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Fertilizer for Organic Hydroponics

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Fertilizer for Organic Hydroponics

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Overview

Plants take nutrition from soil, water and air in order to grow. Plant growth may suffer if nutrients are not available. When the nutrients are added to the plant from outside of its environment, it's called fertilizing. Hydroponics is a process used to grow plants by using water only. Different hydroponics approaches exist, but what differentiates organic from regular hydroponics is the fertilizing agent. Organic hydroponics methods do not include the use of chemically enhanced fertilizers or pesticides.

Maxsea

Since Maxsea's price is lower than professional hydroponic fertilizers, it is very cost effective. Maxsea also dissolves well, and is a good source of nutrients for organic hydroponic plants. It has very small particulate material, so the hydroponic water system's pumps are not overtaxed. Maxsea saves the cost of a pH meter, because it is close to ideal pH value for plants. Users can check for nutrient solution daily with ease. Since the product is a seaweed-originated fertilizer, supplementation with liquid seaweed is not required.

Nutrient Tea

Nutrient tea for organic hydroponics can be made using worm castings along with bat guano. Bat guano (droppings), mixed with with two parts worm castings can be used for the vegetative stage of the plant. During the flowering stage, use one part worm castings and two parts high phosphorous guano. Add the organic blend to a sock or pillowcase, to serve as a strainer, and then combine it with water used for the hydroponics. Always check the pH level before using nutrient tea.

Manure

One of the most widespread natural fertilizers used by farmers is manure. Since manure is nitrogen-rich, it is an effective supplement to plant nutrients. Typically manure is added to the soil, but in organic hydroponics, it can be added to the water solution in small amounts. Livestock manure is the ideal source, as manure from dogs and other pets can cause illness when the produce is consumed, due to the microorganisms it contains. When using manure as a fertilizer, be sure to supplement with potassium and phosphorous.

Fish Waste

Fish waste -- guts and other discarded parts -- is a good great source of nitrogen. The home formula for making fish fertilizer is to allow the fish innards to decompose in water. After decomposition is complete, mix one part fish guts and two parts water. Apply this mixture at the ratio of 3 gallons per 100 square feet (an area of 10 feet by 10 feet).

Sea Kelp (Seaweed)

Sea kelp, also known as seaweed, has almost all the nutrients required to grow strong organic plants. Seaweed can be applied to the growing medium or added to the system's water. Since seaweed contains plant hormones, it eliminates the need to supplement for these, as is necessary with many other fertilizers. Be sure to change the water on a regular basis when using seaweed to avoid the breakdown of the nutrients.

Keywords: hydroponics, hydroponic fertilizer, organic fertilizer

About this Author

Elaine Pratt started her freelance writing career in 2000 and since has gained extensive experience writing on real estate, home and garden, and business-related topics. Elaine writes for personal blogs and private clients including eHow and Garden Guides. Pratt holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Illinois.