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Thread: Water Quality and Choosing the Right Fertilizer

  1. #1

    Default Calcuation of MOST in a 2 part fertilizer solution Hydroponic System with Jack’s Hydropo

    This Dialogue was received here at J.R. PETERS through our tech support hotline 866-522-5752 and I thought it would help to put it out here for anyone else that possibly has run into this question.
    Grower: I am running recirculating reservoir system (Continuous Liquid Feed) and using the two part 5-12-26 + 15.5-0-0 + MoST. I am mixing the two part in the recommended proportions: 13 oz. of 5-12-26 + 8.6oz. of 15.5-0-0 per 100 gallons RO water. My question is regarding the calculating the amount of MoST to add to my solution.
    Dr. Cari : So far so good
    Grower: the directions indicate amount per pound of fertilizer. Am I correct to add the weights together for purposes of this calculation? (i.e. 13oz + 8.6oz = 21.6oz = 1.35 pounds)
    Dr. Cari: Yes, this exactly how you do it
    Grower: the directions indicate different amounts for different N% in fertilizer. Am I correct to simply add the first two numbers together (i.e. 5 + 15.5 = 20.5%N)? Or do I calculate the N% as a weighted average of the two parts i.e. [13oz x 5% + 8.6oz X 15.5%] / 21.6 total oz = 9.2%N? Or do I calculate some other way? (btw, the math itself is not the problem, just knowing the correct formula/process)
    Dr. Cari: You would calculate the %N as a weighted average of the 2 parts – just like you did above – this gives you the best estimation of the total parts N your plant is able to see and take up into the roots.
    If you are looking to add our Jack’s Professional Mix of Soluble Trace Elements or MOST here are some quick rates and tips to keep in mind so that you are truly getting the levels and availability of micronutrients that you are searching for:
    1. Watch for Precipitates : remember the MOST only goes with the 5-12-26 and never with the CaNO3 – the Sulfates in the MOST product will precipitate with any Calcium for when mixed in a concentrated solution.
    2. Maintain a stable pH between 5.2 and 6.0. The MOST product has a much lower avialability as the pH increased about 6.1

    • With every new batch of fertilizer – 2 oz per 100 gallons of water – for normal, healthy plants to maintain good micro-nutrient solubility and availability.
    • As a once in a while micro-nutrient booster – between 4-6 oz of MOST per 100 gallons of water
    • For plants that are showing signs of micronutrient deficiency – ** Best to confirm with a tissue analysis — 8 + oz of MOST per 100 gallons of water – can be repeated based on nutrient status.

    always feel to lean toward conservative numbers for the MOST product, you can always go back and add more or adjust up. There are much worse repercussions when you add too much MOST at one time, since once this product is in the nutrient mixture it is hard to remove it without fully flushing the system or waiting for plant uptake.
    For more information please feel free to call our JR PETERS LABORATORY. We perform fast and accurate water, nutrient solution, fertilzer, plant tissue and media nutreint analysis as well as have the technical suport to back it up.
    Visit our website at www. and click on lab services.


  2. #2

    Default Hydroponic Nutrients: Where to start? Quality and Solubility part 1 with Jack’s Hydropo

    Providing nutrients to your growing plants can sometimes be a daunting and confusing task. Often you are told to use “home or garden” brands and adapt them to your hydroponic environment.

    “The key in establishing, maintaining and harvesting healthy plants is to provide nutrients that are soluble and available. If one or both of these important conditions are not met, you end up wasting both your time and money.” Nutrient Solubility & Quality
    Nutrient sources can vary greatly by both the “grade” of the material bought by the fertilizer manufacturer and the country it was imported from. Most mineral nutrient sources come from all over the world and are subject to quality guidelines ( or lack there of ) from the country of origin.
    It is imperative in a hydroponic environment that you are using the highest quality and purity nutrients.
    This means, in terms we can understand, you must look for single element nutrientsor blends that are using greenhouse or technical grade quality materials. In addition, avoid countries of export that do not have a stringent reputation for regulation. For example, here at J.R. Peters we do not use any nutrients from China. Why? the solubility is often ok (minus the occasional feather) but the “extras” that come along with it – the Lead, the Cadmium, the Arsenic – are too high to include in any of our blends. You won’t find THAT listed on the bag, but let me tell you, it is there — in many of the bargain brand formulas.
    In most cases, products that you can find in the large chain stores that are marketed for home and garden use are NOT appropriate for hydroponics. Growing in the garden with real soil, compost amended soil or even soilless or potting media, allows for more leeway when it comes to nutrient quality. In a classic automated or passive water system, ( bubbler bucket, coco coir, sand, perlite or other substrate system) where WATER is mainly surrounding the roots and root environment, you MUST use 100% soluble nutrients that go into a completely clear solution. There is NO room for a suspension here folks, we mean a true solution.
    If one thing is going to make a difference it is the choice to use the best quality nutrients out there, do some research and check out the source. You will find there are some really great blends made with quality nutrients, like our Jack’s Professional and Hydroponic formulas :) Quality nutrients are the first steps to growing healthy and happy plants. For more information on the types of innovative formulas we design at J.R. Peters please check out our website:
    Part 2 coming soon…


