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Nutrient Delivery is Controlled in Hydroponics

Nutrient Delivery is Controlled in Hydroponics 2
Eric  Cook   ericccookyahoo.com   1 eccookAlaska.edu   907-­‐460-­‐1316   Hydroponics NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT FOR HYDROPONICS 2 Nutrient Delivery is Controlled in Hydroponics u  No complex Soil Chemistry u  Controlled Nutrient Application u  Standard media behavior u  Less complex biological interactions u  The plant only gets what you give it 3 Fertilizer u Premixed with Micronutrients or u Individual Chemicals 4 Mixing Chemical by Chemical u  Specifically Tailored for your needs based on local water quality u  Should minimize waste and create the most idea nutrient solution for ideal plant growth u  More complicated and chances for errors u  More adaptable for nutrient adjustments u  Usually 2 or 3 Concentrate Tanks http://3.imimg.com/data3/NL/XE/MY-7044661/ nitrogen-fertilizer-500x500.png Example of using Elemental Fertilizers 5 Table 1 & 2 - Pepper Formulation Element Concentration (ppm) Fertilizer Source Macronutrients Macronutrients Fe 1.5-3.0 Iron Chelate (FeDTPA) NO3-N 190 Calcium Nitrate Calcium Nitrate/ NH4-N 18 Manganese Sulfate/ Ammonium Nitrate Mn 0.55 Manganese Chelate Monopotassium P 40 Phosphate Monopotassium Zinc Sulfate/ Zn 0.33 K 340 Phosphate/ Zinc Chelate Potassium Sulfate B 0.33 Boric Acid/Solubor Ca 170 Calcium Nitrate Mg 50 Magnesium Sulfate Cu 0.05 Copper Sulfate Potassium Sulfate/ Sodium or Ammonium Magnesium Sulfate SO4 360 Mo 0.05 Molybdate http://www.howardresh.com/hydroponic-culture-peppers2.html 6 How do you know what and how much to of each fertilizer to use? u  Usually you send a water sample results to a company, who recommends a formula u  There are programs u  If you like chemistry, you can figure it out. http://i.ytimg.com/vi/vYv9iu2NI3M/maxresdefault.jpg 7  Premixed u  Simple & Straight Forward u  Easier to make less mistakes u  Works Well but is not tailored to the Location 8 Fertilizer: Tank 1 - everything without nitrogen Premixed Formula with Micronutrients Magnesium Sulfate 9 Fertilizer: Tank 2 – Calcium Nitrate & Potassium Nitrate Potassium Nitrate Calcium Nitrate CHEM-GRO CUCUMBER FORMULA 8-16-36   10 Sample GUARANTEED ANALYSIS   Total Nitrogen (N) ……………………………………………………8.00% Nitrate Nitrogen………………………………………………………..7.00% premixed Ammoniacal Nitrogen…………………………………………………1.00% Available Phosphoric Acid (P205)………………………………16.00% Soluble Potash (K20)……………………………………………… 36.00%   formula for TRACE ELEMENTS   cucumbers Boron as (B) …………………………………………………………….0.05% Copper as (Cu)………………………………………………………… 0.05% Iron (Chelated) as (Fe).. ……………………………………………..0.20% Total Manganese as (Mn)…………………………………………….0.10% Soluble Manganese as (Mn) ………………………………………..0.10% Molybdenum (Mo) …………………………………………………….0.01% Analysis and Zinc (Zn) ………………………………………………………………….0.05%   Ingredients Derived From: Potassium Nitrate, Potassium Phosphate, Ammonium Phosphate, Potassium Sulfate, Sodium Borate, Copper Sulfate, Iron DTPA, Molybdic Acid, Manganese Sulfate, & Zinc Sulfate.   https://hydro-gardens.com/product/cucumber-formula-25lbs-bag-8-16-36/ Lettuce  Fertilizer  –  Re.illing  the  Stock  Tanks   11   Mixing  Instructions:     When  the  30  gallon  concentrate  tanks  are  empty,   rinse  and  clean  them.  Excess  fertilizer  can  be  placed   in  small  buckets  and  distributed  onto  the  gardens,   even  in  the  winter.  It  is  better  for  the  environment   then  dumping  it  down  the  drain.  Certain  fertilizers   cannot  be  mixed  together,  so  there  are  two  tanks.      12 Stock Tank Mixing Continued Weigh  the  fertilizers.  Place  the  scale  on  a  sold  surface.  Zero  the  scale   with  the  empty  bucket  that  will  hold  the  fertilizer.  You  will  need  three   clean  buckets.  Weigh  each  of  the  fertilizers  into  a  separate  bucket.  Weigh   out:       Tank  A:      15  lbs  -­‐  Chem-­‐Gro  Lettuce  Formula  8-­‐15-­‐36                9.3  lbs  -­‐  Magnesium  Sulfate  -­‐  Epsom  Salt  (EpsoTop)         Tank  B:  15  lbs  –  Calcium  Nitrate  (Calcinit)  13 Stock Tank Mixing Continued Start  .illing  Tank  A  with  water.  Once  you  have  some  water  in  the  tank,  add  the  Lettuce  Chem-­‐Gro.  Stir   VIGUROUSLY.  Then  add  the  Magnesium  Sulfate.  