For saving space and soil, this method also has several
other benefits, including no soil-borne diseases, no
weeds to pull and no soil to till, run-of-the-mill side
benefits of soil-less gardening.

SUMMARY COMMENTS ON SPECIFIC ELEMENTS

NITROGEN: Plant requirements for nitrogen are sometimes larger than all of the other elements combined. It can thus be difficult to supply nitrogen in the refill solution without adding excess amounts of other cations. The best solution is to use nitric acid (HNO3) for pH control. This can supply 50% of the nitrogen needs of the crop without adding excess cations. If extra nitrogen is required, ammonium nitrate can be added to the pH control solution. However, because ammonium decreases the uptake of other cations (K, Ca, Mg, and micronutrients) I do not recommend its use in hydroponic solutions unless extra nitrogen is required by the crop for maximum yields.

PHOSPHOROUS and POTASSIUM are rapidly drawn down to ┬ÁM levels is solution. These low levels do not mean that the plant is starving for these elements, it means that the plant is healthy and actively absorbed these elements from solution.

CALCIUM requirements are almost 3 times higher for dicots than for monocots (grasses). Calcium is nontoxic, even at high tissue concentrations, but it accumulates in solution if too much is added to the refill solution.

MAGNESIUM is highly mobile and can accumulate to toxic levels in upper leaves if the solution concentration is too high.

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