Hydroponic nutrients for beginners
If you are looking for a guide of hydroponic nutrients for beginners, you came to the right place. Hydroponics removes the very base of growing as we know it – the soil. Thus, many aspects of hydroponic growing are not-so-intuitive. In this article we shall cover the following aspects:
- Hydroponic nutrients for beginners – what do the plants need?
- Hydroponic nutrients for beginners – macronutrients and micronutrients
- Hydroponic nutrients for beginners – how to choose your nutrient solution?
Hydroponic nutrients for beginners – what do the plants need?
Hydroponic nutrients for beginners guide needs to start with the basics of the plant nutritional needs. In traditional farming, plants derive nutrients from the soil and additives such as compost, manure, or fertilizers. In hydroponics, as the plants are not grown in soil, all of the essential nutrients need to be delivered directly in the watering solutions. Hence, a vital part of the knowledge of hydroponic nutrients for beginners is the knowledge of plant nutrition as such. Plants need various macronutrients and micronutrients at various stages of their growth, as well as sunlight, carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen obtained from air and water.
Hydroponic nutrients for beginners – macronutrients and micronutrients
To start off with this hydroponic nutrients for beginners guide, let´s talk about the main nutrients all plants need for healthy growth, also called macronutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Nitrogen is essential for forming stems and leaves and allows plants to grow to their full potential. It is more active in young and budding plants, as it is a period of intense buds and shoots development. If your plants lack nitrogen, you will note them looking weak, unhealthy, and yellowish. Phosphorus is responsible for the transport of energy within the plant and is essential in plant growth, as well as root, seed, and fruit formation. If the plant lacks phosphorus, you might note its leaves are smaller and darker than usual, and its growth stunted. Potassium is essential throughout the plants´ growth as it assists and regulates the process of photosynthesis. Insufficient potassium causes brown discolourations, abnormal curling, as well as poor flower and fruit production. Plants also need trace quantities of the following micronutrients, also vital to their healthy growth: manganese, calcium, chlorine, sulfur, iron, zinc, copper, boron, nickel, molybdenum. Click here to learn more about plant nutrition and deepen this hydroponic nutrients for beginners guide.
Hydroponic nutrients for beginners – how to choose your nutrient solution?
The next step in hydroponic nutrients for beginners is learning how to choose your hydroponic nutrient solution, as it is the only source of nutrients for plants grown in hydroponic systems. Your choices will be based on the type of your crops – say, tomatoes will need different ratios of the nutrients discussed above then, for example, greens. You will need to choose between liquid and solid, home-made and professional solutions. If you would like to consult your choices of hydroponic nutrients for beginners, please get in touch with BAC professionals here. Click here to see BAC professional nutrient solutions for hydroponics.