it in hydroponic solutions. You can ask about this through the health department or call the water company to ask about the calcium content of the water. Basically you want to have very soft water. There are many minerals and calcium carbonate in hard water. Soft water inside
Basically, what you need to know is whether you have too hard or too soft water. Hard water is rich in minerals and calcium carbonate. Soft water has low mineral content, and this is preferred for making hydroponic solutions. It should be noted that soft salty water should be avoided.
If your water quality is really bad, then you might consider installing an RO (reverse osmosis) water filter. This is especially necessary if you have mineral-rich water. The water will then be good for making hydroponic solutions.
Macro & Micro Nutrients
Because no soil is used in hydroponics, it is necessary to supplement it with complete nutrition.
Plants mainly need 6 macro-nutrients in large amounts. These include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur and magnesium. These nutrients must be contained in all hydroponic solutions in sufficient quantities.
Plants also need small amounts of nutrients (small amounts of other substances) to grow. The nutrient solutions you buy for your hydroponics garden are not the same as other plant fertilizers. They include all the tracking features, too. So these solutions are like a one-day supply of vitamins, packed equally well with iron, boron, manganese, zinc, molybdenum, copper, cobalt, chlorine, selenium, and silicon. .
pH is a number that indicates how acidic or alkaline your hydroponic solution is. This is necessary, because if the presence of pH is not sufficient in the solutions, the nutrients are locked out and cannot be used by the plants.
Fortunately, pH is very easy to control. You can use a pH test kit, or ph ‘dip’ strips.
The ideal pH range for your nutrient solution: 5.5-6.5 (6.0 is ideal).
Which Nutrient Mix Is Best?
There are some solid and simple tips for hydroponic solutions:
• Buy hydroponic solutions specifically for hydroponics. Conventional fertilizer will not be good for your garden at all.
• Buy the best quality food you can afford. This will go a long way in achieving a high crop yield.
• Avoid ‘organic’ foods. These require decomposition which can create inconsistencies in the solutions. As a result, those nutrients will be harmful to your plants.
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