One of the most important decisions, when you grow a hydroponic garden, is precisely what your nutrient feeding schedule will be. This program determines not only what you would feed your plants, but also, for how long will you feed the plants. If you choose a smart nutrient feeding schedule, you can reap the enormous benefits of hydroponic growing. On the other hand, a lackluster nutrient feeding schedule can leave you with a weak yield every growing season, no matter how well you take care of your plants during your indoor grow.
While the precise nature of your nutrient feeding schedule may vary from plant to plant, most plants can benefit from the same general framework. Keep these facts in mind when you are hammering out your nutrient feeding schedule.
High Nitrogen to Start – Your vegetative feeding program is crucial to the overall growth of your plants. This is why you need to make certain that your nutrient solution is very dense in nitrogen during this time. Among all of the other macronutrients, nitrogen is the principal one that fuels plant growth.
During this time, you should also do what you can to make the nitrogen in your reservoir more available to your plants. One of the finest ways to accomplish this is to use supplements that “fix” the nitrogen, such as beneficial bacteria. The additional nitrogen that is available to your plants in the reservoir, the bizarre potential they have to grow dense and large.
High Phosphorus and Potassium for Flowering – The nutrient feeding schedule that you choose when you transition into the flowering and fruiting stage will have a huge impact on the size and quality of your yield. This is why during this time you should make your nutrient solution very dense in phosphorus and potassium.
Change the Photoperiod – There are three different photoperiods that you can use through various stages of your plant. In the very beginning, for young cuttings or seedlings, it is safe and even encouraged to have your lights turned on for twenty-four hours. Since these young plants can absorb white light, you can even go the economical route and use fluorescent lights. When you start the normal vegetative nutrient feeding schedule, you can turn the lights on for eighteen hours a day. Studies have shown that this is optimal, and having them any longer is just a waste of money. As you transition into the flowering or fruiting nutrient feeding schedule, you should have lights on for twelve hours a day.
Flush the Plants – Once your plants have matured and are ready to harvest, you are not quite done yet. While all those nutrients that you used during the growth process are fantastic for the overall development of your plant, they can do real damage to the taste and smell. This is why it is imperative to “flush” the plant thoroughly before actually harvesting. All you need to do this is a reservoir full of pH balanced water and a plant flushing product.
Finally, keep a check on all environmental parameters and surrounding conditions to get the best from your grow room. Any variation in temperature, humidity, pH or EC can cause tremendous damage and loss to your baby plants.
Good luck and til next time!