Cheap Hydroponic nutrients for Growing Weed
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Whether you are a novice or expert grower, knowing the importance of hydroponic nutrients is crucial to the health of your plants. It takes more than just planting and watering to produce a good yield.
In fact, the right application of hydroponic nutrients will allow your plants to thrive and be highly productive.
Determining the right nutrient application is highly dependent on the stage of plant growth. For instance, your plants require different nutrients in the vegetative stage than the flowering or budding stage.
Likewise, there are other factors to consider such as the pH balance, NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium ratios), and other important hydroponic nutrients.
Best Hydroponic Nutrient Solutions Available
Although some growers attempt to make their own hydroponic nutrients, they eventually discover that it is a lot easier and just as affordable as buying a quality product online. In fact, hydroponic nutrient solutions are pretty affordable.
Here are five of the top quality and most affordable hydroponic nutrient solutions on the market.
General Hydroponics Flora Grow
General Hydroponics Flora Grow is designed stimulate vegetative growth and build strong roots. It is also a great solution for flower and fruit growth.
It delivers high amounts magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, and sulfur. As well, it contains the perfect balance of nitrogen, potassium, calcium, and trace elements.
- A well-known and trusted brand
- Can be used for all hydroponic plants and growth stages
- Great for the novice, hobbyists, and experienced grower
- Not recommended for commercial growers
Advanced Nutrients Bloom, Micro and Grow are a 3-part premium base nutrient solution that offers the exact nutrient ratios that your plants need. It contains a full spectrum of high quality ingredients that offer perfect pH ratios, and an incomparable range of amino acids.
This hydroponic nutrient solution is ideal for all levels of growers.
- More affordable price compared to other competitors
- A 3 Part solution in 1 bundle: advanced nutrients for pH balance, bloom, micro, and grow
- Confusing directions about how to use
Roots Organics Buddha Grow
& the Buddha Bloom Fertilizer
Both the Roots Organics Buddha Grow & Buddha Bloom Fertilizer is the perfect solution if you prefer organic growing. Although their products are made for fertilizing plants in the soil, there are growers who use the quality products in hydroponic systems.
However, caution is advised when using for hydroponics. It is a Proprietary Blend specifically created to boost growth, increase yields, and produce quality bud.
- 100% Organic and pure
- Perfect for soil systems
- Boosts growth and increases yields
- Not designed for hydroponic systems
Last update on 2021-11-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Fox Farm FX14049 Liquid Nutrients
Fox Farm fertilizer is one of the most popular fertilizer brands on the market. The formula consist of three parts– Big grow, Tiger Bloom and Organic Big Bloom synthetic fertilizer.
It is an affordable fertilizer that has a 6-4-4 NPK (a little high in P and K for hydroponic growing). It is also rich in potassium phosphate, Norwegian kelp, and earthworm castings.
This fertilizer is intended for plants growing in soil and not hydroponically. The Tiger Bloom has an NPK of 2-8-4 and the liquid bloom has an NPK of .01-3-.07.
Again, these ratios are great for the soil but not for hydroponics.
- Work well for all growth phases
- Simple to use and user friendly instructions
- Not suitable for hydroponics
- Higher priced than other brands
Last update on 2021-11-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Humboldts Secret Base A & B Bundle
Humboldts Secret Base A & B Bundle delivers more than 9 nutrient supplements for your cannabis. In addition, the brand is renowned for being one of the best cannabis nutrient suppliers in the industry.
This solution offers a complete macro nutrient profile that supports rapid growth and high yields. It is a two part system that works! The signature brand contains all the needed nutrients like nitrogen, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, plus fulvic acid.
The formula is actually suitable for all types of mediums including aquaponics, hydroponics, potting soil for indoor plants, and coco coir cultivation’s.
- A renowned brand
- Provides all essential nutrients
- Well-matched for all growing mediums
- Does not disclose all ingredients
Last update on 2021-11-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What Are Hydroponic Nutrients?
Hydroponic nutrients are special nutrients for hydroponic plants which are grown in water and without soil. They are usually a liquid solution of NPK, macro elements like trace minerals, and secondary nutrients.
However, the quantities and ratio of nutrients in the solution will depend on the brand.
The primary nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (NPK). The secondary nutrients generally include magnesium, calcium, and sulfur.
Since hydroponic nutrients generally come in a liquid form, the nutrient solution can be applied directly to the plants root system.
The secondary nutrients are usually varying degrees of sulfur, calcium, and magnesium. The liquid nature of the hydroponic nutrients allows them to be applied directly to the plant’s root system. However, there are some hydroponic solutions that are available in powder form.
What Should I Know About Nutrients?
On the whole, most plants get their nutrients from the soil. When it comes to hydroponic systems, plants need specific nutrients due to the lack of soil and different growing conditions.
When a plant is grown hydroponically, it normally is seated in a substrate or medium like clay pebbles (expanded clay pellets), perlite and vermiculite, grow rocks (mix of recycled glass and calcium carbonate), puffed rock, coconut coir, rockwool (made of granite or limestone), lava rocks, oasis cubes, and other growing mediums.
