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Old 07-02-2011, 06:50 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
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I don't think one needs to learn Chemistry to mix certain amount of a salt in water.
Well it isn't quite that simple. If you had the exact salts that are in the recipe, and never wanted to taylor it to your plants, like in the case of a nutrient deficiency or toxicity, then you probably wouldn't need to learn about the chemistry. But sooner or later you'll need to alter the recipe/s, and then you'll need to know how each change will affect all the other chemical salts in the recipe.

For instance if your plants need more potassium, you'll want to know how adding potassium nitrate affects the other elements in the recipe compared to using potassium sulphate, or potassium chloride. Or if your recipe calls for potassium chloride, and all you have access to is potassium sulphate, you'll want to know what affect that will have on the other elements so you don't wind up causing a deficiency or toxicity. Their not exactly interchangeable, well not without altering the other chemical salts anyway. Also if you are planing to use pH buffers in your nutrient solution recipe, that's another aspect of chemistry that's involved.

You'll eventually also need to know which elements bond to witch other elements, as well as why and how they do. Most liquid nutrient solutions come in separate parts for a reason, that's to keep the elements from bonding with each other. You'll also probably even find that you will need to alter the recipe to taylor it to your water supply. Because whatever elements/chemicals that are in your water supply will affect your nutrient solution (and plants). Also knowing how environmental conditions alter plant chemistry will be beneficial to knowing what, how, and why to alter your plants nutrient solution recipe.

I'm no chemist, and haven't made my own nutrients, but these are just some of the issues I can think of off the top of my head where knowledge of chemistry will be beneficial. The nutrient calculator will be able to do some of that chemistry calculations for you with regard to chemical salt interactions, but diagnosing, and problem solving plant problems is completely up to the grower. Not saying you might be able to get by without knowledge of chemistry, especially in the beginning. Just saying that if you want to get good at making your own nutrients, knowledge of some chemistry is needed. And like most things, you'll eventually wind up learning it through necessity whether you wanted to or not.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 07-02-2011 at 06:59 PM.
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