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The amount of nutrient a plant can uptake relies heavily on its environmental conditions - If light levels, CO2, temperature and humidity are within optimal levels then the plants metabolism is much faster and it will be able to uptake the nutrient solution at an accelerated rate, leading to faster growth.
When choosing your nutrients, you’ll notice that most bottles have 3 numbers on them; these represent the N (Nitrogen), P (Phosphorous) and K (Potassium) element ratios present in that particular product - these ratios are always in the order N-P-K. Most nutrient products contain further ingredients as well as the NPK such as micro nutrients, amino acids, carbohydrates, sugars and vitamins, although the ratio of these is often not listed.
Plants have changing requirements depending on their maturity or stage of growth. Fruiting or flowering annuals generally require much more nitrogen during their early development for stem and foliage development. During these early stages, some phosphorous and potassium is required for root development and the forming of DNA for new cells. As the plant matures and structures for flower start to set, the plants phosphorous and potassium requirements increase as the need for nitrogen decreases. Nutrient schedules take this dietary changes into account, hence why the amount you feed your plants changes over time.
If you decide to use a line-up of nutrients from different brands, make sure you only use one type from each ‘group’ or at half strength if you’re using two of the same type so you don’t over-fertilise. Base nutrients are essential for plant growth while boosters / additives can improve results but are not necessary.
Look at the product pages for the different groups of nutrients to get more of an idea what they are and when their used or have a look at the feed charts from the various nutrient brands.
If you’re unsure of the correct nutrition for your plants, email us or call our specialist team on 0800 085 7995 who can advise you on the best range for your plant type and budget.
Nutrient Brands (0)
We stock a range of various nutrient brands that manufacture food for plants. Different manufacturers formulate their nutrients specifically for particular substrates, using ingredients from organic, mineral sources or a mix of both. The nutrients you choose will depend on the techniques you use and what formulas you prefer through experience / experimentation. If you're new to hydroponics, we suggest you keep within a single nutrient range to ensure the line-up will work together. Nutrient feed schedules are guidelines and not gospel - they’re formulated for plants in their best condition - If your plants aren't in their best condition these schedules may be too strong. Consider working up from half strength to full strength over a period of weeks, you can back off if your plants start showing any signs of toxicity (too much nutrient).