If you are new to hydroponic system of farming, chances are you have already begun to wonder how to feed your seedlings and clones. There are a lot of nutrients out there such as Roots Excelurator, Gro Big Bio, and KoolBloom. But seem saying one is better than another isn’t enough for you, and you want the real deal when it comes to recipes.
The importance of nutrition in hydroponic system
Plants need three things to survive – water, minerals and oxygen. Traditional gardening uses soil as a natural way to provide these three resources, while hydroponics uses artificial solutions.
In traditional gardens, plants grow in a medium such as soil, compost or gravel. The roots are anchored in the medium, which contains nutrients and water that are absorbed by the plant through its root system.
In hydroponic systems, the roots are suspended in an artificial medium such as perlite or rockwool which contains no nutrients or water; instead, these substances are delivered directly to the roots from an external source via the feeder tube system (often plastic tubes filled with water).
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without using soil. The roots are allowed to grow in a solution of water and nutrients. Hydroponics is used for plants (e.g., lettuce) that require high levels of nutrients.
What is Nutrient Deficiency?
A nutrient deficiency occurs when one or more essential plant nutrients are lacking in the soil or water solution. Nutrients are minerals and compounds that plants need to grow and produce fruits or flowers. If a plant lacks one or more of these essential nutrients, it will suffer from poor growth, stunted development and reduced yield.
Nutrients are absorbed by plant roots, and deficiencies can occur at any stage of plant growth. For example, young seedlings can have difficulty absorbing nutrients from their roots if they are under stress from too much water or too little light (ammonium toxicity).
Fruits and flowers may also suffer from nutrient deficiencies as they mature if their roots cannot absorb enough nutrients from their environment to support their development.
Hydroponic System seedling nutrients
Most hydroponic systems use a water-soluble fertilizer to feed the plants, but for seedlings, a more concentrated mix is needed. The best way I’ve found to do this is by using a 50-50 solution of Miracle Grow All Purpose Plant Food and water.
I usually start feeding my seedlings 5 days after they germinate. Before you mix up your solution, make sure that you know what kind of plants you’re growing and what their nutrient requirements are.
For example, if you’re growing tomatoes, they need lots of nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) but very little phosphorus (P). If you’re growing lettuce or geraniums, they need the opposite: lots of P and K but very little N.
When mixing up your solution, add 1 teaspoon of plant food per gallon of water. This will give your seedlings roughly 1/4 teaspoon per quart — plenty for most plants until they’re ready to be transplanted into larger pots.
Easy DIY seedling recipes for your hydroponic system
You can successfully grow your own plants without soil. In fact, it’s much easier to do so with a hydroponic garden than with one that uses dirt and potting soil.
A hydroponic garden is an indoor garden in which the plants are grown in a nutrient-rich solution instead of soil. It’s a great way to get some fresh vegetables or herbs all year long, even when the weather outside isn’t ideal for planting.
With a little bit of planning and research, you can have an impressive hydroponic garden set up in your home in no time at all. Here are some easy DIY seedling recipes:
Epsom salt and water
This recipe is simple, cheap and effective — just mix one part Epsom salt with four parts water. Use this mixture as a nutrient supplement when you’re starting out growing plants from seedlings. This recipe will last for several weeks before needing to be replenished.
DON’Ts when preparing hydroponic system seedling nutrition
• Don’t use any kind of soil or other organic material in your hydroponics setup. This is a no-no because it will contaminate the nutrient solution, which can lead to problems down the road.
• Don’t use tap water. Tap water contains chlorine and other chemicals that can harm your plants. Instead, use reverse osmosis (RO) or distilled water.
• Don’t feed your plants too much nitrogen. If you do, they’ll show signs of nitrogen toxicity, such as yellowing leaves, stunted growth and slow root development.
• Don’t overfeed your plants with potassium (K). Too much K can cause deficiencies in other nutrients like magnesium and calcium — two minerals that are essential for healthy plant growth.
Prepare Your Own Hydroponic system Seedlings
There are several ways to grow your own hydroponic seedlings, including using peat pellets and rock wool cubes. These methods mimic the conditions of soil, which is where seeds germinate and develop into seedlings.
Seeds need moisture and warmth to germinate; they also require ample oxygen once they sprout roots and begin to grow. Hydroponics systems provide all of these things in a controlled environment that helps seeds sprout and thrive once they’ve been planted in soil or another medium such as vermiculite or perlite.
Here are some steps for preparing your own hydroponic system seedlings at home:
Select a container or tray that’s at least twice as wide as the seedling will be when it grows up (with space between each one). Choose something that drains well so water doesn’t pool inside; plastic trays work well because they’re lightweight, durable and easy to clean up after use. Also consider what kind of light source you’ll use
First and foremost, your tray or barrel should have a good drain at the bottom to prevent excess water from building up and flooding the roots of your seedlings. The drainage hole is often where you will place the stand pipe, which you will place into a bucket or tub with a hose attached. A timer can also be helpful to keep an eye on when you need to turn the pump off and on, making it easier to develop a routine. And with that, you have created a self-sustaining hydroponic system for your seedlings!