by Jon Winters
Hydroponics gardening guide – preparing hydroponic nutrient solution, transplant seedlings and taking cutting for clones
How to preparing hydroponic Nutrient Solution
Nutrient solution is made of water with dissolved fertilizer. It is preferable to have good quality water to be mixed with the fertilizer, the amount of which is always indicated by the manufacturer. It is very important to check and adjust if necessary pH level of nutrient solution with liquid pH adjusters. Usually, pH level of the nutrient solution depends on the plant; however, most often it is between 6.0 and 6.5 for the majority of the starter cubes, with the exception being Rockwool, which needs pH level of 5.5 to 5.8. Fertilizing young plants, a gardener should use a nutrient solution as weak as ¼ to ½ of the full strength suggested by the manufacturer. Only plants older than two weeks can be fertilized by the full strength nutrient solutions. It is recommended to keep the growing medium moist, but not too wet or soaked with the hydroponics nutrient solution.
How to Transplant Seedlings
The seedlings should be transplanted when the roots have grown out of the starter cubes. It is just necessary to place the seedling along with the starter cube on top or into the permanent growing medium, which can be any hydroponic growing medium or just soil.
Notes in taking cutting for clones
Cutting, as a method of plants propagation, works well only if every step of the procedure is done correctly. Otherwise, experiments may result in devastating consequences. Though, when done properly, up to 95-100% of all cuttings grow successfully, it is still may be a good idea to take twice as many cuttings as needed, if you are making first steps in growing cuttings.
One of the hints to increase chances in successful outcome is to use distilled water, while growing cuttings. Generally speaking, this is one of the most reliable and proven methods of plants propagation, suitable for most of the plants. Other examples of propagation techniques are dividing, air layering, and tissue culture. It is even possible to root cuttings without the use of any growing media in specific hydroponic systems. After forming the first roots, such cuttings are usually transplanted into any type of preferred growing media.