What Hydroponic Nutrients You Need And Why They Matter

If you have been worrying about how to grow hydroponic plants until adulthood and produce a high yield, all you need is to provide your plant with the necessary hydroponic nutrients. Since soil is not used in hydroponic farming, it is possible to miss some crucial nutrients needed for the plants to grow. To boost your plant growth, you must select the best type of hydroponic nutrients.

There are many types of general hydroponics nutrients available in the market, and they can be confusing and overwhelming when you want to select the best. A lack of essential nutrients in your hydroponic can even result in your herbs and vegetables in the hydroponic dying quickly.

Your hydroponic farming system requires a mineral nutrient solution to offer minerals and elements for your plants. When deciding on the type of nutrient to select, you can think about hydroponic fertilizer, the general hydroponic nutrient, and other organic hydroponic nutrients. The most common nutrient for your hydroponic system is fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in both dry and liquid form. An ideal choice for your hydroponic system is a complete fertilizer.

The wisest thing you can do in your hydroponic garden provides your plants with sufficient nutrients. The best nutrients will be the one that delivers all the micro and macronutrients at each stage of plant growth.

hydroponic vegetable

What Hydroponic Nutrients Should I Use?

Every plant requires five basic nutrients to grow. The only difference is that some plants may require the key nutrients at a larger amount in different stages of their growth.

a) Macro and Micro Nutrients

The three primary macronutrients required in your hydroponic garden are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (N-P-K). Always ensure that you have these three mixes to fertilize your hydroponic system regularly.

Nitrogen (N) is responsible for leaf growth and leaf color provides proteins, nucleic acid, and amino acids.

Phosphorus (P) is responsible for the RNS and DNA synthesis of the plant.

Potassium (K) is responsible for the synthesis of proteins and carbohydrates. It also helps to develop roots, stems, and flowers in smaller degrees.

The micronutrients are required in lesser quantities than the macronutrients. The required micronutrients are Boron, Copper, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Sulfur, and Zinc.

b) Powdered Nutrients VS Liquid

When selecting general hydroponic nutrients for your hydroponic system, you have two main options: powdered or liquid nutrients. The common difference between the two types of nutrients is their physical composition.

To figure out the best hydroponic nutrient for your growing garden, consider how the powder and liquid are different from each. Besides, you can select depending on your preferences.

Ø  You can consider the following categories:

  •       Concentration

Powdered nutrients are more concentrated than liquid nutrients, thus decreasing their storage space and shipping cost.

  •       Shelf Life

The powdered nutrient can get stored longer than the liquid fertilizers.

  •       Ease of Use

It is easier to handle powdered nutrients than liquid nutrients. Besides, cleaning spills off of powders is much easier than cleaning liquid nutrient spills.

Generally, organic hydroponic nutrients in powder form provide more benefits than liquid nutrients; therefore, they are the best choice, especially for beginners. The powdered hydroponic nutrients provide more customized nutrient levels for different plants. You can also buy them in bulks since they have a better shelf life and better value for your money.

The liquid hydroponic nutrient is best when starting the hydroponic system.

hydroponic system in pipe

Can You Make Your Own Hydroponic Nutrients?

Making your own organic hydroponic nutrients is possible using a few basic ingredients. Any person who has a hydroponic system and may consider having one may feel that the nutrient mixes are expensive. This makes the grower start making their own hydroponic nutrients. However, before you decide to mix your hydroponic nutrients, ensure you understand the basics that the plants will require.

You must also understand how each nutrient component works in various growth stages on your plant. When preparing your own hydroponic nutrients, you must ensure that the nutrients are available in the correct quantities and ratios. You can make a nutrient solution from nutrient salts and specific hydroponic fertilizers rich in macronutrients. If you decide to use salt, ensure that the salt is dry and cool since moisture absorption affects its weight

You will require a measuring spoon, weighing scales, and rubber gloves when making your hydroponic nutrient since some formulas have crystalline chemicals. You will also need a digital pH measuring pH up and pH down. There are a variety of hydroponic nutrient formulas you can choose from when making your own hydroponic solution.

You can also utilize organic products such as manure, compost, bat guano, bone meal, and fish meal. For example, organic nitrogen fertilizer is derived from substances like manure and compost.

How Much Nutrients Do I Need For Hydroponics?

If you have a hydroponic garden, you will require a nutrient solution. However, you might be finding it hard to determine the number of nutrients you need for your garden. The number of nutrients you require will depend on the size of your system, the stage of plant growth, and the type of plant.

When figuring out the total amount of nutrients solution you need in your water system, a common rule is 3/4ths to a gallon of nutrients solution per plant in the hydroponic system. This rule will help you to know the amount of nutrients solution you will be adding into your hydroponic system at any given time.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best nutrients for your hydroponic system can be overwhelming due to the varieties available in the market. Your goal should be to grow vigorous plants that give you high yields. Hydroponic plants cannot grow without nutrients. Water alone is not sufficient to sustain your hydroponic plants’ growth.

The nutrients are required to allow fundamental processes such as growth and development to happen. Essential nutrients in the hydroponic system can get grouped into macronutrients and micronutrients. These nutrients matter in the plant since they allow the plant to survive, grow and thrive.

Hydroponic nutrients are a great way to nourish your plants. You can get hydroponic nutrients in both dry and liquid forms. All you need is to choose according to your preferences. 

Hydroponic Plant Roots