How to Blend Your Own Hydroponic Fertilizers

Overview

Hydroponics gardening uses no soil and, therefore, plants don't pull nutrients out of the ground through their roots. Instead, nutrients are supplied through "nutrient solution"---water laced with special hydroponics fertilizer. Plants need 16 elements, some of which are supplied by air and water. Specially formulated nutrient solution is available to supply the rest, but those comfortable with chemicals can make their own homemade solution.

Step 1

Mix 2 teaspoons (10.1 grams) potassium phosphate (KN₂PO₄), 2.5½ teaspoons (11.5 grams) potassium nitrate (KNO₃), 4.5 teaspoons (22.3 grams) calcium nitrate (Ca(NO₃)₂ • 4H₂O) and 4 teaspoons (18.6 grams) magnesium sulfate (epsom salts) (MgSO₄ • 7H₂O) with 10 gallons of water. This is the basic solution for leafy plants.

Step 2

Mix 2 teaspoons(8.7 grams) ammonium phosphate (NH₄H₂PO₄), and 4 teaspoons (19 grams) potassium nitrate (KNO₃), 4.5 teaspoons. (22.3 grams) calcium nitrate (Ca(NO₃)₂ • 4H₂O) and 4 teaspoons (18.6 grams) magnesium sulfate (epsom salts) (MgSO₄ • 7H₂O) with 10 gallons water. This is the basic solution for vegetables.

Step 3

Mix the boric acid (H₃BO₄) and manganese chloride (MnCl₂ • 4H₂O) with 1 quart of water for the first micronutrient solution.

Step 4

Add one-half cup of the micronutrient solution to each of the nutrient solutions.

Step 5

Mix the chelated iron to a quart of water to make a second micronutrient solution.

Step 6

Add one-half cup of the second micronutrient solution to each of the nutrient solutions.

Step 7

Check the pH of each of the nutrient solutions.

Step 8

Add a few drops of vinegar to the solutions if the pH is too alkaline for your plant, rechecking the pH until it is correct.

Step 9

Add a scant amount of baking soda to the solutions if the pH is too acidic for your plant, rechecking he pH until it is correct.

Tips and Warnings

  • Take heed of any cautionary advice on the packaging of the chemicals.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 teaspoons (10.1 grams) potassium phosphate (KN₂PO₄)
  • 2.5 teaspoons (11.5 grams) potassium nitrate (KNO₃)
  • 4.5 teaspoons (22.3 grams) calcium nitrate (Ca(NO₃)₂ • 4H₂O)
  • 4 teaspoons (18.6 grams) magnesium sulfate (epsom salts) (MgSO₄ • 7H₂O)
  • 20 gallons of pure water
  • 2 teaspoons (8.7 grams) ammonium phosphate (NH₄H₂PO₄)
  • 4 teaspoons (19 grams) potassium nitrate (KNO₃)
  • 4.5 teaspoons (22.3 grams) calcium nitrate (Ca(NO₃)₂ • 4H₂O)
  • 4 teaspoons (18.6 grams) magnesium sulfate (epsom salts) (MgSO₄ • 7H₂O)
  • 1¼ teaspoons (7.6 grams) boric acid (H₃BO₄)
  • 10 teaspoons (.6 grams) manganese chloride (MnCl₂ • 4H₂O)
  • 1 quart water
  • ½ teaspoon (3.6 grams) NaFe EDTA (chelated iron)
  • 1 quart water
  • pH testing kit
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda

References

  • Hydroponics for Home Gardeners-Alabama Cooperative Extension System
  • Hydroponics as a Hobby; AgriLife Extension-Texas A & M System
Keywords: hydroponic fertilizer, nutrient solution, hydroponics, homemade nutrient solution

About this Author

Sophie Johnson is a freelance writer and editor of both print and film media. A freelancer for more than 20 years, Johnson has had the opportunity to cover topics ranging from construction to music to celebrity interviews.