Cheap, high-quality nutrient sources?

dzeanah(8)February 7, 2006

I'm new to this, but am growing (or plan on growing) strawberries, tomatoes (lots!), salad greens, herbs, elephant garlic, roses, and a bunch of other stuff.

So far I've been using Gen Hydro's Flora line and the plants are doing wonderfully. Now I'm wondering what I can use that'll make them do as well but cost a bit less.

So, I've got a couple of questions:

1) the expensive nutrient mixes seem to come in 2 formulations: one for the vegetative stage and the other for flowering/fruiting. Does switching appropriately make a big difference in plant health or yield, or would a good general purpose nutrient mix do about as well (with PPM adjusted appropriately)?

2) What nutrient mix are you happiest with? Anyone avoid dry mixes for any reason?

3) Is there really any reason to use any particular dry mix, or are they all about comparable? Is it significantly cheaper to mix your own from scratch (and if so, anyone have a link to a good recipe?)

Thanks. Just trying to make sure I'm not making any major mistakes, but I'd like to avoid paying too much money at the same time...

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Hi Dzeanah,
Please have a look at my site from Australia. It will tell you just about anything you wish to know about nutrient formulations, and even how to actually make a simple system. It is pretty comprehensive and contains an email address if you need to follow anything up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Simple Sand Hydroponics

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 5:42AM
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hi dzeanah

I have used GH maxi series before; it is their dry nutrient line. It is available in grow and bloom formulation, and works just as well as the flora series. As shipping to your local retailer is less for dry nutrient, they cost less for exactly the same performance.

The dyes in the maxi series will stain many plastics.

For general purpose, GH has a dry product called Floramato, supposedly formulated for continuously fruiting plants such as tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, etc. I cannot vouch for it, but I imagine it works well and has insidious dye.

For purchased products, you can't get it cheaper than dry, unmixed, fertilizer grade nutrients salts. These will be ecponentially cheaper, and have no dyes, but also have no preservatives or pH buffers.

The biggest complaint I hear about this is that one must buy 50 ppound bags of at least six different compounds. There is a Canadian company that sells 5 pound jars.


other helpful links

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 5:51PM
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My friend is launching a website for his growshop, he is doing Buy 1 Get 1 Free on all nutrients, this works out pretty damn cheap, Cellmax and Canna, 1L, 5L, and 10L. Amazing results especially for Tomatoes and the like. Check it out.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 2:45PM
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I've been using the GH Dry nutrients. Not that I have much experience, they were the cheapest at the store where I found them. I have been really happy with the Maxi Grow for the vegitative stage and my lettuce system. I have also used the Maxi Bloom for several flowering/fruiting plants I have grown. Later I was wondering if I could find a more general purpose product that would work for everything without needing seperate mixes and I found Flora Magic which is their general purpose dry mix. I haven't used it much yet but I definitely like the cost benefit of going with a larger quantity of dry mix.
I do notice with the dry mix that you need to keep it sealed up well since the salts in it will absorb moisture from the air and leaving the bag open in a humid environment will quickly turn your powder into a nasty block. This might be my only reservation about buying a large quantity. If you go for the economy of buying a large amount, you might want to scoop out a jar for regular use so you don't need to open the large bag as often wich might help it keep dry longer.

As to mixing your own from scratch. If you are a bit of a chemist and like mixing and such, perhaps it would be worth it but if you don't have a good way to measure and weigh dry ingredients (as well as a good way to keep large quantitys of the salts dry) then it might not be worth your trouble. I suppose it depends on how much nutrient you are mixing. I still haven't finished off the first 1.5 lb package of Maxi Grow I bought last fall. Granted I'm dealing with smaller systems. One resivuar is about 5 gallons and the other is perhaps 15-18 gallons.
Good luck!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 4:23PM
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