  3. #3

    Default My Fertilizer has Changed Color, is this Normal? with Jack’s Hydroponics

    I received this question today from a Greenhouse grower that is growing Poinsettias…obviously NOT hydroponically but this issue is also seen with our New HYDRO-HERB formula which is also part of our FeED line of Iron enhanced products…
    Hello Dr. Peters,
    I mixed up two bags of your Jack’s Professional Poinsettia FeED yesterday so that the dilution will end up at 200 ppm N and noticed the diluted solution is dark gray, not blue. Is this normal? Or just a dye problem?
    Here is my response:
    The good news is that NOTHING is wrong. There is no problem with the batch or any changes with the dye that we use here at J.R. Peters.
    All the Jack’s Professional FeED fertilizer products utilize a proprietary blend of Iron (Fe) chelates. One of them…the Fe EDDHA (6%) is very dark red in color and keeps Fe available up to a pH of 8+. Even though we don’t use that much, it does alter the color so that the fertilizer appears, in concentrate, a bit darker blue and some say, a bit gray. This does not affect the solubility or high quality of the blend and solution — but it does catch people by surprise! The formula’s most affected by this are:
    Jack’s Hydro-Herb 16-4-17
    Jack’s Professional Petunia FeED 20-3-19
    Jack’s Poinsettia Feed’s 17-5-19 and 15-4-15
    Jack’s Spring and Fall Pansy 15-2-20 and 17-3-19


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Calcuation of MOST in a 2 part fertilizer solution Hydroponic System with Jack’s Hyd

    I think that might have been my phone call LOL .
    The scent of fresh cut grass is plants screaming.
    Abolish Lawns and golf courses!
    Suppression of grasses is an inter-kingdom hate crime.
    LOL TailTeaser Laughed at this post

  5. #5

    Default Water Quality and Choosing the Right Fertilizer

    Knowing your water quality is the first step in successful growing. There are many different factors that come into play. No two water sources are exactly the same, so in theory what works for the grower down the road may not work for you.
    Water alkalinity plays the biggest role in choosing the correct fertilizer. A simple way to think of alkalinity is as the ability of your water to neutralize acid. The higher the alkalinity, the more acid it will take to lower the pH of your water. Plus, water alkalinity is often an indicator of your pH and Ca levels in your water. Low alkalinity or pure water sources (less than 60ppm alkalinity) are often lower in pH and lacking in secondary nutrients like calcium and magnesium. I usually recommend picking a basic or neutral fertilizer with added calcium and magnesium, like Jack’s 17-4-17 pure water or Jack’s 15-5-15 cal-mag. Occasionally, you may need a booster of a higher acidity fertilizer like Jack’s Petunia FeED or High Performance, so make sure you have some on hand. Low alkalinity waters are classified as waters with less than 100 ppm of alkalinity.
    Your waters alkalinity and pH are related, but not the same, and with the moderate alkalinity waters, ( 60 ppm and 120 ppm) this relationship is the most crucial. Generally moderate alkalinity water has some calcium and a little magnesium but can also be susceptible to imbalances of some other harmful salts like sodium and chloride. If your initial water pH is above 6.2, these types of waters need a high potential acidity fertilizer like a 20-10-20pl, 25-5-15 or 21-5-20. Extra magnesium and sulfur is almost always needed, adding Epsom salts to your stock tank will take care of this. If the starting pH is below 6.2, you may have to stick with a potentially neutral fertilizer like Jack’s 17-4-17 or alternate with an acidic and basic program, like 20-10-20 alternating with 15-0-15.
    High Alkalinity water is sometimes the hardest water to recommend a fertilizer for and most likely may cause a gradual increase in the growing media pH. Water falling into this category generally has adequate calcium, but low magnesium and is often out of the 2:1 ca-mg ratio. These waters often have high sodium levels and soluble salts build up in the media can pose a problem in long term crops. Any water over 180ppm is considered very high alkalinity. As the pH climbs, availability of certain plant nutrients, particularly the micronutrients like iron and manganese are negatively affected resulting in deficiencies. In certain water types with high alkalinity and high pH it may be necessary to inject mineral acid (sulfuric or phosphoric) into the water or to use “acid-forming” fertilizers. Fertilizers for this type of water are 16-2-15 High Alkalinity Plug, 21-5-20, 20-3-19 Petunia. Sulfuric acid is the most common of acids to inject because it not only acidifies, but also adds in extra sulfur.
    So how do you begin? Understand what is in your water. You may be able to get some of this information from your local municipal water company but they most likely will not have some of the key information that you as a grower need. To get all of the key information you should have your water tested by a reputable testing company that specializes in horticultural or agricultural testing. Many of the state run universities do this type of testing and certainly there are private companies who specialize in this type of testing. Our JR PETERS LABORATORY is one of them.
    -Krystal Snyder
    Plants by pH.pdf
    Sample To Diagnose Nutrient Disorders.pdf
    Water Quality and Alkalinity Guidelines.pdf
    Anatomy of a Water-Soluble Fertilizer Label.pdf
    Test For Success.pdf
    Water Soluble's Place in Sustainability.pdf
    Finding Your Perfect Match.pdf
    Three Ways to Avoid Common Fertilizer Problems.pdf

    -Krystal Snyder

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