Trevor117
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 6:07 pm
Location: Florida

Fertilizing a hydroponics garden

I just made a hydroponic garden for the first time. I used a <15 gallon tub and cut holes in the top for the net pots. I use an air pump which is connected to an air stone at the bottom of the tub. Im currently just growing a few flowers. I have a question regarding how to fertilize the garden. I picked up a bag of Jacks' Professional Water-Soluble-Fertilizer, 20-20-20 General Purpose. How can I use this fertilizer to feed the plants? Or, what fertilizer would be best? Thank you much! -helpsos-
TW

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fintuckyfarms
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:37 am
Location: Southeast Washington State

Well a hydroponics system utilizes a nuitrient solution (your fertilizer). It is in the water at all times. Most fertilizers are used to just supplement or ammend the soil.

Most people only purchase nutrients specifically for hydroponics or they make them themselves. I personally do not have a degree in chemistry so I purchase my nutrients from a hydroponic store or on-line like at amazon. It can be more costly to purchase a hydropoinics specific nutrient but they have everything the plants need included in one bottle or bag. You can then adjust the strength of the nutrients to what you plants need in their phase of growth; small plants get 1/4 to 1/2 of the suggested strength and mature plants get full strength. The only other thing you may need to add is some PH up/down and if you are growing tomatoes or peppers some extra cal/mag. I am sure there will be several other opinions out there, but I tend to utilize the KISS method of gardening (keep it simple stupid) so I get the best results I can get with my limited knowledge. Hope this helps you!

fromscratch
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:14 pm
Location: Pensacola Fl

I started out with commercial fertilizers, but I also started out on hydroponics several months ago. I would like to suggest a couple of areas to investigate. One of them would be composted chicken manure, the other being seaweed.
In the short time I have been doing this, I have been working with tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans and lettuce. I have had a bit of a problem with the amount of concentration of these two natural fertilizers, but I am committed to learning how to do so. The one thing I learned, after a few off balances that damaged my plants, was that I got a much larger rate of growth and a much healthier plant after I switched. I am not an advocate of "total organic" but it seemed to me that I could get better results, because I had to learn what the plants need, and tailored the nutrients accordingly. The commercial fertilizers seemed to be too standardized.
When I embarked upon this journey (grew up on a farm, and have grown vegetable gardens ever since), I did so as a challenge. I did so with the full understanding that I did not know what I was doing, and that I was committed to learn (question at the top of this forum). I intend to get into commercial growing so efficiency has to be my goal, no matter how much I need to learn.
I know, what I don't know. If I believe it to be truth, I have proved it with scientific examination, which is available 100% of the time.

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