Stimulators and Feeds
As the plants are grown in an inert media the plant's nutrition must be supplied from the nutrient mix. In fact a plant obtains only 25% of what it needs through its roots, the other 75% comes from the air in the form of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). The nutrients and water mix you use in soiless gardening are the sole source for a number of mineral elements, it is important that you use nutrients that are made for hydroponics and that the water is good quality. Tap water is usually fine.
As a result nutrients are a key factor in soiless gardening. A complete and balanced formula is needed to obtain the best results from your system. In soil based gardening it is impossible to know how little or how much of a particular mineral is available to the plants. In hydroponics we must provide ALL the minerals necessary for successful plant growth. We therefore use feeds that contain all of the 14 essential minerals required. For these reasons ordinary soil based garden plant foods are unsuitable for use in hydroponic systems. However, hydroponic nutrients are especially good for use on soil based plants due to the complete feed they represent.
In general there are 2 types of nutrients available to the hydroponic grower. A 'Grow' mix and a 'Bloom' mix. The 'Grow' is used for young plants, plants in vegetative growth and for plants which do not flower or produce blooms or fruit. The 'Bloom' is used for flowering and fruiting when necessary.
Some nutrients are also supplied in a Hard Water and Soft Water formulation. In the UK most of our water is termed as being 'hard' and as such contains high levels of bicarbonates. In these circumstances it is better to use a hard water mix which has less of the minerals that are already found in the 'hard' water.
All of our Nutrient brands contain everything that a plant requires in exactly the right ratios to obtain maximum results. All the nutrients are mineral elements that are water soluble so as to be readily available to the plants in the system.
Nutrient ratios are commonly noted as NPK ratios, each representing the ratio of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K). These are the three main minerals required for plant growth, but are not the only ones !
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