Blending your own hydroponic nutrient is much cheaper than buying liquid concentrate. Most 1-quart liquid concentrates are good for treating less than 100 gallons. You can stretch your dollar much farther with water-soluble fertilizers.
Many general purpose blends are available. They are preblended, bagged and ready to be mixed and most contain trace elements. You can even purchase individual ingredients to tweak or build your own made-from-scratch nutrient solution formula.
Secret Hydroponic Formula
When making your own hydroponic nutrient solution formula keep in mind that plants require 14 essential elements to the root zone. Take note that “organic” minerals do not exist. Potassium is Potassium reguardless how many times is passes through the cow. It will be the exact same Potassium you will get from a fertilizer made by combining Potassium and Nitrogen into a salt called Potassium Nitrate.
You can purchase ingredients from websites or local agriculture stores.
Plants have evolved into growing within a wide range of nutrient levels. This means that many hydroponic nutrient solution formula can be successfully used to grow many different kinds of vegetables. Most generic blends are called “tomato and vegetable” blends.
General purpose macronutrient formula:
|Sodium Nitrate||355 grams||Nitrogen|
|Potassium Sulphate||115 grams||Potassium and Sulphur|
|Superphosphate||140 grams||Calcium and Phosphorus|
|Magnesium Sulphate||140 grams||Magnesium and Sulphur|
Use one teaspoon of this mix per gallon.
This formula provides the major or macronutrients needed by the plant there are also trace elements or micronutrients to be added to the nutrient solution mix.
General purpose micronutrient formula:
|Copper Sulphate||1/2 teaspoon|
|Boric Acid Poweder||1/2 teaspoon|
|Manganese Sulphate||1/2 teaspoon|
|Zinc Sulphate||1/2 teaspoon|
Use 1/2 teaspoon per 3 gallons of water.
Use a large mixing container to mix the ingredients. Use a quality scale to weigh the ingredients. If your salts are coarse (usually it’s the iron sulphate) it is best to grind them down with a mortar and pestle or other means to help distribute the iron sulphate throughout the mix. When mixing is complete, store the power in a clean and dry container. I like to use desiccant packets.
Refining your made-from-scratch formula
It is important to monitor your plant’s wellbeing continually, and water pH. There are signs of nutrient deficiencies, but sometimes the sign comes too late to save the plant. You can send leaves off to several labs to have them analyzed. This information will help you understand how your hydroponic nutrient solution is working.