Home made hydroponic fertilizer
Hydroponic gardening is a method of growing plants without soil and only water and using home made hydroponic fertilizer or any fertilizer for hydroponicOften gardeners use materials like coconut fiber, sphagnum moss, sand, perlite, rockwool or lava rock to hold the plant erect. The water contains the nutrients and micronutrients that soil normally provides.
When you make a home made hydroponic fertilizer, you need to include nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulfur, manganese, molybdenum and boron. If you have a deficiency of any of these, it damages the growth of the plant. For instance if your water doesn't contain enough manganese the plant has stunted growth and there's a yellow and green checkered pattern on the leaves. Sulfur deficiency leaves the new leaves pale green and stunts the growth.
pests,deficiency and diseases of hydroponics
Nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous deficiency also stunts the growth of the plant but with a phosphorous deficiency the plant has a red or purplish cast instead of the yellow from too little nitrogen. A lack of calcium causes new growth to die. Iron deficiency shows up as a yellow leaf but you can still see the dark green in the veins. Molybdenum deficiency leaves stunted and malformed leaves, while the tips of the leaves scorch with a boron deficiency. Copper and magnesium deficiency cause the plants leaves to wilt and zinc deficiency makes them papery in appearance and yellowed.
While it's a lot to learn, its important to remember so you can adjust your water nutrients if you see signs of deficiency in your hydroponic plants. To provide all the nutrients you need to mix first the base formula and then add the micronutrients. The base formula is made from 5 ounces each of sodium nitrate, calcium nitrate and potassium nitrate mixed with 7 1/2 ounces of superphosphate and 2 1/2 ounces of magnesium sulphate.
The trace minerals you grind in a separate container include 1/2 ounce of iron sulphate, 1/2 teaspoon of manganese sulphate, 1/2 teaspoon of boric acid in the powdered form, 1/4 teaspoon each of zinc sulphate and copper sulphate.
Once you grind them together in a fine powder, add it to the base formula. Put a teaspoon of the mixture into a quart of water and use a liquid ounce of this for every three gallons in the nutrient system. The formula only lasts 24 hours once you mix it with the water for use.
Another idea for a hydroponic fertilizer is to make a tea from seaweed. Soak the bag of seaweed for several days in the sun. Add a teaspoon of Epsom's salt for every gallon of liquid tea. Mix this in your feeding reservoir.
Be sure to continually check the pH of the water. You need to maintain it at a 5.5 to 6.5 level. It easily gets out of whack and no matter how well you take care of your plants, if you have too high of pH you'll lose them.
Hydroponic growing is fun, easy and provides a huge crop in a small area. With your own home made hydroponic fertilizer, try experimenting with other teas if you want an organic garden. Bat guano, earthworm casings, eggshells and other organic material can go into the mix.
You might even add a few vitamin B tablets. Mix small amounts in your feeding reservoir until you find the one that doesn't leave tell tale signs of imbalance.