By Liz Servito
Perhaps there is nothing worse to a hydroponic grower than to step in his garden and see yellow, curled edges, and burnt tips on plan leaves. These are the signs that the plants aren’t getting the right amount of nutrients they require for survival.
Nutrient deficiency in hydroponic plants could strike even when the hydroponic nutrients solution is well balanced. This is because some other factors are preventing sufficient absorption.
It’s a good thing there are some measures that a gardener could take to ensure that the plants won’t suffer from hydroponic nutrients deficiency.
1. Monitor pH Levels
There are many factors that could cause the nutrient solution to fall beyond the ideal range of 5.6. Often, if a hydroponic nutrients solutions is not monitored for too long, it could begin to drift outside of the said range, because it will get too dense in raw nutrients. Sometimes, it could become too alkaline or too acidic when you add new nutrients or transfer the plants to a new medium.
PH levels change rapidly. So it is important to check them every day. The longer the hydroponic nutrients solution spends outside the ideal range, the higher the chance that your plants will suffer. To make necessary adjustments to the pH levels of the solution, use a pharmaceutical-grade pH adjustment product.
2. Keep Temperature Levels Stable
The temperature of the hydroponic nutrients solution must be relatively cool, somewhere between 66 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to be particularly aware of this if you reside in an unusually cold or warm part of the world. In order to prevent nutrient deficiency, take additional steps and insulate your garden against the elements outside it. Also, you should avoid placing the reservoir directly on the ground, as the floor could be very cool. And such temperature can affect the temperature of your reservoir.
3. Keep an Eye on Phosphorus
Phosphorus is one of the most vital nutrients in a hydroponic nutrients solution. But it is very easy to have excessive phosphorus in a solution, which could result in deficiency in other essential nutrients like iron.
In general, the key to avoiding nutrient deficiency is keeping accurate measurements. If you can regularly and accurately measure the pH levels, conductivity, and temperature of your hydroponic nutrients solution, the chances of encountering less ideal condition will be surprisingly low. And ultimately, you will prevent nutrient deficiency in your plants.
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