Week Five – Nutrients

Feeding plants to get the best results is a fascinating subject. Below is a recommended feeding chart from GHE, one of the top makers of hydroponic nutrients.

You will see that there are two stages – the seedling and young plant, then the flower and fruiting stage.

During the seedling and young plant stage, nutrients are given at the same amounts – in other words, a balanced feed.

When the plant reaches flowering is when a boost of “Gro” is given, then later a boost of “Bloom” is given and the Grow is reduced.

Micro nutrients remain at around the same level throughout this flowering – fruiting period.

The lower part of the chart, the “Expert”, recommends additives to be given along with the main three feeds but these are not important for our purpose.

What we can do is feed a balanced feed (the Wilco feed) up to flowering, then add a tomato feed to boost the Bloom which is phosphorus and potassium.

Unfortunately, hydroponic nutrients are expensive but it is possible to provide our plants with a similar range of nutrients at each stage of their growth, using much less expensive options.

4 Responses

  1. Gary nicholson
    | Reply

    Hi nick I’m not sure if you will get this email but here goes,I was thinking of trying alternative feed than nutri grow in my quadgrow reservoirs but I’m unsure that it would work have you any recommendations I currently have 18 quadgrows = 72 pots as you know and love the results with a lot of different varieties and trying new ones every year,also I’m guessing capillary mating from Wilkos or eBay etc can do the same job?.
    Thanks so much
    Gary

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Hi Gary, any good tomato feed will work, but if you don’t use a two part feed, you will need to add extra calcium to the soil – either as a dry or liquid feed.
      I get my capillary matting from Wilkos.

  2. Pete Goodey
    | Reply

    Hi Nick

    Have planted out now in greenhouse growbag system. What micro nutrient would you recommend for pre flowering plants. Sorry if you have this already on the website. I want to grow them up twine – is a standard garden jute strong enough?

    Thanks

    Pete

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Hi Pete, Micro nutrients can be purchased individually from a hydroponic shop but the micro nutrients that come in a good quality tomato food are really sufficient, especially if you also use good quality potting compost or grow bags. Liquid seaweed extract is full of micro nutrients if you want to give your plants a boost. The only extra nutrients I give to my plants when growing in soil is calcium and magnesium – both available at the garden centre – see Chempak.
      Cheers,
      Nick

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