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Hydroponic Nutrient Basics

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I thought I might start a thread on hydroponic nutrients.  I am almost ready to start up my new hydroponic grow bed, but I am at ground zero when it comes to understanding hydroponic nutrients.  Google searches don't provide any definitive information either, only advertisements.  I've found a few products on Allied Aqua's website under the name Jack's.  It looks like they sell two containers that are labeled as hydroponic nutrients, and a third all purpose water soluble nutrient. 

 

I will be growing tomatoes, peppers and probably a few other things since I have a large bed (for a backyard) at 11 by 4 feet.  Water volume when full is approx 100 to 150 gallons.  It's half DWC and 4x4 of gravel, FYI.

 

It seems the 25 lb bag is a better deal, but how does that work?  I'm assuming that I will need to achieve a certain ppm of nutrient in the water.  It seems the best way is to measure and mix in a bucket with hot water, then maybe dump in the reservoir?

 

Can anybody give me any pointers about which product is best?

 

Thanks!

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I think Jack's 20-20-20 was the first nutrient product I used. It's not a bad all purpose formula. It's especially good for leafy greens and not heavy feeders like okra.  Now, I mostly use Sea Grow All Purpose and Sea Grow Bloom, because I like to use the same thing in my wicking beds.  I have been experimenting with Hydro-Gardens products, which I also like, but there is a little more mixing. The sea grow works great, starts with seaweed at it's base and the only thing I need to add is some epsom salts.  I've found a lot of interesting nutrients, but many of them are priced outside of my budget. 

 

I measure mine in a bucket and pour it into the bed.  For my flood and drain tables, I just mix it in the reservoir because the biggest one is only 18 gallons.  Most have good mixing instructions. Hydro Gardens has a page on their website, but their site is hard to navigate around in. Use the search feature.

 

MHPGardener has some nice comparative videos on his YouTube channel. He even has some Kratky experiments.

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Sam,

 

Thanks.  I thought something like Jack's 20-20-20 formula would be great, but apparently it only has the macronutrients and doesn't contain any other nutrients and trace elements, which growing with pure hydroponic nutrient solution would require in the absence of soil or organic matter in the water.  Fortunately, I have some organic fertilizer I made with quail manure.  Not sure if I will use it or not??  It's been sitting in a barrel for a year now.

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Hi,

 

In hydroponic circles, there a basic nutrient mix called Hoagland's solution.  It's benchmark mix that is widely used in scientific studies around hydroponics.  It will grow fruiting plants like tomatoes and peppers.

 

It's a useful place to start if you want to learn more about nutrient mixes.

 

Somewhere in your area, you'll probably have a hydroponics club.  They often keep a cost effective basic hydro mix for their members, too.

 

Gary

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