Hydroponic Nutrients Explained

Plants require 3 main nutrients to grow.  Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (N-P-K)…….

Hydroponic liquid fertilizer contains all the nutrients your plants need, in a readily absorbed form, delivered right to the roots.

We’ve trialed dozens of nutrients and found the best results from Flairform Green Dream 1 part nutrients.   This section provides a guide on how to use these simple and extremely effective nutrients.

The fact is that by buying solid hydroponic nutrients you could be saving 5 to 10 times your hydro-food costs. Within today’s post I will explain to you the difference between solid and liquid fertilizers and why buying solid nutrients is always a better choice for your hydroponic garden.  When you purchase a solid hydroponic fertilizer you simply buy a mixture of salts which you then need to weight and dissolve in a given volume of water. Since there is actually no water and the salts don’t need to be predissolved in a concentrated solution, the array of salts that can be used are a lot wider and much cheaper costs can be achieved. Added to that is the fact that packing is a lot simpler and much more efficient since the need to bottle solutions is unecessary. In the end you will see that with 2 pounds of solid nutrients you will be able to prepare more than 300 gallons of nutrient solution while you would probably need much more (about 10-30 gallons of concentrated solution) to prepare the same amount using concentrated liquid fertilizers. You will definitely see that most hydroponic fertilizer companies are simply charging you a lot for liquid fertilizers when you could as easily be buying bulk solid fertilizers at a fraction of the cost. Premixed solid hydroponic fertilizers are also widely available commercially and easily made up with some basic chemistry concepts (more on this on a later article!). So next time you are planning to buy more hydroponic fertilizers think about cost efficiency and look for some solid premixed hydroponic nutrients which are bound to give you as good – or better – results than your previous liquid mix.

Water:
Firstly, by far the best water to use in your reservoir tank is rain water.  It is highly recommended to collect rain water at every opportunity and utilize in your grow system!   If using regular tap water, it’s a good idea to let the water settle for 24 hours before utilizing in the garden.   This is not 100% necessary, but it is enough time for the chlorine to be dispersed.

Nutrient Basics:
Plants need large amounts of 6 macro-nutrients: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). The NPK numbers you see on a manure or fertilizer bag (like 30-10-30) are simply telling you at what ratio these three macro-nutrients are mixed in that bag of fertilizer. The other 3 macros are calcium, sulfur and magnesium. All 6 are provided in the proper ratio in all hydroponics solutions.

Plants also need micro-nutrients (minute traces of other elements) in order to thrive, just like you do. The nutrient solutions you buy for your ‘ponics garden are different from ordinary plant fertilizers. They include all the trace elements, too.

So hydroponic fertilizer is kinda like your One-A-Day Vitamins; it contains the major necessary elements as well as traces of iron, boron, manganese, zinc, molybdenum, copper, cobalt, chlorine, selenium and silicon.

Flairform 1 Part Hydroponic Nutrients:
The 250ml nutrient bottle that comes with your system contain the Flairform ‘Greendream’ 1 part nutrient solution.  Included is 1 x 250ml grow nutrient bottle.

A 1 part nutrient simply means, there is 1 solution for the vegetative phase and 1 solution for the flowering stage.  There is no need to mix them.

Add the grow nutrition solution at a rate of approx 5 ml per litre of water for young plants and up to 10ml per litre for older more robust plants.   The Vertical Grow System tank is 30 litres, therefore 150 ml of nutrient is sufficient per full tank of water.  

Why Flairform?
GreenDream-1 exploits “slurry” technology to provide a nutrient formulation that is superior to 2-part nutrients:
-Superior nutrient balanceGreenDream’s slurry technology helps ensure more aggressive growth and prolific flowering.
-Over 20% more concentrated than most 2-parts.
-Less pH maintenance required because of very high pH buffering capacity: Growers are able to use high alkalinity waters without experiencing large pH fluctuations and the associated poor growth results.
-Easier to use There is no chance of the grower making mixing errors because all nutrients are in 1 bottle.
-Fully soluble (no blockages):  The slurry dissolves instantly when added to water and stirred. This helps prevent equipment failure (e.g. pumps, jets/drippers & filters) caused by sludge build-up.
-Contains the full range of chelated trace elements
-Universal formulation for hard and soft water.

Stages of Plant Growth:
Approx 2 weeks – Seed Germination = Plant begins to grow roots and sprout first leaves
Approx 4 weeks – Vegatative = Production of stems and leaves for photosynthesis
Approx 4 weeks – Flowering = Production of flowers for polination and transpiration
Approx 2 weeks – Fruiting = Ripening of polinated flowers into fruit