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Jun 07

How I Mix the Nutrients For My Hydroponic Garden

 

Just like regular soil gardening a hydroponic garden also needs fertilizer and therefore it is important to mix it properly before adding it to your reservoir.

The fertilizer is a mixture or calcium nitrate, magnesium sulfate, and phosphate.  You can buy these items separately and create your own mix, which is probably smart to to do on a large hydroponic garden, or you can buy it premixed like I do.

I use a 20-18-38 mix from Urban Hydroponic which I buy on Amazon.com. This is considered the “Master Blend” for tomatoes. I do also have peppers, beans, and zucchini in my garden getting the same fertilizer and even though this mix is not optimum for them it will still work.  I would like to mention that all the nutrients I use ARE ORGANIC so all the vegetables I grow will be completely organic.

In the video you will hear me talk about “Parts Per Million” or PPM when I measure the fertilizer level in the mixture.  What this means is there are X 1000 parts of dissolved nutrients (fertilizer) in the water. My PPM meter shows only three numbers so when I it goes over 1000 it shows a small x10 on the screen.  So in this video my meter ended at 170 x10 which means I had 1700 PPM. It is probably more but I did not continue stirring it.  I have an air stone in my reservoir and it will continue to mix the nutrients in. For an example of how clean the water in my rain barrel is, when I test it I get a measurement of 40 without the x10.  So my rain water has 40 PPM of dissolved nutrients. To measure the PPM I use an Etekcity Digital Handheld TDS Meter.  It will measure up to 9990 PPM.

I also pay close attention to the PH value, and acidity of the water.  Again I set the PH value for the tomatoes which is between 6 and 6.8 (I say 6.5 and 7 in the video). The PH level for hydroponic gardens is the same for soil gardens. PH 7 is neutral and the acidity raises as the number value goes down.

Lastly I would just like to mention that this is my first ever garden and I am not a professional.  If I have said something wrong in this article or in the video please let me know via the CONTACT page.

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