Stir  VIGUROULY.  It  is  important  to  get  the  fertilizers   dissolved.    Stir  during  the  whole  time  that  the  water  is  Pilling.  Don’t  let  the  water  get  too  high  before   you  get  the  fertilizer  all  dissolved,  since  it  can  be  hard  to  get  it  fully  mixed  without  it  sloshing  the   solution  over  the  top,  if  the  tank  is  nearly  full.  Top  it  off,  as  high  as  you  can,  while  still  being  able  to  put   the  lid  back  on  without  overPlowing  the  tank.       Tank  A:      15  lbs  –  Chem-­‐Gro  Lettuce  Formula  8-­‐15-­‐36                    9.3  lbs  -­‐  Magnesium  Sulfate  -­‐  Epsom  Salt  (EpsoTop)       Start  .illing  Tank  B  with  water.  Once  you  have  some  water  in  the  tank,  add  the  Calcium  Nitrate   (Calcinit).  Stir  VIGUROULY.  It  is  important  to  get  the  fertilizer  dissolved.    Stir  during  the  whole  time   that  the  water  is  Pilling.  Don’t  let  the  water  get  too  high  before  you  get  the  fertilizer  all  dissolved.  Top  it   off,  as  high  as  you  can,  while  still  being  able  to  put  the  lid  back  on  without  overPlowing  the  tank.   Tank  B:    15  lbs  –  Calcium  Nitrate  (Calcinit)  14 Daily Testing u  Test EC u  Test pH u  Test 2-3 times a day on an NFT System, unless your systems automatic injection is very reliable, then less often. u  If your injectors are reliable on a Dutch bucket system; you can check once or twice a week or even less. http://www.myronlmeters.com/v/ vspfiles/photos/DH-UMII-6PII-2T.jpg Recommended EC & PH 15 u  LETTUCE - EC should be 1700 µS (1.7 mS). The recommendation from Hydro-Gardens for the Lettuce Formula is a pH of 6.0-6.5. Other sources recommend a pH 5.5-5.8 in typical NFT systems. u  TOMATO - Test the water coming out of the spray stakes. It should come out at pH 6.2 and have an EC(cond.) of 1700 – 1900 µS. u  CUCUMBER - I have found that the European Cucumbers we grow are very vigorous and in order to prevent deficiencies and maximize production we need an EC of 2500 µS. The pH should be 6.4-6.7. 16 Electrical Conductivity (EC) mS u Varies by formulation and crop u Usually from 1500 – 2500 µS plus source water u Ex) Cucumbers like a high EC around 2500 µS u Ex) Lettuce and Tomatoes both like it around 1700 µS http://kuvat.verkkokauppaan.fi/kuvat/213/t133199/ truncheon.jpg 17 pH Testing u Usually a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 in Hydroponics is fine(soil pH is often Ideally higher) u Different plants and solutions have different ideal target ranges u Follow Label if you are using a premixed formula u Check NFT Systems 2-3 times a day http://www.petco.com/assets/product_images/ 3/317163001288D.jpg 18 What Can you test with? u  EC Meters, pH Meters, Combo Meters u  EC meters that can be calibrated u  EC Dip Sticks u  pH Color Chart Test Kits https://4hydroponics.com/images/products/ blueLabCombo.jpg 19 What is pH? u  pH is the measure of acidity/alkalinity of a solution.  u  Specifically, pH is a measure of the hydronium ion H3O+. It is based on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 14. "Pure" water has a pH of 7.0. If the pH is less than 7, the solution is acid. If the pH is greater than 7 it is alkaline. Because the scale is logarithmic and not linear, a pH of 6 indicates ten times more H protons than a pH of 7, and a pH of 5 indicates 10 times more protons than a pH of 6.  http://generalhydroponics.com/site/index.php/ resources/faqs/ph_dynamics_and_adjustment/ 20 Why does pH matter? u  It affects nutrient availability http://www.bghydro.com/media/wysiwyg/BGH/ blog/no-stress-ph-tds/tdsph.gif 21 What can you use to adjust pH? u  Diluted Sulfuric Acid - Battery Acid – lower pH u  pH Down - Phosphoric Acid – lower pH u  PH Up - Potassium Hydroxide & Potassium Carbonate – raise pH u  Potassium Phosphate – raise pH u  Other acids and bases that don’t negatively effect the chemistry of the nutrient solution for the plants http://www.powergrowsystems.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/ 650x650/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/g/e/ general_hydroponics_phkit.jpg 22 pH Considerations u  Fertilizers often contain buffering agent to lower pH so the nutrient solution will likely be lower pH than the source water u  System with tanks can be pH adjusted in the solution tank u  Systems with inline injectors may need the pH adjustment beforehand 23 pH - Example Acid Mixing Instructions When  the  Acid  Tank  is  out:  Put  on  your  safety  goggles  and  rubber  gloves.   