Unique Nutrient Formulations
Posted by Pat Harper on September 20 2012 09:03:40

Hydroponic gardening will not be called as such if hydroponic equipment is not used. After choosing which hydroponic system best fits the requirements, the equipment is the next consideration. Among these are the nutrient solution, plant medium, light system, and the pH level of water.

Nutrient Solution

The nutrient solutions vary. However, all of them are mostly ready to use. They have been formulated to contain the essential macro and micronutrients of plants. Though the formula may vary, they are all meant for optimal results in hydroponic gardening.

Nutrient solutions can be purchased readily from garden shops and nurseries. Mostly, the solutions contain potassium, nitrogen, magnesium, and other trace minerals. The variations in nutrient solutions are especially designed to fit the requirement of plants cultivated in a particular hydroponic system.

Growing Mediums

Hydroponics gardening may or may not use growing mediums. Should a medium be preferred, some of the choices include rock wool, clay, perlite, vermiculite, sand, and gravel. One of the most popular is the rock wool; they are easily available and do not produce the same level of water circulation as do vermiculite and perlite. Meanwhile the cheapest are gravel, sand, and clay.

Lighting System

The lighting system is very important because hydroponics gardening is done indoors. Thus, it needs the right amount of light to replace the sunlight requirement essential for photosynthesis. There are many different light systems used in hydroponics and each system comes with advantages and disadvantages.

At times, a combination of 2 lighting system is prepared to mimic the natural sunlight. There are bulbs that emit more heat while producing bright lights. Hence, these bulbs cannot place close to plants, lest, they burn. There are also light bulbs that generate less heat, consume less electricity while producing the right illumination.

In areas where the natural sunlight is not adequate, the High Intensity Discharge lights are preferable. HID lights come in 2 typesthe metal halide and high pressure sodium. The metal halide provides blue spectrum and best for young leafy vegetables. On the other hand, the high pressure sodium produces red spectrum and appropriate for fruit-bearing and flowering plants.

pH Balance

A successful hydroponic system requires that its pH level is balance. The ideal level is between 6.3 and 7.3 with 6.8 as the optimal level, depending on the types of plants and the growing medium used. pH level is the measure of how concentrated hydrogen ion is and which provides value as how alkalinic or acidic the growth environment of plants is. Hydroponic gardening is the science of cultivating plants without soil.