Hydroponic Nutrient Solution - Making
All the plants need essential nutrients to survive. In traditional farming, plants get their nutrients from the soil and additional additives such as compost, manure, and chemical fertilizers. But the case is not the same with the plants that grow with Hydroponic techniques. In hydroponics, the plants do not grow in a soil medium so the nutrients are fed directly to the plants through a water-based solution also known as a hydroponic nutrient solution.
Nutrients are divided into two categories - Micronutrients and Macronutrients.
What are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients are those nutrients that plants need in large amounts. These include carbon, phosphorous, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
What are Micronutrients?
Micronutrients are those nutrients that are very essential to the plants but are in low amounts within them. These include zinc, nickel, boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, boron, and chlorine.
Macronutrients and Micronutrients are essential elements of the plant. Without them, they won’t be able to build molecules, undergo enzymatic reactions, and complete the life cycle. So, it becomes important for hydroponic gardeners to supply their plants with proper nutrients so that the plants can high-quality fruits and vegetables.
Himalayan Greens, in Haldwani and is one of the first Hydroponic farms of Uttarakhand in India. We grow our farm produce with hydroponic techniques that make them rich in nutrients. With our experience in Hydroponics systems, let us now tell you about some of the basics of Hydroponic Nutrient solution that will help you to keep your plants healthy and will also give you higher yields.
While growing the plants hydroponically, PH is one of the most essential elements to consider. The pH value of a nutrient solution plays an important role in deciding the number of nutrients a plant can absorb. It is very essential to check the pH levels regularly, in fact, you should check it daily. You need to be very careful while measuring and mixing your nutrient solution well.
The requirement of pH value and nutrient concentration differs from plant to plant. If you are planning to grow a wide variety of plants in your hydroponic system, then you should do proper research and jot down the requirements of each plant. After knowing the requirements, you can group the plants with the same requirements together. In that way, the nutrient solution can be supplied according to the requirements of the plant group.
The needs of a single plant can also vary under different environmental conditions such as weather, season, and temperature. This is not a problem for indoor installations with a controlled environment, but it is something to consider if your system is outside.
The nutrient solution should be at a constant temperature.
The ideal room temperature is between 70 and 78 F. This is more of a concern for outdoor systems in direct contact to air. For the winter, you can purchase miniature kettles that go inside your reservoir to keep the nutrient solution warm. For the summer, it is usually enough to keep the reservoir in a shaded place and periodically fill it with cold water to prevent it from overheating.
Difference between Pre-Made and Homemade Nutrient Solution
There are two types of nutrient solutions available in the market. You can either buy a pre-prepared nutrient solution or you can prepare on your own. Small farms and garden hobbyists usually buy pre-mixed liquid or powder concentrates, and add them to the water. Large farms generally combine their own ingredients with the specific needs of whatever they grow, using bulk concentrates of individual chemical compounds.
Pre-Mixed Concentrates are usually supplied in two separate bottles, one for macronutrients and one for micronutrients. They are to be placed separately because some elements are incompatible with each other at concentration and cause precipitation if combined. They do not form precipitates after dilution and can be used together without any problems. Some manufacturers manage to keep incompatible nutrients in the chemical complex from mixing - they are sold in one package.
How to use Pre-Mixed Concentrates
For hydroponics, double or triple packaging is usually the best solution. They are easy to mix and require only a few materials: a mixing bowl, a special measuring cup, and a stirrer. If your mixing bowl has a lid, you don't even need a stirrer, because you can simply shake it. The measurement is usually 3.5 ml of each concentrate per liter. However, be sure to double-check the mixing instructions on the bottle.
Depending on the size of your system, for example with a large ebb and flow setting, you may want to mix the nutrient solution in very large amounts. The 55-gallon drums are ideal mixing buckets for large systems and can hold enough nutrient solution to replenish the tank for several weeks. For smaller systems or if you do not have room for a large mixing vessel, it is perfectly fine to mix your solution as needed.
After mixing, allow the solution to act and settle for a few minutes, then check the pH and adjust as necessary. Starting with a perfect pH will make its maintenance easier. You can even measure the number of pH Up or pH Down drops needed each time you mix your solution, and simply add this amount to the water before adding the concentrate.
In Hydroponics it is very important to focus on your water-based nutrient solutions. Nutrients are only responsible for plants growth. As in hydroponics plants are not growing with the help of soil so they will need a proper supply of nutrients that will help them grow in water. So, these were the basics of Hydroponic solutions that you need to keep in mind while growing plants with Hydroponics. Hydroponic Nutrient Solution plays a major role in obtaining successful hydroponic produce.
Himalayan Greens Haldwani delivers fresh farm products in Haldwani and nearby cities. If you are looking to buy fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs you can order them now from our website. Also, click here to read more interesting blogs on Hydroponics.