SAFETY  FIRST  Add  one  container  (blank)  oz  of  Sulfuric  Acid  (Battery  Acid)   to  a  5  gallon  bucket  of  water.  Mix  gently.  Put  the  lid  on,  when  you  move  the   bucket.  One  cup  of  the  diluted  acid  solution  should  drop  the  system  pH  by  . 1.  Take  it  a  little  easy  and  test  the  main  tank  pH  when  adding  acid  from  a   new  batch  just  in  case  it  is  a  bit  strong.  The  NFT  system  takes  a  little  while   to  balance  out  after  acid  is  added.  24 So what is EC anyway? u  PPM and EC meters measure the strength of a nutrient solution by measuring the flow of electrical current between two metallic probes. The higher the salt concentration in the nutrient solution, the better it conducts electricity. u  TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) is a measurement of the strength of a nutrient solution. It can be expressed in PPM (Parts Per Million) or EC (Electrical Conductivity), which states values in µS (MicroSiemens) or mS (MilliSiemens). PPM tends to be the most common in the United States while EC is more common internationally. PPM and EC meters measure nutrient strength in the same way with the same accuracy, but the readouts are displayed differently. For example, a nutrient solution that measures 1000 PPM on a TDS meter with a 0.7 conversion factor is the same strength as a solution that registers 1430 µS or 1.43 mS on an EC meter. u  Knowing your meter's conversion factor is also important when it comes time to calibrate it. Hanna calibration solutions are generally for meters with a 0.5 conversion factor while Genesis calibration solution is generally for meters with a 0.7 conversion factor. http://blog.bghydro.com/2012/02/03/bghs-no-stress-guide-to-ph-and-tds/ 25 Why does EC matter? u  It is the total amount of salts or essentially nutrients dissolved in the nutrient solution. u  EC doesn’t tell you how much of what nutrients you have in the water. u  EC affects the availability of nutrients and water to crops. 26 Tissue and Water Testing u  Helps you know if your nutrients are in normal range. u  Water Samples u  Help you make needed adjustments to your formula u  Tissue Samples u Helps you see what the plants are taking up u Compare results to the range of sufficiency to see if you are within range u Ask you lab how they want you to collect and send in the sample: Usually you collect 10-15 of the newest mature leafs in a paper bag for each sample 27 How to read a Tissue Analysis? u  First of all send your sample to a lab to be tested for the important nutrients of concern. u  Then compare it to norms for the particular crop. Compare your 28 results to Norms http://www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pdffiles/gtomato.pdf 29 What do you do about the results? u  Fine tune your fertilizer use to bring your plant tissue tests within range. u  This is easier if you are mixing individual chemical fertilizers. 30 CO2 Supplementation u  A common fuel is propane u  General atmospheric CO2 is around 360-400ppm u  Plant growth can be significantly improved from 700-1200 ppm CO2 u  Over 1500 ppm CO2 is probably a waste, often over a 1000 ppm is a waste u  CO2 supplementation adds heat u  C02 supplementation is best done when the vents are not opening (morning), when it is cool outside, and there is not yet solar gain pushing up greenhouse temperatures 31 Liebig's Law of the Minimum u  A principle developed in agricultural science by  Carl Sprengel (1828) and later popularized by  Justus von Liebig. It states that growth is controlled not by the total amount of resources available, but by the scarcest resource ( limiting factor) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebig http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/ %27s_law_of_the_minimum thumb/1/1c/Minimum-Tonne.svg/640px-Minimum- Tonne.svg.png 32 CO2 Burner u  CO2 can be depleted by plants, especially in the winter months when there are fewer air exchanges in the greenhouse. 33 Thanks for Coming
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