Feeding your plants: Plantui nutrient mix

Many have asked about our nutrients: what are the ingredients and why is it so important to add it every time. In this blog post I will reveal the content of the nutrient mix, but I also want to describe the basics of plants’ nutrient intake and how this happens in hydroponics.

Green plants are able to produce the organic substances they need from inorganic materials. Plants need many elements in order to develop normally. Carbon, oxygen and hydrogen they get from the air and from the water. The rest of the essential elements, like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium they get from their growing medium – usually soil – as inorganic water-soluble salts. These are called nutrients. Nutrients are for plants what vitamins are for us.

 

Not enough nutrients – not a healthy plant

If a plant doesn’t get enough nutrients, it can lead to various symptoms: slow growth, abnormal colour of the leaves or increased risk of catching plant diseases. The most essential element for plants vital functions is nitrogen. Potassium is required for maintaining the fluid balance. Magnesium is an important material for chlorophylls, whereas phosphorus is required by plant cells. Calcium is needed for intracellular messaging and as cell building material.

 

The content of Plantui Nutrient mix

In hydroponics, such as Plantui Smart Gardens, all the important nutrients are added into water: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulphur, iron, and also very small amounts of micronutrients: molybdenum, copper, zinc, manganese and boron. These are the ingredients of the mysterious Plantui nutrient mix!

 

Nutrient blog3

 

Why not organic fertilizers?

Organic fertilizers can’t be used as such in hydroponics, because the organic compounds inhibit the root growth in hydroponic systems. Organic fertilizers are organic substances. Soil organisms break them down into usable form for plants, meaning inorganic. In hydroponic systems there are not enough micro-organisms to do this work. That’s why we give the nutrients to plants as water-soluble salts. There are some possible solutions for organic hydroponics, for example combining living fish and plants, i.e. aquaponics.

Plantui nutrients are made from natural ingredients. For example phosphorus and potassium are mined from minerals in soil. Nitrogen is taken from the atmosphere. These raw materials are processed so that the end product is water-soluble and the nutrients are in a plant-usable form. This way no nutrients are wasted, but are surely used by the plants. When you make your final harvest before washing the device and there is some leftover nutrient solution, you can always give it to your houseplants!

 

Safe, healthy and clean

The nicest thing is that when you grow your own herbs and greens in Plantui Smart Garden, you can eat plants directly without washing them: no more soggy herbs and salad leaves! The water you give to your Plantui plants is the same you drink yourself, so it’s safe.

The nutrients we give to plants end up being beneficial to us. The plants take up the nutrients, like calcium and magnesium, and we got them by eating the plants. And let’s not forget vitamins: plants are the major source of vitamins for humans, as we are unable to make our own.

 

Actually hydroponics is not a really new culture system. Check out this cool video about soil-free tomato growing in the 1930s!  http://www.britishpathe.com/video/plant-growth-miracles/query/greenhouse

If you want to learn more about nutrient uptake in nature, here’s a good article about this subject: http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/plant-soil-interactions-nutrient-uptake-105289112

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Elisa Majara

I'm the gardening specialist at Plantui. I graduated from HAMK University of Applied Sciences in Lepaa, Finland majoring in Horticulture. During my studies I became interested in urban agriculture in all its forms, and also special herbs and vegetables. I like to explore and read exciting articles about plant biology and the importance of plants in our lives. My own personal favorite herb is chervil.

Contact: elisa.majara@plantui.com

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