House and Garden Nutrients
Using house and garden nutrients on your plants can be a complicated process. Here is a quick guide to some of the most commonly asked questions by new users of plant nutrients.
What nutrients do my plants need?
All plants require carbon dioxide and water, but in addition to these Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium compose the foundation of house and garden nutrients. Nitrogen assists in growth and height, phosphorous creates stronger roots and flowers and an increased immune system, potassium develops the overall strength of the plant.
Do I need different nutrients for hydroponic or soil-based plants?
You can use any hydroponic nutrients in soil-based plants. They are quick release nutrients and as such can be used on any plant. However some soil nutrients are chemically altered to be slow release and this is no good for hydroponic plants. It can create sludge and lead to blockages in the hydroponic system. Alternatively organic nutrients often require micro-organisms found in soil to be broken down and slowly absorbed by the plant, hydroponic plants are simply not adequately set-up for this process.
How often should I feed nutrients to my plants?
Plants grown in soil should be fed every second or third watering. Any more than this can lead to stunted growth, onset of crow foot, and burnt or damaged root systems, as well as decreased yields. If you are a using a hydroponic setup however you can add nutrients with every watering. The rate of this watering cycle will depend on the plant’s age, size, the room conditions and the set up of the hydroponic system. The frequency of watering in a hydroponic system can range from every six hours to every 20 minutes in high temperatures. If your plants are turning dark green they are probably being over-hydrated.
When should I replace nutrients?
Nutrient solutions should be changed on average every 2 or 3 weeks. Don’t forget to add water before changing the solution to maintain the water level of the plants. The old solution can then be used to water other indoor or garden plants.
What pH levels should I aim for?
For interior plants, maintain a pH level of 6-6.5. If the soil does not contain these levels your plants will be unable to ingest the nutrients from the solution. During the growth period the ideal pH level is 5.6-5.8 and during blooming aim for 6-6.2
Now that you know the basics of House and Garden nutrients you can get out there and start developing your plants to their full potential!