Best Hydroponic Nutrients: Buying Guide & Recommendations
For people who are serious about hydroponic growing, knowing what the top hydroponic systems and best hydroponic nutrients are is very important. Having a good hydroponic system is not enough if you do not have the right kind of nutrients to give you the best results. But what exactly should you be looking for when making that decision? What makes each nutrient better than others? There are several factors to consider when reaching that decision.
What Is Hydroponic Growing?
Hydroponic growing is a method used for growing plants and flowers which uses mineral nutrient solutions without dirt or soil. The process allow the plants to be fed in water via organic mineral nutrient solutions. Since there is no need for soil or dirt needed, other mediums such as gravel or perlite are used instead. Doing this lets people grow plants indoors organically all year around. For those that live in places where the weather is mostly cold, it is very useful. In addition, it is also very convenient for people who have no garden or access to yards such as those who live in rural areas or apartments. Hydroponic growing also lets you grow plants or flowers at 5 times the rate of soil. That can let you achieve growing results at a much faster rate.
Choosing A Hydroponic Fertilizer
If you are new to the world of hydroponic growing, deciding on the best hydroponic fertilizer or nutrients can be tough. There are so many out there to choose from and that makes it even harder to pick one. Also, choosing the wrong one can end up ruining your plants or flowers. That is why selecting the right and best hydroponic nutrients is key to the health of your plants. Plus, picking the wrong solution can even end up ruining or damaging your hydroponic system.
Consider The Price
Hydroponic fertilizers are available in two different forms for you to choose from. They are powder and liquid. Although liquid may be a bit more expensive, it is much easier and faster. Liquid solutions also produced far better results. Moreover, powder fertilizers require a certain amount of skill on the grower’s part as well. The reason for that is that you will need to know exactly what amount or quantity to add to your plants. Other people simply do not have the time to mix the fertilizer. With liquid hydroponic nutrients, you simply pour it and leave it.
Water Is The Source Of Life
Just like water is the most important element for human beings to survive, it is also the same for plants. This is even more so when they are being grown hydroponically. Most people don’t really understand how growing plants or flowers in water actually works. Science lingo aside, the fact is that it does produce far better results than typical soil alone. What makes the difference in growing plants with traditional soil and hydroponically, is the nutrients added to the water.
Once the plants begin to grow roots, they can then more easily absorb the nutrients from the water and solution you add. Also, it becomes much more easier for the plants to absorb and store oxygen. The only thing to keep in mind is that the water should be kept at a room temperature. Using a water indicator to better determine when your plants need liquids or when they have too much is also important.
Hard Water Solution
For hydroponic growers, using water alone is not enough to deliver the best results. A lot of people end up using hard water solutions which helps offset any calcium ppm and other issues. Hard water solution is considered one of the best hydroponic nutrients you can give to your plants or flowers. When mixed with regular water, it creates a perfect micro blend combination of nutrients for your plants.
Recommended Hard Water Solutions
One of the best hydroponic nutrients or hard water solutions available is the General Hydroponics FloraMicro hardwater for plants. We highly recommended it based on several factors. For one, it is very good for hydroponic growers whose tap water is over 200ppm. If their water contains Calcium above 70ppm, the General Hydroponics FloraMicro can also help them. Using this natural solution enhances your plants aroma, potency, nutrition and flavor. It also enhances fundamental oils in soil cultivated plants as well as hydroponics plants.
The secondary and micronutrients found on the General Hydroponics FloraMicro hardwater yields much better crop quality for growers. Best of all, users can easily adjust the mixture to specifically suit the needs of each particular plant. This General Hydroponics FloraMicro hard water contains only highly purified concentrates which makes it one of the best out there. Even Antarctic Research Scientists and NASA use this solution based on their superior quality, formulation and reliability.
Why pH Is Important
If there is one factor which is extremely important for hydroponic growers to know and understand, it is pH. The balancing of the pH in a hydroponic system is crucial for not only the health of your plants, but also their vitality. Not having the right or correct pH range, will end up causing essential nutrients to dissipate or be lost altogether. In addition, micro nutrients needed by the plants, will not be available for them either. The omission of any of these can lead to your plants suffering from nutrient deficiencies. Once that happens, they will eventually end up dying as well.
Keep pH In Range
Anytime the pH levels in your hydroponic systems are outside of the optimum recommended or correct range, it can cause problems for your plants. They will end up losing the ability to absorb many of the required and essential elements. These elements are extremely important and required in order to guarantee the steady growth of your plants. Keep in mind that the optimum pH levels of every plant varies. The vast majority of plants prefer acidic growing conditions. Most plants can survive in the 5.0-7.5 range.
