Some fertilizer products come with micro and macro-nutrients. But as Mike Straumietis, Founder and CEO of Advanced Nutrients, points out, feeding plants with the right nutrients will not suffice, regardless of whether a high-quality hydroponic nutrient line has been used.
Determining the accurate feeding schedule for your plants is equally as important. Some growers rely on a feeding chart that is typically set up per gallon or liter of water. While that may work for some growers, there is a tool that can provide an even more effective feeding plan: a hydroponic nutrient calculator.
The Advanced Nutrients calculator introduced by Mike Straumietis takes into consideration various factors to produce a personalized chart that is appropriate for a particular growing farm.
While different nutrient calculators vary in how they work, the tools have basic components, which are listed below.
Basic Components of a Hydroponics Nutrient Calculator
1. Base PPM or EC
The base PPM or EC is an indication of whether or not minerals are already in the water used in the hydroponics setup. It also shows how much of particular minerals are present. The base PPM (parts per million) measures how many minerals are in the solution. On the other hand, the EC (electronic conductivity) indicates the amount of salt that is in the solution.
If the PPM or EC initially has a value of more than 0, this indicates that the water already contains some minerals. In some cases, this is what happens if calcium is present in the water. According to Mike Straumietis, this type of solution is referred to as hard water. When that occurs, growers will not have to add as much calcium-based fertilizer as they usually would.
2. Type of Media
In hydroponics, the choice of growing medium is essential. It is important to remember that different types of media contain and react to nutrients in varying manners. For instance, inert media, such as coco and Rockwool, do not hold any nutrients on their own.
Mike Straumietis also reminds growers to be mindful of the differences in the cation exchange capacity within each material (CEC.) This metric determines a medium’s ability to hold positively charged ions. The differences in CEC can tell you how some materials or media retain nutrients more or less than others, which has an impact on the amounts of nutrients that plants have to be provided over time.
3. Nutrient Products
A reason that Advanced Nutrients has a wide-ranging list of products is that different plants require different nourishment. A hydroponics nutrient calculator takes into account the various fertilizer products that will be used in a growing farm. The feeding plan that will be released will then recommend how each nutrient product should be applied depending on how many weeks a plant has been growing.
Advantages of a Nutrient Calculator
One of the possible consequences of failing to provide plants with the right nutrients at the right time is an unsuccessful harvest. Mike Straumietis states that knowing what and when to feed crops will minimize the chances of that happening. On the contrary, an optimal feed schedule will stimulate healthy growth from seed to senescence. Keep in mind that the nutrient needs of plants will vary as they move from vegetative to flowering phases.
In addition, following the right plan will increase the efficiency of your growing farm. There will be fewer chances of wasting fertilizer because only the right amount of nutrients will be provided to the plants. With the world seeing a trend of increasing fertilizer prices in the past few years, the right feeding plan can maximize a farm’s bottom line.
Advanced Nutrients has been helping growers in over 110 countries with its wide range of next-generation products designed to nourish each phase of a crop’s cycle from seed to senescence, unlocking its true genetic potential. Behind these products is the research team led by Founder and CEO Mike Straumietis, which consists of highly skilled and well-trained PhD-level scientists.