Hydroponic Farming is one of the major technologies that the farmers all around the world are practicing this cool and advance method of farming. In hydroponics instead of soil we use water as the nutrient medium. All the nutrients are supplying through this nutrient solution.
What is Hydroponic Nutrient Solution?
Farmers add fertilizers to soil. Hydroponic nutrient solution also like that. It is a liquid solution which contain all essential nutrients for plant growth. When compare with planting in soil in hydroponic it is easy to measure nutrient amount which require to plant.
There is no exact formula for these nutrients. Because the nutrient requirement for plant is differ from plant to plant. There are several factors affected to that. Growth phase, weather is some of them. For hydroponics, various nutrient formulas are developed. The major nutrients are same for all plants but their percentages are varying.
Plants are live components. So, they respirate, photosynthesize and get moisture for live. Oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen are the forms of those requirements. Air and water are the sources of oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen. So, plants can get these elements from surrounding. Energy requirement to make food is supply from light.
There are mainly two types of nutrients. They are the macro nutrients and the micro nutrients.
Macro nutrients are the nutrients which require large amounts for a plant.
Nitrogen: Most important nutrient is nitrogen. It is responsible for plant’s vegetative growth and chlorophyll, co-enzymes, proteins and amino acids formulation. It uses as part of supplementary materials in hydroponic nutrient solutions. When nitrogen is lack to the plant, plant’s leaves turn into yellow color and drop off rapidly. It happens in lower leaves firstly. When nitrogen is excess to plant, plants spend all energy to produce foliage and decrease flowers and fruit production. It is hard to recognize.
Phosphorus: Phosphorus is essential to DNA formulation. It is affected on fruits, flowering, roots and seeds. Early stage of seedling, flowering stage and germination stage phosphorus requirement is high. When this element lack to the plant growth is retard. Excess phosphorus prevents the absorption of other elements to the plant.
Potassium: For reproduction and development potassium is needed. In potassium deficiency, leaves turn to yellow color.
Calcium: Calcium needs to development and cell formation. Lack of calcium can turn leaves to brown color and die. Plant growth can stunt by excess calcium.
Sulphur: Sulphur helps to enzymes and vitamins formulation.
Magnesium: Magnesium can create oxygen from photosynthesis.
Micro nutrients require in small amounts for plant growth. Zinc, boron, iron and manganese are the micro nutrients.
Selecting and Preparing Nutrient Solution
In hydroponic cultivation farmer can buy nutrient solution from store or can create an own mix. It is better, buy from store for beginners due to lack of experience. N, P and K contains various ratios in the solution which are in store. The ratio depends on the plant type, growth stage, plant parts, season, temperature, light intensity and weather.
The micro nutrients require for hydroponic plants are not contained in common fertilizers which are used in soil. Mostly recommend to use 2 or 3 parts solution.
Procedure of making 3 parts solution
At the beginning farmer should check the growth stage of plant. Then 3 parts mix in correct ratio. Freshwater should apply to the reservoir. First micro parts should apply to water reservoir and stir. Then grow parts and bloom hydroponic solution mix to that and stir. Then PH level should between 5.5-6.5 in the solution. Also, temperature of the solution also must check. It must about 64-66 oF.