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Old 09-27-2016, 01:05 PM
Ochretis Ochretis is offline
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Default New to Hydroponics

So I've been doing lots of research about hydroponics, and related topics and I'm really wanting to get started. However I've been trying to figure out what's the best way to go about nutrient solution. Since I'm new to this I'm going to start with leafy greens and herbs only to start with as I ease my way into it. I understand the concepts of needing different nutrients at different stages of the plants life, but with leafy greens from what I understand you just want vegetative growth. I've been going back and forth looking at different nutrients and styles.

After everything I've decided to start with liquid nutrients since I'm just starting, and I was thinking of going with the Flora Series. However I wasn't sure if leafy greens require the Flora bloom later in its life or if that would just make it bolt faster which I don't want. So would Flora Veg or Floranova Veg be the best in my situation?

I've read a lot about additives and making hydroponic plants a lot closer to soil grown quality, as in the higher brix scores. I saw that a lot of hydroponics used to have terrible taste/ brix scores because they were lacking a lot of things in the soil. It seems now that by adding in certain things we can simulate soil a lot better producing better quality crops.

I thought it'd be best to add some silica, CalMag, seaweed extract, fulvic acid, and amino acids. Unfortunately I'm unsure of how much of these things to add along with my main nutrients and I'm curious as to how people decide how much of these additives to add. I understand with CalMag it depends on the main nutrient solution as well as the makeup of the water used, but what about the rest?

I'm really just looking for some feedback from experienced hydroponic growers. If possible I'd like to hear about their attempts with different solutions, if they prefer making their own from scratch, and why. How many people have attempted growing with these additives, it sounds like amino acids are very important to getting a great brix score. Thanks in advance for your time and advice everyone.

Best Regards,
Ochretis

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Old 09-28-2016, 01:31 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello Ochretis,
It's common for new hydroponic growers to try and overthink the nutrients, especially with the vast array of nutrients and additives on the market. Separating marketing from reality becomes confusing for most new growers. But the simple fact is Hydroponic nutrients from a reputable manufacture will contain all the essential macro and micro elements the plants need without any additives.

Additives are only useful for adding "beneficial elements" which aren't necessary, but may enhance plant growth/flavor or hardiness, or adding elements the particular plant uses an excessive amount of. Though manufactures will market their additives as essential for healthy plants, that's just a marketing ploy to get money from your wallet. If your going to add an additive, you should know exactly why you are using it. Meaning what specific elements your plants are going to get from it, as well as why they need it, or benefit their going to get from it. Otherwise your just dumping your money down the drain.

Quote:
I was thinking of going with the Flora Series. However I wasn't sure if leafy greens require the Flora bloom later in its life or if that would just make it bolt faster which I don't want. So would Flora Veg or Floranova Veg be the best in my situation?
Well, first, yes you still need the flora bloom nutrients for leafy greens and vegetative growth. The flora bloom contain elements the plants use more of during flowering and fruiting. That doesn't mean the plants don't need them at all for vegetative growth, just that they use less of them during vegetative growth than while the plant is flowering and fruiting. So while you still need them for vegetative growth, you just use less of them.

Second as far as I know General Hydroponics doesn't have a Flora Veg or Floranova Veg line of nutrients. They do have a Flora nova gro that is a stand alone nutrient. Meaning it doesn't require other parts to supply all the essential elements. In the world of nutrients you will find nutrients are either a one, two, or three part nutrient solution. One part nutrients are a stand alone nutrient. If they require a second or third part, they will require all the parts to work. Manufactures will often break their nutrients up into a 2 or 3 part nutrient, especially for liquid nutrients. Mostly so the elements wont bond while in high concentrations. How General hydroponics keep the calcium and iron from bonding in the liquid flora nova series nutrients is unknown to me. It might have something to do with why it's so thick, but I have no idea.

Quote:
I've read a lot about additives and making hydroponic plants a lot closer to soil grown quality, as in the higher brix scores. I saw that a lot of hydroponics used to have terrible taste/ brix scores because they were lacking a lot of things in the soil. It seems now that by adding in certain things we can simulate soil a lot better producing better quality crops.
This is a marketing ploy to sell additives. While it is true that along with the essential mineral elements, there are some beneficial elements that can enhance plant growth and taste that aren't essential. Manufactures market their additives as essential so you will buy them.

Again if your going to use an additive, you should know why. Think of it like a cake recipe. Just because you like eggs doesn't mean using two dozen eggs will make the cake better. Just because you like BBQ sauce doesn't mean it will make the cake better. If your going to throw an ingredient into the recipe you should know why, and how it's going to make it better. Otherwise not only is it a waste of money and ingredients, but could ruin the recipe all together.

The reality is most growers aren't trying to grow blue ribbon produce, or sell it at market. Their growing it simply to feed their family's, eat it themselves and save money. If your trying to sell your produce at market, or win awards it's important to have the best product possible. In which case adjusting the nutrient composition to the specific plants needs, including adding beneficial elements is useful and worth the expense and effort. But not really for the average home grower that wouldn't really be able to tell the difference anyway. For the average home grower general recipe hydroponic nutrients are just fine.

Quote:
I thought it'd be best to add some silica, CalMag, seaweed extract, fulvic acid, and amino acids.
CalMag is only needed for plants that consume excessive amounts of calcium. Silica has benefits in many crops like increasing resistance to fungal disease, heat stress, strength and thickness of cell walls, and can even help nutrient absorption and movement within the plant. Seaweed extracts and compost tea additives you need to look at the specific elements it contains to decide if they would be beneficial yo your plants. As for fulvic acid, and amino acids, I assume you mean humic acid not amino acid. While Favic and Humic acids are most beneficial in organic grows in helping microbial life break down the organic mater into the nutrients the plants absorb. While chemically Favic and Humic acids don't really have a benefit in synthetic nutrients. However in inorganic hydroponic systems Favic and Humic acids help promote cell division both in root mass and foliage.


If you send me a private message with an e-mail address to send them to, I have some articles on beneficial elements I can send you.

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