Hydroponics is the method of growing plants without soil. It is a revolutionary indoor planting technique that allows gardeners to oversee the controlled variables of their plants’ needs to grow. Using hydroponic nutrients is an essential part of successfully growing plants through this method.
Do hydroponic nutrients expire?
In purchasing nutrient bottles, you may notice that the canisters don’t contain any expiration dates. It isn’t a mistake on your suppliers’ part—hydroponic nutrients don’t expire. Nevertheless, they still need proper care and usage to make sure that they can give the right dosages for your plants’ needs. Overdosing is a typical mistake that newcomers make, which leads to salt build-up, nutrient burn, and eventual plant death.
If these symptoms are present on your plants, you need to be vigilant on how to use your hydroponic nutrients to save your greenery’s condition. That won’t just keep them from dying but will also save you from wasting valuable nutrient bottles.
How do I properly store my nutrient bottles?
After opening your nutrient bottles, you will see precipitates forming at the bottom. These are compounds that are less soluble compared to the other nutrients in the solution. When left standing, these compounds recombine and form solids. Calcium is a typical culprit in forming these precipitates. Make sure that you keep your nutrient bottles in cool dark areas for storage and perform proper mixing before feeding them to your plants.
What happens when I use too much hydroponic nutrient on my plants?
In using hydroponics nutrients, you need to maintain a balance of 16 different micro and macronutrients. If your plants receive too much of these compounds, they will experience nutrient burn.
The symptoms of nutrient burn are brown or dead spots on the tips of the leaves. However, other causes, such as pests, disease, and light placement, can replicate this effect. That is why you need to be mindful of controlling your plants’ environment to diagnose what your plants’ condition is.
How do I check for nutrient levels?
Although hydroponic nutrients don’t have a set expiration date, you need to maintain a balance of nutrient levels to ensure that you’re not overfeeding your plants. In growing a hydroponic garden, you need to consider the optimum levels for nutrients for your plants’ growth. Doing so will make it easier for you to gauge how much hydroponic solution you should add. Listed below are a few terms that will help in measuring the nutrient levels.
- Electrical Conductivity (EC) levels: By using an EC meter, a surge of electrical voltage passes through your nutrient mix to check the conductivity of its mineral ion motions. If your readings show high EC levels, it’s an indicator that your plants are taking up water faster than your nutrients.
- pH levels: This pertains to the level of acidity inside a solution, which can also be used on mulches. These readings are usually performed on liquids but can also measure hydroponic nutrients’ levels after they are applied to the water. It’s recommended to have a reading of 6.5 on the pH scale since nutrients have optimum solubility at this state.
- Parts Per Million (PPM): As a standard form of measurement, it measures the hydroponic mixtures’ total dissolved solids.
Although hydroponic gardening still follows the same principles of traditional gardening, it’s not advised for amateur gardeners to use this technique. If you’re still willing to push through with your hydroponic setup, you should familiarise yourself with the different prerequisites of your plants’ needs, from the nutrients it needs to its proper lighting conditions.
Every gardener requires the right tools and products to make sure that their plants grow strong and healthy. If you’re looking to buy plant enhancers in the UK, such as flowering boosters and hydroponic grow solutions, check out our online catalogue of products to match your gardening needs!