Testing Your pH
As discussed above, since there are many different types of plants, each require various degrees of soil acidity. Growers need to remember that some plants are very sensitive to soil pH. This is why testing your pH is very important. One of the easiest way to do it is by taking a soil sample to a garden center. They will gladly do the pH test for you. You can also buy a pH test kit which doesn’t really cost that much.
Most of these kits ideally consist of a test tube, color chart and the testing. Simply take a sample of your soil and place it into the tube. Next, add a few drops of the test solution in the tube or container. Lastly, shake the contents and let them settle for at least an hour. Once the testing is done, the solution you placed in the tube will change color. The color of the the results will depend on the pH found in your soil. Once you match that color produced by the test to the chart you received, you will know your answer.
Adjusting The pH
Depending on the results, you will need to adjust the pH on your soil. The adjustment will vary depending on the plant or plants you are growing. Most people think that it is far easier adjusting the alkaline on the soils than adjusting the more acid. The amount of lime needed to raise or make it lower, will also depend on whether or not you have clay and peaty soils. Sandy soils also deliver different results. In order to make your soil more alkaline and increase your pH by 1.0 point, try the following:
In sandy soils, add 4 oz. of hydrated lime per square yard
In loamy soils, add 8 oz. of hydrated lime per square yard
In clay soils, add 12 oz. of hydrated lime per square yard
In peaty soils, add 25 oz. of hydrated lime per square yard
Make pH Soil More Acidic
For lowering the soil pH to make it more acidic, other measures are needed. For reducing the soil pH by 1.0, you will need to mix in about a 1.2 oz of ground rock sulfur. If the soil is sandy, then this is per square yard. If not, then 3.6 oz per square yard for all other soils you have. Just be sure to mix the sulfur into the soil thoroughly before planting. There are other ways to lower the soil’s pH. You can use composted leaves, cottonseed meal, sawdust and leaf mold. You can also use peat moss to lower it as well.
If you are too worried about being exact, don’t. You just need to be consistent in making sure your pH is kept from becoming too low or too high. Just stay within the recommended pH ranges.
Too Confusing To Do
For the vast majority of people, following the instructions above to lower or increase pH levels can be very confusing. This is especially true for those that are new to hydroponic growing or do not have too much knowledge about it. But what other options are there? Luckily, there are simple solutions you can now use to do it all for you. Instead of trying to come up with the right kind of mix or ingredient, you can bypass all of that. Using a pH control kit changes that right away. These kits come with several bottles. Some contain a solution for ”pH up” while the other contains one for ‘pH down.” That is as easy and simple as you can have it. Just choose the right solution and choose the ‘up’ or ‘down’ bottle. But which one should you purchase? Which one is the best out there?
Recommended For pH Control
One of the products we recommend the most for controlling your pH levels is the General Hydroponics GH1514 Ph Control Kit. Since pH control is so important and essential to the life and growth of your plants, the right one is crucial. The General Hydroponics GH1514 Ph Control Kit lets you easily and effectively control your pH. One of the things we liked the most about this product is how easy it is for hydroponic beginners to use.
The kit lets you add a few drops of pH indicator solution to check your results. The chart lets you see the results and choose what to do next. Once you know what your pH level is, simply use either the ‘pH up’ or ‘pH down’ solution bottle. Out of the many pH control kits out there, this one receives one of our highest ratings of 4.7 Stars in overall customer satisfaction, ease of use, results and price.
Importance Of Hydroponic Nutrients
Just like the pH soil level is crucial to the growth and health of your plants, so is using the right hydroponic nutrients. Those that use a great hydroponic nutrient, end up yielding far better, stronger and larger quantity of crops. Since these organic hydroponic nutrients are scientifically formulated to deliver all around nutrition to your plants or flowers, they work very well. They also target any deficiencies your plants may have. The truth is that these hydroponic nutrients work as a booster and stimulator.
Recommended for Best Hydroponic Nutrients
When it comes to the best hydroponic nutrients available, the General Hydroponics Floragro, Florabloom & Floramicro Fertilizer is one we recommend. This GH Flora series contains three very needed essentials. It has Primary, Secondary and Micro Nutrients to boost and enhance better crop quality and yields. We found that it also contained very high and purified concentrates for maximal solubility. Most users of this product loved that it delivers potassium, trace elements, nitrogen and Calcium for their plants.
Recommended for Organic Hydroponic Nutrients
For those that love using organic hydroponic nutrients, one of the best ones out there is the General Hydroponics General Organics Go Box. We took a look at many of the different products available and performed a test based on organic agriculture concepts and other factors. The overall results let us to recommend the General Hydroponics General Organics Go Box. They contain biological plant foods and supplements which are top of the line. What we liked the most is their starter kit which allows people to do just about everything when it comes to hydroponic organic growing. Using this kit actually lets you save money due to the amazing results in overall yield, quality and quantity of plants grown. People just need to keep in mind that organic works very different than synthetic products do.