When it comes to feeding your plants hydroponically, there seems to be an enormous amount of information everywhere you turn. There are so many claims about which lines work the best and how many bottles a line needs to grow the best plants, many of them confusing or even contradictory. In my latest post, I’ll help you take some of the guesswork out of starting to grow hydroponically.
I mostly recommend one-part nutrients to new hydroponic growers simply because they help demystify “Hydroponic Growing” for most people. They are easy to use, low-maintenance, and fewer mistakes can be made with them. Simply shake vigorously and mix the solution with your water until you achieve the PPM (parts per million) needed. Adjust your PH, and you are ready to start growing. Now some may believe one-part nutrients are only for novice growers, which is simply not true. Many commercial growers use one-part nutrients to simplify their feeding programs, especially when they are delegating the task to multiple employees, to help minimize mistakes. My go to recommendation for a easy to use, effective one-part is Fox Farm Grow Big Hydro.
Two-part nutrients are also a great choice for beginners who have a little more confidence in their growing abilities. They are also a “go to” for seasoned growers who have developed success around a two-part nutrient line. In my experience, most beginners will eventually graduate into a two-part once they get a better understanding of how liquid nutrients work. The benefits of switching up to a “two-part” nutrient is they do provide more micronutrients in their formulations, which cannot be offered in a one-part due to them binding. These extra nutrients are optimal for quick plant growth and overall health of your crop. General Hydroponics FloraDuo A&B is the first two-part I worked with, and I still recommend it to this day. It’s easy to use and you can be easily adjust the amounts according to your plants’ needs. CANNA also makes a great two-part: their Aqua Series comes in A&B for Veg and Flores, meaning there are two bottles per grow cycle.
When using a three-part nutrient, always follow the feeding schedule provided by the manufacturer to avoid over- or under-feeding. After proper dosage, a three-part will also allow you to have better control over your plants’ fluctuating requirements. By having the Grow, Bloom and Micronutrients separate you can “Spoon Feed” your plants according to their specific needs. This means, for example, that if you notice your Nitrogen levels are low even after the recommended feeding, you can add a bit more Grow formula to help fix it. My favorite three-part line for the last two years is Advanced Nutrients’ Grow, Bloom & Micro which are highly concentrated and effective. Another tried and true three-part is General Hydroponics’ Flora series Grow, Bloom, Micro. It’s a definite go-to for most customers here.
Choosing the right nutrient regimen for your specific needs and experience doesn’t have to be overwhelming. I hope you have found this general run-down helpful, and, as always, we are happy to talk you through the process and answer all your questions at any of our Fifth Season locations!