Starting and running a hydroponics garden may seem a daunting task but is actually a walk in the park. All you need is learn the basics and spend ample time fine-tuning your system. Once you have learned the fundamental concepts, set up your hydroponics garden, and have well adjusted all elements and factors, then everything should be running smoothly.
The secret to hydroponics gardening is that “the food is in the water.” Designing and setting up your system will focus and depend on this and the types of plants you intend to grow.
So read on to find out more about this secret.
Nutrients: The Perfect Mixture
Foods Your Plant Cannot Live Without
All plants require foods in the form of macronutrients and micronutrients to properly grow and bear the ideal yield. The same is true with hydroponics gardening. The first group is composed primarily of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium and secondarily of calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Some of the micronutrients needed by plants are Pyrolytic Boron Nitride Plate, manganese, copper, zinc, chloride, iron, and molybdenum. In growing your favorite plant, it is a must that you use the perfect mixtures of nutrients that vary according to the particular growth stages they are in or else your investment in them will go down the drain.
These are the foods that your favorite plant needs in order to survive, yield the fruits you want in terms of quantity and quality, and grow healthy enough to reproduce:
- Nitrogen: Plants need it in order to produce the proteins and enzymes that are used in photosynthesis and to enable the metabolism processes that are involved in it too. The healthy and right dosage of this nutrient will assure your fruit’s quality of leaves and rapid seed production.
- Phosphorous: It is primarily involved in the creation of oils and starches in plants. It aids in the transformation of energy from the sun into the much-needed chemical energy thus allowing your plant greater stress tolerance and proper maturation.
- Potassium: It aids in protein building and ensures that plants have greater endurance against diseases.
- Calcium: It makes the cell walls of plants stronger and provides greater strength to them.
- Magnesium: It is essential to photosynthesis because it is a major part of chlorophyll.
- Sulfur: This nutrient enhances the growth of plants and their resistance to cold weather.
- Boron: It is an essential element in the production of seeds and fruits of plants.
- Copper: It is an important ingredient in the reproduction processes of plants.
- Zinc: This regulates plant growth. It produces auxin, which is and essential growth hormone. Zinc is also essential in the plant’s root development and starch formation.
- Iron: An ingredient in chlorophyll creation. Iron deficiency in plants can be minimized by choosing appropriate soil for the plant’s growing conditions.
- Molybdenum: It assists in nitrogen uses. This important nutrient is important in pollen formation.
- Manganese: Assists in the breakdown of nitrogen and carbohydrates.
Magic Mixture Ratios Your Favorite Plants Would Love
Just like children, your favorite plants in your hydroponic garden need the right diet so that they will grow productive and healthy. Too much and too less of any of the nutrients will cause you problems that will cause you mental anguish and financial setbacks. You should take into consideration their growth stages before feeding them any mixture, which are the following:
- Vegetative stage refers to that brief period of time where the plant begins photosynthesis. This also refers to the growth period where it develops its height, the thickness of the stems, would-be bud sites, and side branching.
- Flowering or fruiting stage, which you will find very fulfilling, is the period when your plants will show their sex and bear flowers.
The 2:1:1 NPK Ratio
During the vegetative or growing stage in your hydroponic gardening, your plants should be fed a ratio of 2:1:1 nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K). Here are some tips pertaining to the appropriate ratios that can be used during vegetative stage:
- A ratio of 20:10:10. This would mean that 20% of the mixture should be composed of nitrogen, 10% should be phosphorous, 10% should be potassium, and the remaining 60% should be composed of secondary macronutrients and micronutrients.
- A ratio of 30:15:15. This would require 30% of the mixture to be nitrogen, 15% phosphorous, and 15% potassium. The remaining 20% will be consisted of the secondary macronutrients and micronutrients.
These mix ratios will give your plants greater resources during photosynthesis and result to better quality of leaves and seeds.
The Flowering Mix
When your favorite plants begin to flower, adjust the ratio to 1:2:2 nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. There should be more phosphorous and potassium than nitrogen in the mix. If you use the 20:10:10 ratio during the growth stage, make use of 10:20:20 ratio during the flowering stage. And if you use the 30:15:15 ratio in the vegetative period, you must use the 15:30:30 ratio during the flowering period. With these ratios, your plants will become stronger and bear greater stress tolerance. Furthermore, it is even suggested that during the flowering stage in your hydroponic gardening project, you can stop feeding your plants with nitrogen and focus on phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and sulfur. Overfeeding just like in the case of humans could kill.