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Hydroponic Solutions

By Cathriene Zieta

With the growing popularity of the hydroponics methods of growing plants, it is a good idea to be aware of the vast variety of nutrient hydroponic solution available that may be used. These include bloom mix, super shot, mix for lettuce, tomato special, one, two, and three part mixes, and several brands to choose from, like Iguana Juice, Happy Frog, Dr, Hornby's Big Bud etc.

A common factor in all hydroponic systems is the nutrient solution - the hydroponic solution. This solution consists of all the nutrients that a plant requires, and in a readily absorbed form, it can be provided directly to the roots of the plants. Consequently, you can expect a substantial plant yield, and that is where the basic beauty of hydroponics lies!

Although one may not grasp the scientific formulas and chemical processes involved in the concoction of hydroponics solutions, it may be helpful to be a little knowledgeable about it, just in case anything goes wrong in the plant cultivation process. The hydroponics method is heavily dependent on proper plant nutrition, and it is therefore necessary that one be aware of what is involved in the creation of hydroponic solutions. Discussed below are the factors involved in successfully making a hydroponics solution

• Good Water
• Macro & micro nutrients
• pH
• Nutrient mix?

Good Water
It would be wise to get tap or well water tested, if you are going to use it in the hydroponic solutions. You may inquire about this through a health department or call a water company to ask about the calcium content of the water. You basically want to whether you have very hard very soft water. There are plenty of mineral contents and calcium carbonate in hard water. Soft water in
Basically, what you want to know is if you have very hard or very soft water. Hard water has lots of mineral content as well as and calcium carbonate. Soft water has low mineral content, and this is preferable in making hydroponic solutions. It should be noted salty soft water should be avoided.

If the quality of your water is really poor, then you can consider installing an RO (reverse osmosis) water filter. This is especially necessary if you have water heavily laden with minerals. The water will then be alright for making hydroponic solutions.

Macro & Micro Nutrients
Given the fact no soil is used in hydroponics, it is necessary that it be supplemented with complete nutrition.

Plants mainly need 6 major macro-nutrients in large amounts. These include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, calcium, sulfur, and magnesium. These nutrients needed to be contained in all hydroponic solutions in an adequate ratio.

Plants also need micro-nutrients (minute traces of other elements) in order to grow. The nutrient solutions you buy for your hydroponics garden are not the same as other plant fertilizers. They include all the trace elements, too. So these solutions are like a one-day vitamin supply, well packaged proportionately with traces of iron, boron, manganese, zinc, molybdenum, copper, cobalt, chlorine, selenium, and silicon.


The pH is number that indicates how much acid or alkaline there is in you hydroponic solution. This is necessary, because if the presence of pH is not adequate in solutions, the nutrients gets locked out and do not get applied to the plants.

Fortunately, the pH is very easy to control. You may use a pH test kit, or ph 'dip' strips.
The proper range of pH for your nutrient solution: 5.5-6.5 (6.0 is ideal).

Which Nutrient Mix is best?

There are some solid and simple suggestions about hydroponic solutions:

• Purchase hydroponic solutions specifically for hydroponics. Regular fertilizer will not at all be suitable for your garden.
• Purchase the best quality nutrients that you can. This will go a long way in achieving a substantial plant yield.
• Avoid 'organic' nutrients. These require decomposition which may create an inconsistency in solutions. Consequently, such nutrients will be harmful for your plants.

The Author Cathriene Zieta is freelance writer in local newspaper and magazine covering topics like Hydroponics and hydroponic systems

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