Mixing Hydroponic Nutrients
At A-Grade Hydroponics we are always seeing lots of new growers in our shop buying various types of grow packs and nutrients to start their passion for indoor growing. The most common question we get from these growers is when mixing nutrients are they doing it right?
When mixing nutrients, have a look on the label on the back of the bottle as most reputable liquid plant food brands should provide this information.
This quick guide will hopefully help you make up the correct hydroponic nutrient solution every time you're due to feed your plants.
When using hydro nutrients there are few types available:
- Single Part Nutrients
- Two-Part Nutrients
- Three-Part Nutrients
Here is an annoying analogy:
“When making a cake we don’t just throw the ingredients in a bowl and smash them together as quickly as possible, we take time carefully adding them in order allowing us to mix everything properly”
For the purpose of keeping the tutorial basic let’s look at Two-Part nutrients and additives as they are the most commonly purchased. (For any questions on single part or 3-part nutrients ask your questions in the comment section)
STEP 1 – Pick your Nutrient Brand
STEP 2 – Fill up your watering jug, reservoir or hydroponic system with water.
STEP 3 – If using tap water use hydrogen peroxide first to kill any bacteria
STEP 4 – Using a pipette or syringe take out the recommended dose from Bottle A and mix it with water (if bottle says 2-3 ml and you're just starting off use 2ml)
STEP 5 – Mix this well
STEP 6 - Using a pipette or syringe take out the recommended dose from Bottle B and mix it with the same water you added Bottle A to (if bottle says 2-3 ml and you're just starting off use 2ml)
STEP 7 – Mix this well
STEP 8 – If you're using Cal/mag or growth additives or any Bloom boosters add the recommended dose to the same solution you have added A&B to.
And that’s it, that’s how to mix a base nutrient solution. Do this every time you need to feed, never just give only water. Once they have started to recieve liquid plant food we must maintain this supplementation to avoid deficiency.
Checking your hydroponic Nutrient solution
Now we have a basic understanding of mixing our base nutrients, we can move on to checking the strength of our freshly made nutrient solution with an instrument called an EC Meter.
We also check the pH of this solution to see if the nutrient solution is in range. (By range i mean the required pH number for nutrients to be uptaken)
(Not everyone has the budget for an EC or pH meter straight away, if this is the case just start growing with the lower dosage recommendation to ensure you're not giving your plants too much)
Most nutrients brands if used correctly will come very close to achieving the correct pH range without any further alteration to this nutrients mix. (pH up or pH down)
The pH ranges for hydroponic solutions are 5.5 – 5.8 for Growing
The pH ranges for hydroponic solutions are 5.8 – 6.4 for Flowering
The EC ranges in hydroponics solutions are 0.6 – 1.6 Growing
The EC ranges in hydroponics solutions are 1.6 – 2.4 Flowering
If the pH is outside of these suggested ranges, absorption of specific nutrients is limited, this usually leads to a nutrient deficiency which impacts plant growth and cell development.
Hydroponic growing is never a flawless exercise, there are constant up and downs just have fun learning and mastering each method of feeding.
Writing a journal is highly recommended, data can be referred back to if its logged, our memory isn't as good as we think it is so always record the information and date it.
Have fun with your new passion project.
Hey Marls, You definitely can, but its best to not let the water go stagnant. You can keep a pre-made nutrient mix stored for weeks at a time by keeping either an air stone or water pump inside the container to continuously move the water around, and/or aerate it.
My comment is actually a question, if you’re making up a litre at a time but only have a couple of plants and don’t use it all in one feed, can you store the rest and use the next day?
Ta guys it all helps, 😁