Hydroponic gardening is easy and grow plants faster than soil. New growers face many problems in hydroponic gardening like Nitrogen Toxicity.
They give a high dosage of nutrients to the growing plants. Because new growers think that by giving more nutrients, they can get bigger plants. which is not true in reality and they face nutrient toxicity like conditions.
In today’s post, we will discuss Nitrogen toxicity and how to prevent it?
What is Nitrogen toxicity?
No doubt that plants need a good amount of Nitrogen than other nutrients. In the initial growing stage, they need it most. Nitrogen helps them to develop stems, roots, and green leaves. Plants like lettuce need a high nitrogen dosage. But this does not mean you flood the reservoir with high concentrated nitrogen fertilizer.
In the veg stage, they can handle the high level of nitrogen in the reservoir. But nitrogen becomes toxic for them. When you give it in their flowering stage. They need a balanced form of nutrients when they start producing flowers.
You have to adjust the nutrient mixture according to the plant’s growth stage. If you don’t do so then you will surely face Nitrogen Toxicity.
How much Nitrogen is sufficient for plants?
First of all, I want to make it clear that the below written is a general guide. Every plant is different from others and has different nutrient needs. Mix the nutrients according to the plant type and its growing stage. Some plants need more nitrogen whereas others need a moderate amount of it.
Nitrogen in Initial Growing Stage
This is the first growth stage of plants and is also called the Vegetative stage. At this stage, the plants develop stem, roots, and foliage. All these are green parts of the plant. They need a high amount of Nitrogen to develop green parts.
Further, these parts are used to produce enough energy to support the flowering stage. For hydroponic we recommend General hydroponic nutrients. Because in soil gardening you can use any nutrient brand.
The soil also has nutrients in it. We also have compost to make soil extra fertile for the heavy feeder plants.
But in hydroponics liquid nutrients are the only option we have to boost plant health.
Dyna-Gro Foliage hydroponic nutrient is also a good option if you do not get a General hydroponic nutrient bottle.
Nitrogen in Flowering Stage
This is the second stage of plants in which they develop buds, flowers, and fruits. They transfer their energy to produce fruits for us. If you give the same mixture of nutrients at this stage. Your plants will surely deal with Nitrogen toxicity.
The flowering stage is also called the blooming stage and we have separate nutrients for it.
You can use blooming nutrients from General hydroponics or from the house of Miracle-Gro.
Avoid fertilization 1 month before the harvesting. This will disturb the taste and appearance of the produce. Today we have particular fertilizers for example tomato fertilizers, lettuce fertilizers, potato fertilizers. This makes it easy to choose the perfect fertilizer for any hydroponic growing plant.
How to identify Nitrogen Toxicity?
Every plant is a different plant and has different signs of nitrogen toxicity. But universal signs of nutrient toxicity are as below
Dark, skinny leaves
Green leaves turn yellow
These systems are also a result of low or high pH. And you know the pH level only disturb when the nutrients in the mixture are less or more. Whenever you see the sudden fluctuation in the pH reading of the nutrient water along with the above signs. The possible cause is excess nitrogen in the reservoir water.
How to treat Nitrogen toxicity?
Treating nitrogen toxins in the soil is easy than in hydroponic systems. In an outdoor garden, you just give extra water and the nutrients settle down in the soil. But in hydroponics, you need to do extra work and that is flushing the system.
Check the nutrient concentration of the solution with the nutrient check meter. If it is not in the correct range then add pure water to it. This water dilutes the solution and lowers the pH level. Once the pH comes in the correct range then stop adding water and turn ON the system. Your plants will again become healthy in 4 to 5 days.
If the problem does not get solve the only solution is flushing the entire system. Use flushing solution to clean the reservoir and water pipes.
Then make the new fresh nutrients mix and put in into the reservoir and turn ON hydroponic system.
Your problem will be solved in few days.
Why does it happen in hydroponics?
Because in hydroponics we use liquid nutrients. These nutrients come in concentrated form. You have to dilute them with water according to the plant growth stage. The problem is not with fertilizers. This problem comes due to a lack of growing experience in new growers.
Professional growers never face such problems because they know the secret of making nutrient water. Always follow the instructions written on the bottle.
But make sure you buy the right nutrient bottle for the growing plants. There is not a universal nutrient that is suitable for all plants.
For example: For hydroponic tomatoes use hydroponic tomato liquid fertilizer.
Every vegetable and herb have its soil and hydroponic nutrient. Do not use soil nutrients in hydroponic systems.
Soil gardening and hydroponic gardening are two different things.
I hope now you understand why you are facing such nutrient toxicity problems in your hydroponic systems. Choose the easy to grow plants first if you are a new grower.
For completely new growers we do not recommend hydroponic systems. Grow some plants in pots and gain some experience. Growing in pots is easy than hydroponics. Because you need to give extra time to growing machines. Whereas pot plants just need water a few times a week and proper sunlight.
For any problem related to nutrient, toxicity feels free to contact us. Our team will help to save your plants. You can also learn about the latest hydroponic systems and growing techniques.