Hydroponic nutrients contain vital elements and minerals necessary for the development and growth of your plants. It is possible to obtain these elements and minerals by using regular fertilizers.
However, if you are looking to minimize the costs of gardening, you can make your own homemade hydroponic nutrients using these fertilizers. It is likely that plants extracting minerals and nutrients from the soil may lack essential nutrients and supplements.
With these homemade nutrients, you are capable of controlling the type of nutrients your plants receive depending on their stage of development. Your plants are capable of growing faster and becoming healthier resulting in increased yields.
A Guide to making Hydroponic Nutrients at Home
It is necessary to progress with a lot of care when making your own hydroponic nutrients. Experience and the necessary knowledge on hydroponics is a necessary requirement, otherwise, you may end up making a dangerous concoction.
Such a concoction may be dangerous to your plant, choking it and eventually ruining them. Ensure that you have the right nutrient and salt mixture for making your hydroponic nutrients. Beginners are particularly advised to ensure that they use their own hydroponic nutrients if they can afford to lose some of their plants.
Making a homemade hydroponic nutrient requires skills and experience. With the right information, amateurs and those with experience can easily make their own hydroponic nutrients.
Things to Consider
Nutrients are an important part of any hydroponics system. They should be easy to afford and having the best nutrients increases the chances of growing healthy plants.
You must introduce nutrients to the plant according to the needs of your plants. Additionally, consider the number of plants in your garden to reduce a number of unwanted additives to the hydroponics system.
Preventing a pH imbalance is important to the growing environment of your plants. pH levels rise in the growing environment when you introduce too much of a hydroponics solution. The plant may suffer and eventually die because of high pH levels.
You can easily determine the level of pH using pH strips readily available and affordable. Dip your pH strips in the water running through the hydroponics system to determine the pH. You can introduce nutrients to your plants once you determine their pH requirements.
If you combine your hydroponics system with the right nutrients, there is a high possibility of producing a high yield from your plants.
A hydroponics system enables you to develop healthy plants within a short period. It is important to remember that different plants have different requirements.
You as a grower determine these requirements before setting up their hydroponics system. You can easily determine this by carrying out research online. The right hydroponics system combined with the best nutrients improves the development of your plants and increases your overall yields.
Requirements for DIY Hydroponic Nutrients
Before you start making your hydroponic nutrients, ensure that you have the following apparatus. These will aid in making your mixture and may be the difference between getting it right or wrong.
- Teaspoon (Check on Amazon)
- pH tester and a kit for adjustment (Check on Amazon)
- Large measuring cylinder or cup (Check on Amazon)
- A fertilizer that is water soluble with macronutrients and micronutrients
- Fertilizer salt such as Epsom Salts or Magnesium Sulfate (Check on Amazon)
- Stirring stick or spoon Mixing bucket or any other container (Check on Amazon)
It is important that you take note of the following tips:
- It is possible to mix more than a batch of your nutrients of the mixing bucket is capable of holding a lot of water.
- Place water in your container to the right amount to avoid spilling your nutrients as you stir.
- To prevent losing the strength of the hydroponic nutrient solution, use it immediately after mixing.
While mixing, please be careful and take notice of the following precautions:
- Only use plain water if you notice a drop in the level of water in the mixing bucket. Water may be lost through absorption by the nutrients or evaporation. When you add any new nutrient to the hydroponic nutrient solution you may create a disproportion in nutrients that may end up ruining your plant.
- Use a hydroponic nutrient solution in irrigation systems that have the least probability of clogging. This is particularly suitable for ebb and flow systems and raft setups. Systems that may clog at the nozzles with this hydroponic solution include drip hydroponics.
Composition: Hydroponic Nutrient Solutions
In the above section, you have seen that it is necessary to have magnesium sulfate or Epsom salts. However, there are other available nutrients for making a nutrient solution. You can easily obtain nutrients from salts found in fertilizers.
You can acquire these fertilizers from local garden suppliers and nurseries. Below is a list of the most vital salts that you can use to make your homemade hydroponics nutrients.
This fertilizer salt supplies calcium and phosphorous. Phosphorous is vital to your plant during the development of the bud and can increase yields.
You can make your hydroponic nutrients from superphosphate during the early stages of development for your plant. On the other hand, calcium helps in the growth of the root and aids in the absorption of potassium by the plant.
The nutrients supplied by this fertilizer salt are sulfur and potassium. In the process of photosynthesis, the plant actively requires potassium to produce energy.
Also referred to as Epsom salts, they contain sulfur and magnesium. The plant’s leaves contain chlorophyll. Magnesium forms a vital part of chlorophyll.
It also aids in the transmission of phosphorous in the plant. On the other hand, sulfur is important for producing energy in the plant and enables the use of other elements.
Your plants obtain nitrogen and potassium from this fertilizer salt. Nitrogen is vital for the development and growth of the leaves, plant cells, and stems.
Copper, zinc, manganese, iron, chlorine, boron, and molybdenum are some of the trace elements required by your plants for growth. If you are using tap water to make the hydroponic nutrient, it is not necessary to add chlorine. It is important that you add these elements in much smaller amounts.
Quality Of Your Nutrients
Garbage in garbage out. Whatever you put into your hydroponic nutrient mixture is what you will get out of it. It is only fair that you use the best fertilizer salts. To get the best out of your hydroponic nutrients, consider the purity of your mix.
Be accurate in your measurement. You may want to measure your salts using weights instead of teaspoons or cups. Getting yourself, a scale used in the lab is an added advantage.
Checking the quality of storage of the fertilizer salts is also vital. Improperly stored fertilizer salts absorb water and end up adding their weight. Using such improperly stored fertilizer salt may lead to wrong proportions of your hydroponic nutrients solution.
Steps To Follow For Making Hydroponic Nutrients
Follow the steps below when making your hydroponic nutrients:
- Step 1:
- Step 2
Use the hydroponic pH tester and adjustment kit to check the water’s pH. These kits are available from a number of hydroponics suppliers. The water should have a pH of 5 to 6. If you find that, the water has a different pH, say above 7 or below 5 use the adjustment kit to adjust the pH either up or down until it reaches that range.
- Step 3
Measure two teaspoons of a water-soluble dry fertilizer for every gallon of water used. Use a fertilizer salt that contains macronutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and sulfur.
It is also important to check that the fertilizer salt contains vital micronutrients such as zinc, boron, copper, iron, cobalt, and manganese. Remember that each of these nutrients is vital for the plant depending on its stage of development. Put the fertilizer into the water.
- Step 4
Add a teaspoon of magnesium sulfate for every gallon of water
- Step 5
Using the stirring stick or spoon, mix the fertilizer salts and Epsom with the water until they have fully dissolved.
- Step 6
To ensure that your plants have a constant supply of all the vital nutrients, change the nutrient solution every one or two weeks.
The addition of nutrients to your plants is not only vital but also a good idea. If you are looking to save, time and money spent on growing your plants, consider making homemade hydroponics nutrients. It is impossible for a hydroponics system to work without nutrients since a plant obtains most of its nutrients from the soil.
Making your own hydroponics nutrients at home not only gives you the knowledge of developing your plants but also enables you to get the best yields and healthiest plants. Take into consideration the needs of your plants including their nutrient requirements to achieve your goals.