How can we fertilize plants in hydroponics?

by Antonino Crapanzano

As many know, thehydroculture or hydroponic cultivation or soilless cultivation or without soil it is a different cultivation method than cultivation traditional that we all know.

L'hydroculture or hydroponic cultivation consists of planting some plants soilless, therefore without land. The plants will grow and complete their life cycle in a substrate or water containing the necessary nutrients, where the roots will be immersed.

We can therefore distinguish two types of hydroculture or hydroponic cultivation:

  • with substrate consisting of expanded clay, perlite, sand which is moistened with water and the nutrients necessary for the plant;
  • without substrate where, instead, the roots will be immersed directly in the nutrient solution consisting of water and the nutrients dissolved in it.

This modern cultivation technique, actually discovered in 1930 by Dr. Gericke of the University of Berkeley in California, allows you to save large quantities of water used for irrigation but also allows savings in fertilizers.

These are just some of the benefits we can get from soilless cultivation, in fact with this technique we are free to grow whatever we want throughout the year without being bound by the season and above all we will have to worry much less about the attack of weeds and the onset of diseases.

The substrate that we use in hydroculture it will in fact be able to perform all the functions necessary for the development of the plant, eliminating the risks associated with traditional cultivation.

If you want to deepen your knowledge onhydroculture, you can take a look at this article.

In this article, however, we deepen a very important aspect for the correct growth of our plants and see together how to fertilize plants in hydroculture.

The main fertilizers in hydroponics

In traditional agriculture, plants grown in the ground, whether in the vegetable garden or in the garden, absorb the mineral elements necessary for growth from the ground itself and must be integrated with other fertilizer.

When we make a hydroponic or hydroculture it is very important to pay attention to the right doses of fertilizer that will be dissolved in water because the growth of the plant will depend precisely on the absorption of the macro and micronutrients that we have introduced.

Let's see together how to fertilize plants in hydroculture.

The fertilizer used must contain i macronutrients essential for the development of the plant are:

  • nitrogen, ensures the growth of the leaves and their pigmentation;
  • phosphorus, whose presence is essential during the flowering period, plays an important role in the development of roots, branches and inflorescences;
  • potassium, plays an important role in protein synthesis.

In addition to these nutrients, other microelements are necessary for proper development, depending on the plants grown, such as football, magnesium, sulfur, and more iron, manganese, copper, zinc, boron and molybdenum.

It is therefore very important to properly fertilize the plants in hydroculture respecting the dosages and the frequency of administration of the fertilizer as they will allow to obtain fruits of excellent quality and large dimensions.

The pH in hydroculture

The pH measures the salinity or acidity of the aqueous solution.

During the cultivation of plants the pH can change becoming more acidic or alkaline and for this reason it is important to maintain an optimal value of the pH itself. Its modification occurs as the plants absorb the nutrients dissolved in water.

In hydroponic cultivation or hydroculture the Optimal pH level will be between 5.5 and 6.3. A deviation of its value from this range will lead to inadequate absorption of nutrients and, consequently, inadequate growth of the plant.

The maintaining a correct pH level it is guaranteed by using fertilizers with a stable pH and by constantly measuring the pH itself following the administration of macro and micronutrients that can alter it and the addition of water.

Before measuring the pH level, you will need to make sure that the fertilizer is well mixed and the container is free of contaminants and / or dirt.

How to fertilize plants in hydroponics?

The hydroponic solutions that we can use for fertilize our plants in hydroponics they are formulated that will be dissolved in water having the foresight to follow the instructions on the label. We can buy these formulations at garden stores.

For those, on the other hand, who want to try their hand at do-it-yourself you will be able to resort to the use of free software, developed by professionals, thanks to which we can prepare the nutritional solutions that best suit the needs of our plants at home.

The parameters that we must control, in addition to the pH, are the electrical conductivity and the parameters of the water flow, therefore its flow rate and the time required for its transport.

L'water that we can use for cultivation in hydroponics we can take it from the tap of our home treating it with a reverse osmosis filter if the concentration in Total Dissolved Solids exceeds 150 mg / l. In addition, it is good practice to replace the nutrient solution completely every two to three weeks.

There optimum temperature for plant growth it will be between 20 and 27 ° C.

As for thelighting, artificial neon, fluorescent or discharge lamps that have greater energy efficiency can be used.

An effective way to save on energy costs and, above all, optimize the lighting capacity is to have reflective surfaces on the walls to concentrate the lighting on the plants. This system can be achieved by arranging reflective sheets.

The reflective sheets allow you to increase the light on the plants by about 80% more.

A practice that we can carry out a few days before the harvest is the flashing which consists in the administration of water free of fertilizer and fertilizer to the plants in order to remove residual nutrients in the plants.

The main purpose of the flashing it is the improvement of the quality and flavor of the crop.

Do you think the information in this article is incomplete or inaccurate? Send us a report to help us improve!

  • Liquid fertilizers for aquatic plants
  • Specific substrate fertilizers
  • Suitable bottom fertilizers

Aquatic plants live in a biosystem constituted by the aquarium: their habitat. As with all green plants, their survival depends on the implementation of chlorophyll photosynthesis. This is nothing more than a biochemical process by which the chlorophyll of plants catches the light. Then it transforms it into chemical energy for the synthesization of glucose molecules and the release of oxygen. It is therefore of fundamental importance the existence of correct lighting in addition to a valid quantity of carbon dioxide. These basic elements are not entirely sufficient for aquatic plants to thrive. It is therefore necessary to resort to the addition of nutritional ingredients, such as suitable fertilizers. In the presence of all three conditions mentioned, the "nitrogen cycle" will take place, which will allow the optimal development of aquatic plants.