In addition, no substrate is used around the plants with a deep water culture (DWC) system.
When a plant is grown without soil, it has no way to absorb nutrients. Actually, plants fully rely on the hydroponic nutrient solution for its nutrient and mineral needs in order to survive and flourish.
As well, the plants require a daily measured amount of hydroponic nutrients to be healthy. In addition, some plants need two does of nutrients a day, depending on the plant growth stage and hydroponic nutrient solution being used.
Typically, the nutrient rich solution is distributed to the plant’s root system with the use of a flood and drain (or ebb and flow) tray. Basically, the solution is flooded around the plants root system. It is then drained away from the plant and transported to a reservoir t be used at a later time.
When the liquid is fully drained from the roots, the plant then absorbs oxygen. Hydroponic nutrients are also sold in different formulas, one for the vegetative stage and one for the flowering cycle.
It is imperative that you use the right solution with each stage of growth. This is because your plants require different nutrients with each growth cycle.
What is great about a hydroponic system is that growers can tap into the different growth stages and give their plants the exact nutrients they need. In turn, a grower will get the most out of their yields.
Bottom line, for optimum growth and yields, you need to give your plants the proper nutrients in precise and accurate ratios at the right stage of growth.
How to Choose the Best Hydroponics Nutrients
It is important that your cannabis plants get the proper nutrient s so they can thrive and produce a lot of bud. Nutrients are even more of a factor if cannabis is grown hydroponically.
The best hydroponic nutrients for your plants should include the following
- Contains no organic matter
- The solution is made explicitly for hydroponics
- Optimum NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium) ratios
- The minerals are chelated – combined with amino acids to form “complexes”. Used to prevent the minerals from interacting with other compounds and for better nutrient absorption
- Is comprised of a rich source of micro nutrients since plants have no soil to get proper micro nutrients
There are also a few nutrient solutions on the market that are not the best for hydroponic systems. The worst solutions to consider are as follows
- The nutrient solution is made for the soil
- Contains a great deal of organic matter such as fish emulsion, worm castings, and guano; the matter can cause root and bacterial issues and plug up the reservoir. A good indicator that the solution is full of organic matter is if the water is cloudy. Quit using the solution immediately.
You can also find the best hydroponic nutrient solution by reading the label.
Which Nutrients are needed during the Different Stages of Growth?
For the most part, cannabis requires three important macro nutrients to be healthy and produce a good deal of large buds – nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous (NPK). The amount and ratio of NPK depends on the growth stage of your plants.
The worst thing you can do is bombard your plants with massive supplements and nutrients. This is a common misconception with new growers.
In fact, too many nutrients can be harmful to your plants if the ratios are not accurate. In addition, cannabis requires different NPK ratios during its two major growth stages.
- Vegetative Stage – the early phases of growth is the vegetative stage. During this cycle, nutrients are quite minimal. Cannabis plants during the vegetative stage only require a high N or nitrogen solution. The NPK ratio that most growers prefer during this stage of growth is 3:1:1. In fact, this is the ideal NPK ratio for most all cannabis strains. Note: the plant during this phase doesn’t necessarily need just nitrogen; they require N levels to be higher than P and K levels until the flowering stage.
- Flowering Stage – nutrient requirements drastically change when cannabis hits the flowering stage. At this time, you need to change the NPK levels to meet the nutrient requirements of your plants. In the first stages of blooming, your plants require a 1-3-2 NPK ratio. When you plants reach the mid bloom stage you need to change the ratio to 0-3-3 ratio until late bloom. When your plants reach the late stages of bloom, you need to flush them with water. .flushing removes the excess of used nutrients. This process refreshes the plants and allows the buds to become higher quality and better tasting.
In addition, you should carefully watch your plants and look for signs of nutrient imbalance. Typically, if there is a nutrient deficiency, there will be numerous signs
- Irregular leaf shape
- Brown spots and burnt edges
- Yellowing or drooping leaves
Don’t panic if the leaves of your plants turn yellow during the late flowering stage, this is quite normal with the last stages of growth.
What Do Cannabis Plants Need To Grow And Thrive?
For cannabis plants to grow and thrive, they need the right amount of nutrients with each growth stage. The most important plant nutrients are nitrogen phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) that are given in the right proportions during each stage of growth.
For hydroponic plants, the correct NPK ratio is vital.
As well, cannabis requires micro nutrients for optimum health such as boron, manganese, zinc and other minerals. Although micro nutrients aren’t a necessity for growth, they will make a big difference in yield and size of buds.
Cannabis also needs the right amount of light and water to be healthy.
Cannabis Plant Feeding Schedule
The cannabis feeding schedule varies, depending on if the plants are grown indoors, outdoors, or hydroponically. The feeding schedule for each type of growing greatly varies.
For hydroponic growers, there is a basic feeding schedule that most experienced growers abide by.
One of the biggest mistakes first time growers make is to overwater their plants. Keep an eye on your plants to check for yellowing leaves or diseases.
If anything is noticeable, you may be overwatering or under watering. The watering of your plants should be neutral and in moderation.
