For soil growers, plants can be fed once every second or third watering. If plants are fed with every watering then nutrient buildup and lockup becomes a problem causing stunted growth, “crows foot” (curling downwards of the leaves), leaf burn, deficiency symptoms, burnt and damaged root system and decreased yields.
For hydroponic growers, plants can be fed with every watering. The watering cycle will depend on plant growth stage, size, room temperature, growth medium and hydroponic system. Small plants, such as seedlings and clones recently transplanted and plants in early vegetative stage, growing in rockwool, will require watering only once every 4-6 hours. As the plant grows bigger and enters flowering and fruiting then the water requirements of a plant increases. The watering cycle will then be every 2-4 hours. TAKE YOUR CUES FROM YOUR PLANTS! A grow room temperature of 80 – 90 °F will require more watering cycles per day than a grow room with a temperature of 65 – 70 °F. This is due to the higher transpiration rate of plants at higher temperatures. Hydroton Rocks and perlite require MORE frequent watering than coco fiber, which requires more watering cycles than rockwool. For an outdoor drip system using coco fiber and growing strawberries a feeding schedule might be feeding for 3 minutes 3 times a day (10am, 2pm, 6pm).
1 tsp/ gallon – non-recirculating system
2-3 tsp/gal recirculating systems