Fertilize without excess

When it comes to fertilization, those who are inexperienced may be tempted to abound, without making an assessment. This approach is wrong, even more so in the case of aromatic plants, which tend to be humble species, capable of adapting to poor soils and therefore they do not require significant amounts of nutrients.

In particular, nitrogen is a very important element for plant growth, but in case of excess it over-stimulates the vegetative growth of the plant, forcing the aromatic herb to produce leaves. This comes at the expense of quality: the result will be fragile and slightly fragrant leaves.

How to fertilize the earth in a natural way

With the arrival of autumn we can enrich the garden soil with a good natural fertilizer in order to obtain a better harvest next spring, the plants already present in the soil that will have to face the winter frost will also benefit. In this regard, let's see how to fertilize the earth to preserve it from winter frosts.

How to fertilize the earth, foreplay
The first thing to do is to move the earth at least superficially, especially if it is a very compact type of soil. This operation must be performed with equipment proportionate to the surface to be treated. If you have a rather large field it is better to resort to the tiller, if you have a small vegetable garden, a manual hoe will be enough.

How to fertilize the earth, the procedure

  1. Get a good quantity of mature manure and distribute it on the ground evenly. Be careful to fertilize every single portion of the soil well: to do this, spread the manure with the help of a wide-toothed rake
  2. Once this is done, water the freshly fed soil abundantly. The organic elements will begin to infiltrate the soil and make it particularly suitable for welcoming new spring crops.

How to fertilize the earth, do it yourself fertilizer
To fertilize the earth with do-it-yourself fertilizer, just make the so-called compost. To self-produce it is very simple, just get a large bin, place a layer of earth on the bottom, then one of table residues and alternate: another layer of earth, another of residues, another of earth. But be careful what you put, in this regard we refer you to the article "What to put in the compost bin"

Garden residues
Another way to fertilize the earth is to bury at a depth of about 20 cm, any residue you find in the garden such as dry foliage, pruning remains, twigs, rotten fruits: the decomposition of these residues buried in the ground, will ensure spontaneous nourishment to the soil..

To make do-it-yourself natural fertilizer we can use ash: they are rich in phosphates. For the procedure just take the ash obtained exclusively by burning wood, dry leaves, tobacco and mix it with the soil trying to respect these proportions: soil 70%, ash 30%. Afterwards, mix well.
This type of fertilizer is particularly suitable for potted plants, but be careful not to put the ash directly on the surface of the pot.

Published by Anna De Simone on 3 October 2014

How to fertilize the garden

Fertilization of the garden and its plants.

To make your garden or vegetable garden beautiful and luxuriant, you need to fertilize it. The more your land is fertilized, the healthier and happier the plants grow.

How to fertilize my garden or my vegetable garden? This is the question we ask ourselves when we are starting to take care of a garden. To fertilize our garden we have alternatives. For the fertilization of the garden we can use pure manure, inorganic fertilizer, an organic fertilizer and manure. Today we try to understand the differences in use between manure and manure.

Is manure or manure better?

The manure it is certainly cheaper than manure and more smelly. We absolutely recommend manure for apartment plants.
The advice is to almost always use manure, both for reasons of comfort and for reasons of health of your garden.
For pot plants and garden plants, only the use of manure is recommended.

The manure it is mature manure and left to rest and sterilized, without any presence of bacteria. Let's make an important clarification: the manure is excellent as for the fertilization of the Garden, but it is also true that it releases little "stable Humus" to the earth, it is therefore advisable to combine it with generic soil or Peat.

This avoids big problems for your garden, first of all that of burning the plants. If you put fresh manure in contact with the roots, the 90% plant can burn and you will hardly save it.

You can use manure for vegetable or fruit plants but always at a certain distance from the roots. You can safely use it even for a freshly plowed field. An intelligent use of manure is for the winter. The manure that still contains straw protects the plant from harsh winter colds.

To sum up, to make your garden beautiful and lush, use manure with consistency and moderation. With constant use for all the plants in your garden you will always have record blooms and a garden in full health. You will be envied by the neighbors…. To be honest, the use of manure and manure is not enough, but we will talk about them in another post.

The main differences between manure:

Weed seeds:
The manure has no weed seeds.
The manure can contain them and by burying it you can also sow these seeds of weeds.
The manure has no parasites
Manure contains pests that sometimes cause problems for plants.
The manure, due to its processing, does not contain fungal spores
The manure, even when properly matured, contains fungal spores that could cause damage and problems to your garden.
Nutritional values:
For the manure just read on the package
For manure it is always a different variable.

Useful Tips:
For a correct use of the manure, create a mixture of manure plus generic soil or peat before burying well and spraying abundantly. We recognize a good manure by the bad smell it leaves, do not trust those that have a normal smell.
For manure it is advisable to bury well and sprinkle it abundantly at least 3 times in 48 hours.

As anticipated, before adding any type of fertilizer, you need to make sure you have the right light and pH levels. They will allow the plants to properly assimilate nutrients. Therefore, you must first make sure that the water has a pH level between 6.5 and 7. And, furthermore, that they have enough light to carry out photosynthesis. The speed with which fertilizer is applied strongly depends on the type of soil, the size of the plant and the water temperature. When the latter is below 20 ° C, the fertilizer must be applied at least every 4 weeks. In fact, cold water could slow down the growth rate of plants. Conversely, a moderately warm temperature (from 25 ° C upwards) requires a faster rate of fertilization (every 3 weeks).

Fertilizers are available both in liquid form, which can be placed directly on the plant, and in powder form. In the latter case, they can be mixed directly into the soil or used as tablets. These fertilizers contain all the nutrients that aquatic plants need. A liquid fertilizer will need to be added to the plant frequently. It is necessary to lift the potted plant out of the water and spray the fertilizer according to the instructions. Both types will help keep plants healthy and thriving.

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