In addition, make sure that the water flowing through the system s always pure and clean. In the meantime, feed your plants accordingly. Keep to a schedule.
Never change the feeding schedule unless you notice adverse plant symptoms like yellowing or burnt leaves. Additionally, check the feeding schedule on the label of the hydroponic nutrient solution.
A generalized schedule for most cannabis plants are as follows
- First week= 1 teaspoon or 5ml
- Second week= 2 teaspoons or 10ml
- Third week= 2 teaspoons or 10ml
- Fourth week= 2 teaspoons or 10ml
As well, your plants need exposure to sunlight for at least 6 hours per day. As well, you need to periodically check the pH and make adjustments if necessary.
Also, monitor your pump timer to make sure it is functioning correctly.
Guarding against Feeding Problems
One of the biggest issues that growers come across is nutrient lockout. In truth, misdiagnosing this problem can make the problem a lot worse.
Nutrient lockout occurs when your plants can no longer absorb nutrients. The nutrients are literally locked out and cannot enter the plants.
Ordinarily, the condition happens when plants are not able to absorb nutrients needed for survival. Nutrient lockout usually occurs due to a chemical reaction between the growing substrate, the hydroponic nutrients, and the plants.
The most common cause is a buildup of several salts and other nutrients. The excess nutrients become incompatible with each other or they form an unhealthy bond.
In result, the pH levels change and cause a nutrient lockout. To prevent nutrient lockout you need to maintain the proper pH levels. Common signs of nutrient lockout include
- Stunted growth
- Leaves turn yellow
- Possible slight leaf burn
- The plant is limp and lifeless
For the most part, the symptoms of nutrient lockout are pretty much the same as nutrient deficiency. This is why it is imperative to stay with a recommended feeding schedule.
If you know for sure that your plants are experiencing nutrient lockout, there are several ways to remedy the problem. The best solution is to flush your crops to clear out the buildup of salts.
Many growers use water to flush their crops. However, using just water may starve your plants and plants and cause additional stress. You can also use flushing formulas.
These formulas contain minimal chemicals that remove the extra residue around your plants. However, some formulas can remove too much of your plants nutrients which can drastically decrease productivity.
Before purchasing a flushing formula, make sure to read the label and the ingredients.
Getting the pH Balance Right
The pH balance of your plants is extremely important. If at any time the pH is to low or too high, the chemical makeup of the plants nutrient compounds can change.
When this happens, it is difficult for your plants to absorb nutrients. One of the greatest benefits of hydroponic growing is that the nutrients for your plants are available when the pH levels are between 5.5 and 6.5.
This pH level is ideal for your plants. More specifically, hydroponics needs an alkaline medium. Therefore, the pH levels for hydroponics need to be between 5.5 and 6.
You also need to water regularly but don’t underwater or over water. As well, you need to be mindful of the air flow.
To little air flow and too much water can cause the plant roots to rot. The optimal water quantity is highly dependent on the strain of cannabis, environment, and climate.
Are Hydroponic Nutrients Convenient & Effective?
Hydroponic nutrients can be very convenient and effective. You just need to watch the pH levels, give your plants the right NPK ratios at the right time, and water correctly.
Once the basic techniques are mastered, plant production and return are increased. In fact, using hydroponic nutrients will become second natural once you know the basics.
Which Nutrient Solution is Best – Liquid or Powder?
Most experts would agree that liquid solutions are far better than powder. For one, they are pre-mixed and very convenient. For another, a liquid nutrient solution takes less of your time.
However, some growers feel that a powder is a lot more cost effective. In addition, it takes up less room on your grow area storage.
Choosing a liquid or powder nutrient solution is a matter of personal preference. Both solutions have equal amount of pros and cons.
Which is Best –All Purpose or made for Hydroponic Products?
All purpose fertilizer is an excellent product. It contains the perfect balance of nutrients for your plants. The solution does need nutrient adjusting, depending on the type of plant.
However, an all-purpose fertilizer is designed for plants that are in soil. It is not a good choice for hydroponic plants.
Hydroponic nutrients are just as the name implies – they are specially made for plants grown in a hydroponic system. When plants are grown hydroponically, they need precise amounts of nutrients.
In fact, the amount of nutrients has already been calculated precisely. In addition, hydroponic nutrient solutions come with specific instructions for the right proportions and how often you need to feed your plants.
When compared to all purpose fertilizer, hydroponic nutrient solutions are highly preferred by growers.
Should You use Macro or Major Nutrients?
When growing cannibals, it is imperative that your plants receive the major nutrients (NPK). Macro nutrients are optional.
However, for optimal growth, you may want to give your plants macro nutrients. The main macro nutrients include sulphur (S), magnesium (Mg), and calcium (Ca).
There are also micro nutrients that can be utilized such as boron, , copper, iron, zinc, manganese, cobalt, and a few others.
Measuring Instruments Needed
There are two main measuring instruments a grower needs to ensure that they have the correct pH and EC levels. EC levels pertain to the water quality and salinity.
- pH levels for hydroponics should be between 5.5 and 6.
- EC levels should be kept between 1.2 and 2.0.
Both measurement tools are highly affordable and often come as one duel meter.