Fertilizers for Hydroponics
As hydroponic does not involve soil, nutrients that are mostly found in the soil must be replaced and delivered directly to the root.
To provide the nutrients, gardeners mostly use hydroponic nutrients or fertilizers. They often come in liquid and dry forms. Creating nutrient solubility from liquid fertilizer is easier than creating from dry/powdery.
Yet the price is the opposite. The liquid one is more expensive.
Nowadays, dozens of fertilizer brands for Hydroponics are available, like Miracle Grow. Each brand of fertilizer even produces several types of fertilizer.
Since there are many fertilizer brands and product variations, finding effective ones is quite challenging. One product might work properly but does not when applied to other plants.
This might make people question: does Miracle Grow to work in Hydroponics? To answer this question, the points below will explain.
Nutrients needed by a plant
Plants planted in soil or Hydroponics need minerals and other trace elements. They are generally grouped into macro elements, secondary nutrients, and micronutrients.
Like its name, macro elements are required in larger quantities than the other two nutrients. Examples are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.
The secondary nutrients also belong to macronutrients, but the required amount is slightly less. They include Magnesium, Calcium, and Sulfur.
Lastly, micronutrients are needed but in the least quantity among others. Though they are needed in a very small amount, missing them may also affect the plant. Zinc, copper, chlorine, boron, iron, manganese, and molybdenum are micronutrients.
Plants need those nutrients. Yet, each plant requires a different amount of them.
Tomatoes and lettuce might need a different concentration of fertilizer. Even the same plant might also need different nutrients during its growth phases.
Growing phases of a plant
Although not all plants go through these phases, these are the common growing phases of a plant: young growth – newly transplanted – blossoming – fruiting.
In the earliest stage, young growth, all nutrients listed above are needed at an adequate amount. To see each nutrient’s percentage, many tables are providing the information on the internet or in gardening books.
Then for transplanted plants, phosphorus and potassium are required in a larger amount. Those nutrients are essential in growing and supporting nutrients.
The blossoming stage needs calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. The last stage still requires all the macronutrients but with less nitrogen.
Good hydroponic fertilizer characteristics
While choosing a product of fertilizer, remember these characteristics. Firstly, they have a clear nutrition table and the percentage. Knowing the nutrient will help determine what phases the fertilizer is good for.
Then check the nutrients provided. Missing some nutrients might not be good for certain plants. Another sign of good fertilizers is that they are easy to get dissolved.
Any clumps in the soluble will go to waste and even damage the aeration system in Hydroponics. Lastly, the product should be user-friendly.
The product is also equipped with manuals or notes on how to create the solubility, the ratios, and how to adjust them.
Steps on applying fertilizers to Hydroponics
There are two types of fertilizer: powdery and liquid. The difference between the two only happens while creating the soluble. As a whole, these are the steps in applying fertilizers.
- Drain the previous water. It prevents the nutrients from the previous water from getting doubled while adding the new fertilizer.
- Check temperature, nutrients, and pH in the new and soon-to-be-used water. If the pH is not right. Adjust it to 5.5 to 6.5. The pH eases the root in absorbing nutrients.
- Prepare the nutrients soluble. This step could be different for each type and product of fertilizer. The powder one might need to mix Epsom salt, water, and nutrient powder like magnesium sulfate. Follow the suggested ratio on the product, or you can experiment using a new formula from other references. The liquid one usually just needs water to add. Then stir or shake them to dissolve.
- Put the solubility in the container, and the plants are ready to absorb them.
So does Miracle Grow work in Hydroponics?
It is already clear why and how fertilizer helps in growing hydroponic plants. Then the question of ‘does Miracle Grow work in Hydroponics?’ might still appear.
The answer to the question could be yes or no. It depends on the Miracle Grow series used, the plant type, and the method of making nutrients soluble.
For those using Miracle Grow but do not get the expected result, check again the product nutrients and the ratio used in the soluble. Some hydroponic plant in a certain phase does not suit several types of product like the traditional type.