Improper use of fertilizers is the common cause of many plant problems. Inadequate amounts cause weak and under nourished plants while an amount above desired quantities may burn and even kill the plant. Good judgment and decisions are required when a plant grows. Below are guidelines for applying nutrient solutions.
Hydroponic nutrient solutions are normally sold in concentrated forms. They are then added to the water supply with a specific ratio. Ideally, 150-600 parts per million consists a normal concentration of hydroponic solution. Normally sold in two or three parts because direct combination is not possible. Remember to mix nutrients into water first before combining, never combine two nutrients together.
How Much Hydroponic Nutrient Solution?
There are specific proportions for each plant type and phase of its growth. Advances in nutrient solutions have greatly improved the precision of concentration based on a plants growth stage. Hydroponic nutrient solutions are usually sold in “grow” or “growth” formulas for the vegetative phases and “bloom” or “flower” for the flowering phase of the growth cycle. Remember to switch to the bloom formula during the bloom stager to increase yields exponentially and max out your plants capacity.
In poor growing conditions weak nutrients are recommended. Low lighting, overheated gardens, crowding and root bound plants. Weak nutrients are also ideal for newly rooted cuttings and for transporting plants or when they are in the transition of growth cycles.
Normal, healthy plants can be used with regular strength solutions in ideal growing conditions. Increasing nutrient solutions could be utilized to enhance efficiency of your gardens. An ideal system such as high quality lights, proper aeration and ventilation when present is the only instance wherein you could increase the level of nutrient solutions to improve plant growth. Gradually increasing the nutrient solution is advised as not to burn the plant roots.
Various additives are also available for optimum plant growth. Maintain good grow logs or records of types of additives used, when applied and results. This enables you to measure its effectiveness in the future. If there are any negative effects with experimentation, flush or rinse your hydroponic system immediately.
How to measure Hydroponic Nutrient Solutions
Electronic conductivity of dissolved minerals in the water is the usual basis for determining nutrient solution. Parts per million (ppm) is the unit of measure. But this is just a general way of measuring conductivity in the solution and not the actual strength of individual minerals. This is the main reason why hydroponic nutrient solutions are sold as a mix of 3 parts. Once the desired mix is achieved it is very convenient to change the concentration to achieve proper conductivity.
Overuse of Hydroponic Fertilizers
Flushing out your growing medium is the first intervention once any signs of over fertilization are observed this is to prevent further damage to the plant. Clean water is used for flushing until signs of nutrient deficiency are observed in the plant. Normal feeding and schedule is then resumed. Some hydroponic systems require a top down flushing to completely clean out the plant.
2 weeks before your expected date of harvest, flushing is recommended for the plant. It is done to leave your harvest free from the hydroponic nutrients solution taste.