Fertilizer for Hydroponic plants

Maintaining complete and balanced nutrition can be easy with hydroponics.

Hydroponics growing have the ability to deliver nutrients directly to plant roots for uptake without the growing media being restrictive. Potting soils and organic growing media will break down over time. This process normally alters the chemistry of the soil and can also cause buildup of unused chemicals or lockout specific elements of value.

When growing in soil based mediums you never really know what your plants are receiving because of the ever changing chemistry of your organic medium.

One way to overcome this problem is to switch over to a growing medium called LECA, that’s short for Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate.

LECA or Hydroton pellets will not decompose, breakdown or disintegrate over time meaning they are reusable and can be sterilized with an oxidizer like hydrogen peroxide in between grow cycles. They also deliver nutrient solution to the plant roots in a very controlled way with lots of airspaces and cavities to avoid root restrictions and to keep oxygen available.

Here are 3 ways in which hydroponics outperforms other methods:

Full nutrition in a balanced format

Plenty of fertilizer blends on the market rely on the growing media to provide some form of nutrition to the plants. This can be a risky situation as without a proper lab analysis it is impossible to tell what elements are available in the soil at what times.

The advantage of hydroponics becomes clear when you realize it does not rely on the soil to provide nutrients to the plants.

This means that hydroponic fertilizers make nutrition available to the plants exactly when they need it, whenever they need it. This also eliminates a lot of the chemistry and complexity behind growing a successful crop.

Trapped Nutrients

When a potting mix becomes depleted or exhausted it can lock out certain nutrient elements for plant uptake. This not only limit your plants from receiving all the nutrition it needs but also unused nutrients can turn to salt and accumulate over time.

The Hydroponic Advantage here is that your growing medium will never become compacted, nor will it trap nutrients.

Starting Fresh

Impurities accumulate and will build up around the plant root zone overtime. These impurities can come from your water source or accumulate from built up minerals from the fertilizer used.

Getting rid of these impurities is a very important and commonly overlooked task.

When growing with soil one of the only methods of dealing with buildup salts is to actually replace the growing media. Repotting a plant can prove stressful on the plant itself and also can turn out to be a laborious task if one has many plants in your collection.

Hydroponics in this case has clear advantages. To remove and flush impurities from your hydroponic media and plant root zone is a very simple task. Schedule into your work every couple of weeks to rinse and flush your growing media with clear water from the top. This will flush and leech out most of the impurities and salt buildup.

Following a balanced nutritional program for your hydroponic setup is simple and anyone can get the hang of it quickly.

My strategy has always been to keep it simple, make small adjustments and take notes as you go.

About the Author

Christoff Boltman is the Seeds for Africa / H2GRO Hydroponic specialist. Christoff has been growing hydroponically for the last 15 years and welcomes the opportunity to share his experience and knowledge with our customers. Feel free to pop in at our showroom and Christoff will be delighted to show you around and advise you on what would best suit your needs.