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For a healthy growth and magnificent inflorescence, plants need nutrients and minerals. In hydroponic crops the supply is slightly different than in conventional plants planted in soil or substrate. There is no storage facility here, so nutrients and minerals have to be added externally. This is not necessarily to use chemical finished products. You can also use effective organic fertilizers for the hydroponic culture itself. Below are some "recipes" for you.
nutritional requirementsHydroponics have a higher need for nutrient delivery than in soil / substrate plants. In the production of home-made fertilizers, the focus is on potassium and nitrogen. Only the phosphorus requirement is below that of other plants.
This nutrient gives hydroponics more power. If there is a defect, the leaf dress dies. Potassium is found, for example, in compost fertilizer as well as manure and coal ash.
Without sufficient nitrogen, plants are generally not viable. Especially older plants have a high potassium requirement. A deficiency is noticeable by a stunted growth. However, too much nitrogen brings disadvantages. While growth is favored, flowering usually does not. Compost, for example, has high levels of nitrogen.
In order to reach a large inflorescence, to grow vigorous flowers and to form fruit buds, hydroponic plants need phosphorus. But only in small quantities, because an oversupply that occurs especially outside the flowering season, could do the opposite. Phosphorus is mainly found in horn shavings and bone meal. Fertilization is therefore not necessary if sufficient phosphorus levels are present in manure, compost and other fertilizers that can easily be produced by hand.
Natural fertilizer made by yourselfCompost tea
The advantage is that the expanded clay stores water. So he picks up the compost tea and releases the nutrient components evenly to the plant.
Do not use ordinary garden compost for tea preparation, but limit yourself to leafy plant material. Black salsify or nettles, for example, are well suited for this. Other organic kitchen waste such as old tomatoes and salads of any kind can also be added. Already cooked foods are just as taboo and do not belong in the compost tea, such as fried fats, meat or fish.
- Fill a sufficiently large bucket with chlorine-free water
- Use one liter of water per kilogram of kitchen waste
- Dip kitchen waste well
- Let rest for at least 24 hours (rotting time)
- The longer the rest lasts, the richer the tea becomes
- Ensure good ventilation to prevent mold formation during long periods of rest
- Recommended ambient temperature at least 20 degrees Celsius, better higher
- Then drain off water and rinse off any rotted material
- Fill tea into watering can and pour hydroponics every third time
- The tea lasts a few weeks when stored under cover
A very simple method for fertilizing hydroponic crops is the use of wood ash. Whether as burned leftovers from the garden grill or the fireplace, wood ash is cheap and the fertilization process done quickly. You should only use cold wood ashes. Work them into the hydroponic culture as follows:
- Take about half of the expanded clay out of the flower pot
- Spread this spread and moisten slightly
- Spread the wood ash over it
- Put the expanded clay back into the flowerpot
Alternative: work as deep as possible under the dried expanded clay in the pot and pour lightly
If you have access to manure, you can also use it as a valuable mineral fertilizer for hydroponics. As with the compost fertilizer, it is not advisable to simply incorporate the manure in its natural form, but also to prepare a kind of tea to use this as irrigation water. In this way, the nutrients get directly into the expanded clay and can be absorbed by the roots on the water content. The disadvantage, however, is that you, for some a bad smell, through the tea preparation can not completely prevent.This is why fertilizing with dung manure tea for hydroponics is only recommended in summer for outdoor plants.
- Fill a bucket with manure
- Fill manure with water
- The water level should be twice as high as the manure
- Allow to infuse for at least 24 hours, better 48 hours
- Then drain off the water and use it as irrigation water
While coffee grounds in soil / substrate plantations is an exceptionally effective fertilizer, it is pure poison for hydroponics. Nevertheless, the richness of nutrients and minerals must not be left out, because black tea has almost the same properties. It is also rich in potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus and is ideal for room and balcony plants in hydroponics. It supports growth, makes plants more robust and promotes flower growth.
In addition, this method is extremely cost-effective, if you are a tea drinker, because you do not need to use a new teabag, but already use used teabags. Just hang them in the water for a day. You can use this for every watering without provoking an excess supply of nutrients or minerals.
Very rich in phosphorus is rock flour. It stimulates flower growth and increases pest resistance. Usually, this is added to the soil / substrate in its original form. This is less advantageous in hydroponic culture. Here, it is appropriate to produce a liquid consistency, so that the ingredients of the rock flour stored in expanded clay and can be discharged evenly to the roots.
Suitable rock meal in higher dose shortly before and during the season in flowering plants. One tablespoon in one liter of water should not be undercut. For pure green plants without flowers as well as outside the flowering season, fertilising with rock flour should be reduced by half. Depending on the ambient temperatures and the water requirements of the hydroponic plant, fertilization once a month is sufficient for flower growth. Otherwise, one dose is enough every six weeks.
The preparation is very simple. You simply hit an egg or use the leftover egg shells of your breakfast ice cream. Place them in the irrigation water and let them rest for a few minutes. Then pour the hydroponic culture as usual and remove the egg shells again, as they do not decompose. New egg shells should be used for each casting process.
TIP: If you use hard water for casting, this usually already has enough lime. In that case you should not use egg shells as fertilizer.
Yeast instead of coffee grounds
In many cases coffee grounds are used as organic fertilizer and is a very popular, inexpensive fertilizer in the soil culture. It creates a slightly acidic relationship and thereby promotes above all the flowering power of many plants. Coffee grounds are not optimal for hydroponics, however, as the risk of mold growth is increased by the permanent moisture. In addition, coffee grounds in expanded clay can be toxic and damage the roots so that the plants die off. The same causes fertilization with a yeast solution. This shows the same properties and does not pollute the expanded clay as it does coffee grounds.
- Dissolve one cube of yeast in ten liters of water
- When crumbled, the yeast dissolves faster / better
- During the dissolution, stir the water vigorously several times
- Filter out any yeast residue from the water
- Water must not contain yeast lumps
- Use yeast solution as irrigation water
- Only apply once after change or fresh hydroponic culture