formula for mixing nutrilents at home

genebrownAugust 16, 2008

as a hobby i grow vegies hydroponically and love it. But my nutrient cost is much to high can anyone please tell me of a home formula and where to buy the items in bulk at wholesale thanks gene

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Hi GeneBrown,

Last summer I worked at a place that bottled hydroponic nutrients among other products. If you want to try mixing your own nutrients together check out these two companies:



Here is a sort of tutorial that may help you get started.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 6:05PM
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maineman(z5a ME)

Hello Gene,

I got your email, but I prefer to answer here. I am not really into hydroponics, but I do use soluble nutrients in my gardening. My soil is very sandy, so I am in effect growing plants hydroponically in sand outdoors. My soil does have some microorganisms, so I can use formulas that contain urea. My indoor gardening is in sterile media, so I can't use urea-containing products indoors.

I don't know how bilberrybrian's two Israeli sources are supposed to help you. I don't see any prices or places where you could buy their stuff.

I don't know of any really cheap retail sources for chemicals. If you are a commercial grower or a retail seller, you can get some decent prices on 25-pound bags or 50-pound bags. There is a very steep markup on chemicals in one-pound quantities, but since I am not a commercial grower (a registered business entity) or a reseller, I have to pay retail.

I have purchased nutrient chemicals online from Everybody's Garden Center, and from Hydro-Gardens.

CareFree Gardens also sells some nutrients online, although I haven't purchased from them.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 9:34PM
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maineman(z5a ME)

Hello again, Gene,

The Hydro-Gardens link got messed up somehow. The hopefully correct link is Hydro-Gardens.

Care Free Gardens is a retail branch of Crop King, who have an interesting offering of nutrients. Unfortunately, I think you have to be a commercial business to buy from them. I could sure use some of that ammonium nitrate on my dry brown compost pile consisting of wood chips and shredded dry leaves. I would dissolve the ammonium nitrate in water first. I have no interest in an exploding compost pile (grin).


    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 9:49PM
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Here is some more detailed information,

Yara is arguably the world's largest supplier of chemical fertilizers with Haifa also being a major player. Both are used in mixing several hobbyist brands of hydroponic nutrients. Here is a Youtube video of a House and Garden bottling facility. Around 0:22 and again at 0:45 you can see feed lines for Yara fertilizers, though the names are in Dutch. Don't let the video impress much, what they are doing isn't that complicated.

While I admit to being uncertain if Haifa or Yara products can be purchased by a hobbyist, both have a presence in the original poster's state (Florida) and they can be contacted at the following:

Haifa NutriTech (HNT) Inc.
405 Douglas Ave., Unit 2605
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
Tel/Fax: +1-(407) 862 6400
Toll-free: 1-(800) 649 4944

Yara Territory Manager - Wachula, Florida
Jerry Southwell
Office: (863) 773-0154

That said if it weren't possible to buy a 50lb bag of ammonium nitrate directly from either of these companies it could be worth checking to see if a nearby commercial greenhouse using their products could order an extra bag of what you needed if you were to pay them upfront.

Hope that helps,


    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 11:11PM
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maineman(z5a ME)


" could be worth checking to see if a nearby commercial greenhouse using their products could order an extra bag of what you needed if you were to pay them upfront."

That sounds like a great idea. Hopefully they pay less for shipping than online stores charge on individual orders. Apparently you can sign up with Crop King without being a business (I was wrong about that in my previous message), but I discovered that their shipping costs are nearly as much as the product itself. Too bad Walmart doesn't open up a hydroponics section.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 12:27PM
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Funny you mention Walmart selling hydroponic equipment. Last week I was in a Meijers and they had a vacant storefront near the cash registers where you would usually see something like a Subway, optometrist or hair salon. Naturally I envisioned a hydroponic store operating out of that storefront and it made me laugh a little bit.

Thanks for the links above as they were new to me. I would recommend that most people try mixing their own nutrients as you do MM, once they gain some confidence is the overall hydroponic gardening process. There isn't much that a big hydroponics company can do that a DIY type gardener can't accomplish on his or her own. This opens many possibilities for experimenting with different NPK ratios.

Several weeks ago I did an email interview with Grant Low, author or the now defunct 'Integral Hydroponics.' He mentioned that he was working on a new book that would list an ingredient breakdown of several different hydroponic nutrient brands and instructions of mixing them together. Grant wouldn't say when this book would be available, though I would speculate sometime in the next year. Just something to keep an eye out for since it would be pretty relevant to this topic.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 12:33AM
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greystoke(South Africa(11))

I don't know if this is of interest. but the last 5 years I've been disolving wood ash in nitric acid. I managed to get the acid (25L 55%)at a wholesale price.
Of course the acid gives me nitrates. The wood ash gives me calcium, magnesium, potassium and micro nutrients. I usually add some bonemeal for extra phosphor and calcium, some Epsom salt to supplement the magensium and sulfur, and I usually add a bit of potassium sulfate depending on the use.

How do you like that?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 7:15AM
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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

Look up towards the top of the forum for a post called "Looking For A Layman's Nutrient Recipe" or something like that.

I just posted an easy solution to the problem. Check it out.

God bless.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 1:21AM
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