The nutrient solution for Hydroponics –A basic introduction
The formulation and use of nutrient solutions is probably the most misunderstood component of hydroponic cultivation. The majority of texts merely provide a list of nutritional solution formulas, preferred reagent sources, and the weights and measures required to create an aliquot of solution. Although such knowledge is required to properly make a nutrient solution, a solid understanding of how to maintain it is just as important, if not more so, for successful growing. Many formulators and most farmers don’t understand the complicated interrelationships between composition and use, and much of the literature on nutrient solution management is unfortunately lacking in this area. The nutrient solution for Hydroponics –A basic introduction is important to get the basic knowledge for the beginners.
The makers of the “omega garden machine,” a revolutionary growing machine for lettuce and herb production, noted in an article that “the hardest part is getting the plant food right and understanding how much to feed” (Simon 2004). Many people who have battled with the selection and use of nutrient solution compositions described in the hydroponic literature have expressed similar sentiments (Erickson 1990).
Growers will need to experiment with their own systems, monitoring, testing, and tweaking until they find the right balance of composition and application for their specific circumstance and plant type. What’s striking is that plants appear to be able to acclimatize in many cases, growing quite well but not to their genetic potential. The correct regulation of the nutrient element environment of the rooting medium is required for genetic potential plant formation.
Although there is still a lot to learn about how to design and manage a nutrition solution, there are a lot of solid indicators of what should and shouldn’t be done. This chapter is devoted to deciphering these hints. Growers who use these hints will need to devise a management strategy that best suits their hydroponic system and plant growing conditions.
Experimenting with various approaches to get the most out of the nutrient solution while producing high-quality crop yields
Three factors influence the utilization of a specific nutritional solution formulation:
- Hydroponics is a system of growing plants in water.
- Plant root nutrition solution dosing frequency and rate
- Nutrient requirements of plants
All hydroponic growing systems require substantial quantities of relatively pure water. Substances and components that can effect (positively or adversely) plant growth are regularly found in the best home water supplies and agricultural water. Rainwater collected from the greenhouse covering may contain both inorganic and organic chemicals that can interfere with plant growth.
Some of the key elements required by plants, particularly Ca and Mg, can be found in high concentrations in natural water resources. Ca and Mg values as high as 100 and 30 mg/L (ppm) are not uncommon in locations where water is drawn from limestone-based aquifers.
Disease organisms or algae may be present in surface or pond water, posing a threat. Algae thrive in almost all hydroponic cultivation systems, clogging pipes and fouling valves.
As a result, before using, water samples should be sent to an analytical laboratory for examination, and the examination should be repeated whenever the water source is changed. It’s also a good idea to get the initial nutritional solution tested before using it to make sure the composition is correct.
pH of the water
The pH of water can vary significantly, and determining it precisely might be difficult if the water contains few ions. The pH of pure water, for example, is difficult to determine, and when exposed to air, the pH will change based on the amount of CO2 absorbed.
Because most plants can thrive in a wide range of acidic pH, pH correction may only be necessary when the water pH is at or above neutrality (pH > 7.0).
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