Category Archives: Nutrient Solutions

Why you should optimize your nutrient solution for your particular setup

In hydroponics, most plant nourishment is delivered through the use of a nutrient solution. This solution is prepared from raw fertilizer inputs by the grower - or a fertilizer company - and should contain adequate mineral ratios to maximize plant growth. However, although basic solutions can successfully grow crops under a wide variety of conditions,…
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High P or low P? The mystery of phosphorus in hydroponic culture

If you searched for the optimal P concentration for plant growth in hydroponics you will likely find very different results, ranging from low values to very high values. This is inherently contradictory and difficult to understand, why don't we have a smaller range for optimal P conditions? Why has it been so hard to describe…
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Using a biodegradable iron chelate (IDHA) in hydroponics

Chelates are a very important part of hydroponic nutrient solutions as they provide a reliable source of heavy metals. Without chelates, heavy metals can easily go out of solution and become unavailable, either because they precipitate as an insoluble salt or because they are captured by active surfaces with a high affinity for metals. Among…
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Selenium in hydroponic culture

The element selenium (Se) is not commonly used in hydroponic culture - as it's not necessary for plant life - but the fact that it's necessary for human life has meant that plant enrichment with selenium and its effects have been studied in hydroponics. Its effects however, are more than just an increase in Se…
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Five ways to save money in hydroponics

Commercial hydroponics can be extremely expensive, given the technological complexity and supplies required for a successful crop. The biggest costs are usually related with the initial setup but subsequent crops can also become very expensive, especially if you are using boutique fertilizers or additives that can get very expensive very quickly. Today I want to…
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Calcium’s behavior in hydroponics

Calcium is often one of the most puzzling elements in hydroponic culture due to its ability to respond fairly non-linearly to nutrient concentrations in solution. This behavior is the result of its transport dynamics and its relationship to other elements that may antagonize it very effectively when they reach higher concentrations. On today's post I…
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What is the ideal nutrient solution temperature in hydroponics?

One of the simplest variables that can make a substantial difference in crop yields in hydroponics is the temperature of the nutrient solution. Nutrient absorption by plants is mainly controlled by chemical processes within their roots and the efficacy of these processes is determined in an important part by the temperature the roots are subjected…
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Maximizing yields per area in hydroponics

Since the 1940's hydroponics - which I use to talk about a broad variety of soilless growing methods - have promised to deliver better plant yields than soil culture with less water usage and higher fertilizer efficiency. However there are many different types of soilless cultures that vary in their initial cost, media used, irrigation…
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