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Nutrients!!

Hydroponic gardening, it is important to know what different types of nutrients are best for the different varieties of Hydroponic plants we will be growing. Hydroponic nutrients are much better for Hydroponic plants as opposed to regular fertilisers. They contain all the micro-nutrients that soil grown plants must search for. In hydroponic gardening, the plants search for nothing. Everything is right there in front of them and is available at all times. This is why when done correctly; plants grown with Hydroponic gardening far surpass soil grown plants in many ways. Hydroponic gardening, it is important to know what different types of nutrients are best for the different varieties of Hydroponic plants we will be growing. Hydroponic nutrients are much better for Hydroponic plants as opposed to regular fertilisers. They contain all the micro-nutrients that soil grown plants must search for. In hydroponic gardening, the plants search for nothing. Everything is right there in front of them and is available at all times. This is why when done correctly; plants grown with Hydroponic gardening far surpass soil grown plants in many ways.

 

Let’s look at some of the Hydroponic nutrients we can use in our Hydroponic systems.

 

LETTUCE: Lettuce requires fast growth for best results. It requires a lot of potassium to grow well. Lettuce grows very well with 8-15-36 Hydroponic fertiliser with the Ph adjusted to 6.4 for seedlings and 6.0 for mature plants. A general nutrient PPM can be from 560 – 840 depending on the variety of lettuce being grown. Some varieties of lettuce are nitrogen sensitive and can get leaf tip burn. Calcium and Magnesium sulphate must be added separately to the Hydroponic solution as it is usually not part of the mix. Lettuce does not need a lot of strong light and we grow them very successfully under fluorescent grow lights. Use T5 or T8 bulbs if you use Fluorescent grow lights. T5s are the number one choice.

 

PEPPERS and HERBS: Both Peppers and herbs also require a Hydroponic nutrient that is very high in potassium to perform well. A good Hydroponic nutrient solution for both of these varieties of plants is 11-11-40. Calcium and Magnesium must be added separately according to the nutrient directions. Adjust the Ph for these plants at 6.2 for seedlings and 5.8 for mature plants. Peppers need some pretty good light but a lot of the herbs do not. You can use T5 fluorescents for most of the herbs.

 

TOMATOES: Most people think that tomatoes need a lot of nitrogen to grow well. This is not the case with tomatoes. Tomatoes do need a nutrient solution that is high in phosphorous though to produce lots of flowers and then fruit. A very good nutrient solution for them is 4-18-38 adjusted to 6.2 Ph. They grow extremely well with this and you can expect lots of fruit if they are grown correctly. Calcium and Magnesium sulphate needs to be added to the main solution. Tomatoes need a lot of light and the flower clusters need to be shaken in absence of bees or the wind.

 

CUCUMBERS: Cucumbers take a lot of space to grow but in Hydroponic gardening cucumbers grow like crazy with 8-16-36 Hydroponic fertiliser. You need to add the Calcium and Magnesium sulphate separately like most good vegetable formulas but it is well worth the extra few minutes that it takes to do it. Adjust your Ph to 6.4 to 6.7. We always use the lower number to adjusting Ph because we know it go higher in just a few days or so. Cucumbers need to be spaced out quite a bit from each other so their big leaves can absorb the light and not shade each other too much. If grown properly the amounts of fruits you can get are just amazing. If you have a greenhouse you want to grow the self pollinating varieties.

 

STRAWBERRIES: Growing Hydroponic strawberries can be an excellent hobby or a source of income if done on a larger level. Strawberries are fairly small plants and many plants can be grown in a relatively small area. Use a good 10-8-22 Hydroponic fertiliser for strawberries with added Calcium and Magnesium sulphate. Adjust your Ph here at 6.5 to 6.8. Strawberries do not like extreme heat so some areas are not suitable for growing strawberries. Almost everyone enjoys eating strawberries so this can be a good Hydroponic crop to grow for fun or for profit

 

PLANT GROWING DATA – Ph & PPM Levels

All Hydroponic plants have their ideal PH levels as well as their PPM nutrient strength levels. Both of these are very important for optimum growth. In deciding what to grow compare some of the similar PH and PPM levels of various plants.Sometimes different Hydroponic plants can be grown together with the same Hydroponic nutrient solution tank if their PH and PPM nutrient levels are not too far off from each other. Other things to be taken into consideration before doing this would be plant sizes, intensity of light needed, harvesting methods and some others.

 

Plant          PH         CF          PPM
Basil                 5.5-6.5       10-16       700-1120
Chicory             5.5-6.0       20-24       1400-1600
Chives              6.0-6.5       18-22       1260-1540
Fennel              6.4-6.8       10-14       700-980
Lavender           6.4-6.8       10-14      700-980
Lemon balm       5.5-6.5       10-16       700-1120
Marjoram           6.0            16-20       1120-1400
Mint                 5.5-6.0       20-24       1400-1680
Mustard cress    6.0-6.5       12-24       840-1680
Parsley             5.5-6.0        8-18        560-1260
Rosemary          5.5-6.0       10-16       700-1120
Sage                5.5-6.5       10-16       700-1120
Thyme                5.5-7.0        8-16        560-1120
Watercress       6.5-6.8        4-18        280-1260
Artichoke           6.5-7.5      8-18      560-1260
Asparagus          6.0-6.8     14-18     980-1260
Beans                6.0           20-40     1400-2800
Beetroot            6.0-6.5      8-50      1260-3500
Broad beans       6.6-6.5      18-22     1260-1540
Broccoli             6.0-6.8      28-35     1960-2450
Brussell sprouts   6.5           25-30     1750-2100
Cabbage            6.5-7.0      25-30     1750-2100
Capsicum           6.0.6.5      18-22     1260-1540
Carrots              6.3           16-20      1120-1400
Cauliflower         6.5-7.0       5-20      1050-1400
Celery               6.5            18-24     1260-1680
Cucumber          5.5            17-25     1190-1750
Eggplant            6.0            25-35     1750-2450
Endive               5.5            20-24     1400-1680
Fodder               6.0           18-20      1260-1400
Garlic                 6.0           14-18      980-1260
Leek                  6.5-7.0      14-18      980-1260
Lettuce              6.0-7.0      8-12       560-840
Marrow               6.0           18-24     1260-1680
Okra                  6.5            20-24     1400-1680
Onions               6.0-6.7      14-18      980-1260
Pak choi             7.0            15-20     1050-1400
Parsnip              6.0            14-18      980-1260
Peas                 6.0-7.0        8-18      980-1260
Pepino               6.0-6.5       20-50     1400-3500
Potato               5.0-6.0       20-25     1400-1750
Pumpkin             5.5-7.5       18-24     1260-1680
Radish               6.0-7.0       16-22      840-1540
Spinach             6.0-7.0       18-23      1260-1610
Silverbeet          6.0-7.0       18-23      1260-1610
Sweet corn        6.0             16-24      840-1680
Sweet potato     5.5-6.0       20-25      1400-1750
Taro                 5.0-5.5        25-30     1750-2100
Tomato             6.0-6.5        20-50     1400-3500
Turnips             6.0-6.5        18-24      1260-1680
Zucchini            6.0             18-24      1260-1680

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