Is it better to feed, feed, water…. Or feed, water, etc..? I get a good amount of runoff.. (30-40% easy) And I feed at half strength everyday preferably, to every other day depending on how the plants react. Just wondering how I can push but still get a clean finish. Thx in advance!!

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Thank you for your question and for using Emerald Harvest products. Getting the right balance of watering and feeding is important for a healthy, vibrant garden.

We recommend that you base your nutrient application on our accurate, easy-to-read feeding charts. Remember that application rates may vary depending on the water condition and what type of growing medium (for example, soil, coco, peat moss, clay pellets, DWC, aeroponics, etc.) you use. In addition, the plant species, size and age should be considered when dialing in the optimal application rates for your crop.

Then, you can determine whether or not you need to tweak the application rates on the feeding chart by measuring the ppm of the nutrient solution. Please look at the two tables below. In Figure 1, you can see the recommended safe ppm for all growing mediums except DWC (deep water culture) and aeroponics, while Figure 2 shows the recommended ppm for DWC and aeroponics.

Figure 1—all growing media except DWC/aeroponics:

Fig 1

Figure 2—DWC or aeroponics:

Fig 2

The nutrient charge of the nutrient solution should be measured correctly before applying nutrients to the selected growing medium. A second measurement should be taken from the nutrient run-off after it has been applied to the growing medium in order to assess the correct ppm (or, if you measure electroconductivity, the EC) range.

To figure out what watering/feeding ratio is best for your plants, ppm is a good indicator. The right concentration to maintain in a soilless mix is 500–1000 ppm. So, if your runoff after feeding is 30–50 percent, which pushes through old nutrients rather than letting them accumulate, then you can feed your garden daily. If, however, you have little to no runoff, then you run the risk of overfeeding and “burning” the plants with too high concentrations of nutrients.

We recommend testing the ppm before and after feeding to ensure you stay within the right range. You may find that a cycle of feeding, watering and watering again is more productive, depending on your program.

Feed/Water/ Water is a very common feed regime.

If you have any more questions about growing, feel free to ask. I’m here to help! You can also check out previously answered questions on our Hydroponics FAQs Forum.

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