questions about diy formulas for veg and fruits

kadazuroOctober 11, 2012

Hello.

Im doing a hydroponic garden and planning on using two reservoirs, one for greens (basil, lettuces, celery) and other ones for fruiting plants (tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, etc).

Initially I was planning on using already mix nutrients but prices are really high for imported nutrients here in Costa Rica, but we can get the nutrients as soluble salts, not premixed hydro packages but in individual bags

I dont want to use the same formula for both reservoirs, and if possible I would like to have a concentrate stock where I can add a different amount based on the reservoir type

by playing around with hydrobuddy and reading on Daniel site I've found that i can do this, but not sure what would be the best way,

Should i create a concentrate for growth, and another set for fruiting?

Should I try to copy a commercial formula so I could use the same recipe they recommend (gh flora series for instance)

the best or more handy way that I have found so far is based on this post from Daniel's site (like below) where he creates two sets of A and B concentrates, one for grow and another for fruiting, and the good thing is that both formulas share the B side of the formula so I will only need to do 3 mixes, A-grow A-fruit, and B, but now, Im not sure how good or bad (or how old), those formulas are.

here are the formulas, values in ppm

Grow

K 200

N03 150

Nh4 0

P 50

Mg 50

Ca 144

S 69

Mo 0.05

Cu 0.07

Zn 0.25

Fe 4.86

B 0.7

Mn 0.5

Fruit

K 350

No3 170

nh4 0

P 50

Mg 50

Ca 144

S 95

Mo 0.05

Cu 0.07

Zn 0.25

Fe 4.86

B 0.7

Mn 0.5

any input or suggestion on what would be the best way, recommendations, point to different set of gro and fruit formulas or guidance will be much appreciate it.

thanks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Preparing A, B and C (three part) Concentrated Nutrient Solutions

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cole_robbie(6)

Several US university extension programs have given guidance on nutrients for particular crops, usually tomatoes. The formula is not only different for each plant, but changes over the life span of the plant. On top of that, I would guess different varieties of tomatoes would prefer different nutrient mixtures. So the answer to your question is that there is no one answer, unless you're growing just one crop of one variety all at once. And even then, the overall health of the plants will influence the answer.

If you're trying to grow a lot of different plants at different stages, I would guess that organic nutes would work best. It would be too easy to over-fertilize with chem nutrients. Provided you filter it enough, you can use guano, fish, and seaweed for NPK. I like greensand for K, but it has a low solubility. Organic mixtures will have lower NPK numbers, but if you culture enough healthy root bacteria, the plant will take up more nutrients and actually do better. The best you can do with any fertilization is to make available what the plant can use, when it can use it. If it were easy, it wouldn't be fun!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 2:28PM
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grizzman

To truly optimize a nutrient solution, you'd have to check the various amounts of nutrients at regular intervals and then balance them with what your plant is consuming (somewhat dictated by what is missing). This, of course, is somewhat ridiculous on a small scale or hobbyist level. the next best thing is to provide a balanced nutrient at near the appropriate concentration and plan on changing the whole thing periodically. Periodically, depending on how often you want to and how well you want the plants to grow. Change once a week can be a lot of work and is possibly bad for the environment, but your plants will grow at their optimal level. you're just flushing good nutrient. change it once a month or bi-monthly may be easier on your back and/or wallet, but your plants growth will be slower (but still probably better than in soil)because as certain nutrients become scarce the plant will not be able to develop as needed.
Of primary importance when using a generic formula for growing various fruits is concentration. some plants (tomatoes) like a really strong nutrient while others (lettuces) like a weaker nutrient solution. so you have to make a choice. either grow them in seperate reservoirs, grow them in a strong concentration and deal will tip burn on your lettuce, or grow them in a weaker solution with slower growth.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 4:17PM
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ovais

I am using Dr.Howard Resh nutrient formula. i germinated my tomatoes on Sep 4,12 and they are around 7 weeks old. this is the first time i start cultivating tomatoes in hydroponic system. i am using coco coir as a growing medium and haven't used any pesticides yet. i have attached some photos so please check and suggest if i am doing ok.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 6:44AM
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kadazuro

Hi there, thanks for the responses. I really appreciate it.
I have two reservoirs one for herbs and lettuce and the other for fruiting.
my plan was to make a copy of a gh flora nutrients and then follow their feeding schedule, use the grow schedule for the grow table (where the herbs are), and then use the fruit recipe for the tomatoes and cucumbers.
I ended up using the A+B formulas on Daniel's site where grow and fruit formulas share the B part of the concentrate (Mg + micro nutrients), then read somewhere about not recommended to have calcium nitrate mixed on a concentrate form along with phosphorus nor potassium due a possible precipitation so I ended up with 5 cans with concentrated :S

attaching a pic of my roma tomato (~10weeks)

@ovais plants look good to me, leaves have a little curling up, I've read that that can be because of heat so plants curl the leaves up to retain water, but others say that that can be because of a fast growing plant. I'm just starting up so perhaps people with experience will help you =)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 12:40PM
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