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Tag Archives | plant nutrients

Nutrient Feeding – the Absolute Basics

One main reason why people choose hydroponics is because they are able to precisely control what nutrients their plants receive. While soil gardens more or less have a basic level of nutrients provided to them through the growing season, hydroponics gardeners can give their plants different nutrients according to whatever their garden happens to need.

Unfortunately, this advantage can become a liability if you do not follow the proper nutrient feeding schedule. While what precisely is the best kind of nutrient feeding schedule for you can vary.

Here are some commonly accepted guidelines that help all growers:

Nitrogen For Growth – The vegetative stage is obviously crucial to having a successful harvest season. The larger that you can make your plants, the more budding and fruiting sites will appear, which increases the probability that you will have a highly successful growth season.

For this reason, you need to make certain that your nutrient solution during this time has high levels of Nitrogen. It is helpful to use three part nutrients during your nutrient feeding, so that you can easily mix a nutrient solution that best suits your needs.

P and K for Fruiting and Flowering – While nitrogen is the most important macronutrient for vegetative growth, phosphorus and potassium are the most important to get those large, heavy flowers and dense fruits. This is why you should make certain to change to a more PK dense nutrient solution during this stage.

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make, however, is using a PK 13/14 nutrient solution. While this was once popular during hydroponics, this ratio is based on obsolete science. Modern research proves that you have much better off using a PK 9/18, with a one to two ratio of these nutrients.

Don’t Forget the Lights – A common beginner mistake to assume that since light helps your plants produce the carbohydrates that are essential for growth, more light is always better. In truth, the only time your plants can benefit from twenty-four-hour lighting is when they are seedlings or cuttings. As they enter the vegetative stage, it is actually much better to switch to eighteen hours of light a day. As you change your nutrient feeding schedule for the flowering or fruiting stage, you should change the photoperiod to twelve hours a day. If you leave your grow lights on for more than this, you will just be wasting a lot of money, and not be doing your plants any good.

Flush Out your Plants – The final step in your nutrient feeding schedule should be to totally remove all of the salts an other compounds that can actually harm the taste and aroma of your harvest. While hydroponic nutrients can do wonders for growth, they can severely harm taste.

Fortunately, plant flushing is a fairly simple procedure. You simply need to fill your reservoir with pH-balanced water two to three days before you begin harvesting. You should also include a plant flushing supplement. These contain compounds that can thoroughly clean out your plants and vastly improve taste.


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Flushing Plants, Why It Is a Good Idea

Every hydroponic grower loves to see how much their garden has progressed right before harvest time. It is when you finally start to really see the results of all the effort and time and knowledge that you put into your garden.

But a lot of gardeners make the grievous error thinking that all you have to do next is to start harvesting and start enjoying the fruits of your labor. There is one essential step that will define how much you enjoy your crop: plant flushing.

The growing process packed your plant with a lot of salts and toxins that can seriously decrease the value of your effort. By just spending the last week or so flushing out your plant with a product that has the appropriate kind of chelators, you can actually avoid any salts from harming your crop quality.

Improve Taste – If you are growing your own fruits and vegetables, you are probably doing it, at least in part, to enjoy the kind of superior taste that only hydroponics can give you.

And while growing hydroponically can help increase overall sugar content and create superior textures in your produce, the nutrients required to grow hydroponically can actually harm the overall flavor.

This is why it is essential to clean all of these harmful compounds out of your hydroponics garden before you harvest. Flushing plants can take out all of the stuff in your crop that might be harming its overall taste.

Better Smell – A lot of hydroponic growers who grow flowers are often frustrated by the odor of their blooms. They are able to get the blooms to be surprisingly large and heavy, and often even very colorful, but the aroma is lacking. This can be extremely disheartening, because obviously one of the most distinctive aspects of roses and other flowers.

You can simply overcome this problem by making flushing plants an essential part of your gardening process. All those salts and other foreign elements can seriously cut down and harm fragrance and taste. This flushing process gets rid of these elements and help your crop smell its best.

More Nutritious – Everyone knows how healthy fruits and vegetables can be. Hydroponically grown fruits and vegetables can be doubly so, because the growing process packs them with a ton of vitamins and minerals that makes them a lot more nutritious than the average plant.

But their nutritious aspects can be harmed somewhat by all the toxins that build up as a natural part of the feeding process. Getting rid of these toxins ensures that your crop is every bit as nutritious as you want it to be.

Higher Price – If hydroponic growing is more than just a hobby to you, you need to make certain that you do everything that you can to fetch the highest price possible. Flushing plants is a great way to do this.

By making certain that you remove all of the toxins from the plants, you make your produce a lot more valuable. You will probably even be able to reach a broader customer base through word of mouth.


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Faster Rooting – the Importance of the Mother Plant

One of true tests of the skill of a hydroponics grower is cloning. One of the primary reasons why cloning in hydroponics can be so challenging is that the stems are extremely fragile.

They do not have access to their usual source of nutrients and moisture, and therefore can easily die off if not taken care of properly. Fortunately, there is one way that you can significantly increase the odds of a successful cloning: faster rooting.

The faster that your roots can appear, the sooner that they can start making use of your nutrient solution. And the sooner you can make this happen, the more likely it is that they will survive and grow into healthy plants.

Supplement Extra Carbohydrates – You probably already know that your plant already provides its own source of carbohydrates via photosynthesis. However, if you really want your plants to be faster rooting, you should consider using a hydroponics supplement that provides even more carbohydrates to your plant. This is because carbohydrates are the prime energy sources for stems, and the more energy that you can pack into a single stem.

Of course you should also consider using your carbohydrate supplements for the flowering or fruiting stage of your plants development. An extra shot of high quality carbohydrates at this stage can help flowers smell sweet and produce taste a whole lot better.

B Vitamin Supplements – One of the reasons why it can be so difficult to clone is because the cloning process is very shocking to both the mother plant and the stem. This degree of stress can just make it hard to perform regular functions, which in turn makes it extremely difficult to form roots.

In order to allay the stress caused by cloning, many hydroponic growers use B vitamin supplements. These supplements can help your stems deal wit the shock of being cut off from the mother plant, as well as stimulate faster rooting.

Humates – Humates are ways to make certain that all of your nutrients are as available as possible to your plants. The more that your young stems can soak up the nutrients in the nutrient solution, the more likely it is that they will be able to root faster. This faster rooting will give way to even faster rooting as roots start to take hold in the growing medium.

A Good Stem – You should not be indiscriminate when cutting off stems to use on your mother plant. Just cutting every stem you see without paying attention to quality will probably just lead to a grow tray full of dead, brown sticks.

The ideal stem should be a healthy dark green with a few good leaves. The leaves will help your plant produce a few extra carbohydrates as it starts to take root, which will only lead to faster rooting.

You should also make certain to use a very sharp razor blade that has been disinfected. A dull blade can easily cause unnecessary damage to your stem, which will inhibit faster rooting. And you obviously do not want to introduce any disease to your stem before it even gets a chance to root.


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