Now that you have finally set up your hydroponic grow kit, the next thing that would come to your mind is how to add nutrients. With a bag of fertilizer in hand, you will have many questions, such as where to add the nutrients, what quantity you should add, should you wear gloves, and whether timing is important. The first thing you need to do is relax. Next, follow the instructions below to add nutrients in proper quantities to the hydroponic grow kit.
Choosing the fertilizer
There are two types of fertilizers: dry and wet. The type of crops you want to grow would decide what type of fertilizer you need. Remember, different crops come with different nutrient requirements.
Are you a commercial grower? If yes, then dry fertilizer would suit your crops the best. Commercial nutrient mixes usually include phosphorus, potassium or NPK, and nitrogen. On the other hand, if you are growing leafy greens, then it’s best to use wet fertilizer to maximize plant growth.
Nutrients to add
It is essential to add three nutrient mixes to your hydroponic grow kit to help the plants grow quickly. Here are the three compounds that you should keep in mind:
• Calcium nitrate
• NPK mix
• Epsom salt primarily containing magnesium sulfate
Your plants or crops would demand hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen from the air and water available. You don’t need to worry about them because they are available naturally. And for the primary nutrients, such as phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen, the plants will derive them from the NPK mix.
There is also a secondary mix of nutrients containing magnesium, sulfur, and calcium that you should also add. Epsom salt usually includes a mixture of these three elements. Instead of adding them individually, you can directly provide Epsom salt to the crops.
How familiar are you with your hydroponic grow kit? This would play a crucial role in mixing the nutrients properly. Most people prefer using a mixing tank or sump because they have incredible turbulence. Nutrients require two factors to mix thoroughly: space and turbulence. First, choose the place where you want to mix the nutrients.
There are two ways to mix the ingredients: either add the elements individually to your hydroponic system or combine the three ingredients and add them to the plants together. Remember, don’t mix calcium nitrate if you are adding the ingredients separately as it is not compatible with the rest of the solution.
The amount of nutrients you need to mix depends on the number of plants you have. Most importantly, you should always check the label on the bag before using it. The manufacturers provide clear instructions on how much nutrient you should mix and how often you need to add them to the plants. In fact, the manufacturers also provide details of how much Epsom salt you should mix with the other nutrients.
But how often should you add nutrients to your plants? Ideally, you should add them after every few days. It is best to set a schedule of adding nutrients once in 5 days so that the plants get a frequent dose of essential nutrients for proper growth.
What you need
Here are some of the things you will need to mix the nutrients and add them to the plants.
An accurate scale to measure the appropriate quantity of nutrients
• A container that you can use on the scale
In addition to these two things, you will also require stirring rods and buckets. You may or may not use gloves. It depends on how sensitive your skin is to these elements.
Importance of nutrients for hydroponic grow kit
Apart from knowing what nutrient to mix and how much to mix, you should also know the importance of different elements.
Nitrogen to plants is like oxygen to humans. It has the greatest impact on the growth of the plants in your hydroponic system. Nitrogen helps your plants to become stronger, vibrant, and greener. Eliminating nitrogen from the nutrient mix will dry up your plants or make them turn yellow.
Phosphorus is essential for plants just after germination. It helps them develop strong roots. Plants don’t usually consume too much phosphorus in their vegetative growth phase. But if you want the plants to provide fruits and flowers quickly after their growth of leaves, then you should increase the quantity of potassium and phosphorus in the nutrient mix.
Potassium increases health resistance and also helps the plant to develop a strong body. It promotes nutrient absorption, especially in younger plants, to quickly provide fruits and flowers.
Mixing nutrients to your hydroponic grow kit can be a breeze if you follow these instructions. Just keep the number of different elements in mind, and don’t forget to add the nutrient mix at least once in five days to see significant growth of the plants.