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.


For proper growth, plants must be supplied with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, and chlorine. Within certain limits of composition and total concentrations, there can be a rather wide range in the nutrient solutions suitable for plant growth. Usually the small amount of minerals in the water supply can be ignored. When nutrients are deficient or present in excess in the solution, however, the plants will suffer. For this reason, you must be careful in selecting and adding the minerals that go into the nutrient solution.

Hydroponics Guide

Purity of the nutrient materials or chemicals is important in preparing a solution. In some cases, the fertilizer grade of a chemical may be used, and in other cases, a technical-grade or food-grade chemical may be needed. The best grades have few impurities; the lower or fertilizer grades may have more. Sometimes the plants may use the impurities. Because of the low price of the fertilizer-grade chemicals, they should be used whenever possible.

Many formulas have been devised for supplying the nutrient requirements for plant growth. Most of these recommendations will give satisfactory results, but they often require less than one gram of chemicals that are not easy to obtain.

Paint the storage vats and containers used for the nutrient solution to prevent exposure to light, and close the vats and containers to prevent contact with the air. Evaporation of the solution, whether through the atmosphere or through plants, reduces the amount of water and increases the proportion of salt in the solution. Too much salt may be detrimental to the plants.


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