We have all heard the expression “You are what you eat” well the same is true for plants. Finding the right hydroponic nutrients for lettuce, tomatoes or any other plant can be a challenge when you first start with hydroponics. With good nutrition your plants will give you back the reward and success you are hoping for.
What you feed a plant is important to the success of your crop. Much study and research has gone into getting the right balance of elements and nutrients to get to the point where plants will survive and grow healthy in water.
If you want to get technical and find out what plants need you can Google the minerals and elements required to make a plant grow healthy, you will find there are close to twenty. Do you really want to know the minerals and elements you put into your body when you have a meal? No! All we care about is does it taste good and is it going to be healthy for us
Hydroponic websites are filled with endless brands of nutrients some with real fancy labels that scream out to you saying “pick me, pick me and no! pick me!” The following is a review on one that I use and have success with.
Dutch Nutrient Formula
DNF is by no means a new kid on the block; it has been around for over 25 years and was the first nutrient formula I used when I first started. DNF was developed in Holland (you got to love those tulip growers) and has everything required for your lettuce, tomatoes and whatever you decide to grow to reach its optimum growth.
Name: DNF Gro A & B (4 Litres) & DNF Bloom A & B (4 Litres)
Overall Ranking: 95 out of 100
Price: About CDN$ 57.00 (depending on location)
Owners: Dutch Nutrient Formula
Easy To Use
The two part formula of DNF makes it easy to use for both growth and bloom stages of your plants. As the plants grow the formula can be adjusted from growth to the bloom cycle by applying the Gro and Bloom A & B in different ratio and quantity.
If you look at the lettuce seed package you will find it takes anywhere from 7 to 10 days for the seed to sprout. This depends also on the temperature if it is colder than ambient temperature it may take longer.
Once the seed has sprouted I will add my nutrients, check the bottle for the amount per litre or gallon. For the 11 litre container I am using that’s filled with about 6 to 8 litres of water you would use one and a half to two teaspoons of DNF gro A & B this is to establish roots.
In about a week to 10 days later change the water and increase the dosage up to two or three teaspoons. The next seven to 10 day cycle you should have your plants established enough to give them four teaspoons after replacing the water. Top up the water between changes to keep the concentration from becoming to strong as the water is used up by the plant.
The lettuce plants take from 65 to 85 days to mature in soil. This time will be reduced with hydroponics.
If you are growing tomato plants change over to the bloom A & B once you see the flower starting to bud.
Here is a list of the base nutrients for Gro A and Gro B
Gro Formula A (2-0-2)
- Nitrogen 2%
- Calcium 2%
- Soluble Potash 2%
Gro Formula B (0-1-3)
- Nitrogen 0%
- Available Phosphate 1%
- Soluble potash 3%
- Magnesium 0.5%
Here is a list of the base nutrients for Bloom A and Bloom B
Bloom Formula A (3-0-3)
- Nitrogen 3%
- Calcium 2.3%
- Potash 3%
Bloom Formula B (1-0.5-3)
- Nitrogen 1%
- Available Phosphate 0.5%
- Soluble Potash 3%
- Molybdenum 0.00125%
The DNF Gro and Bloom formula does comes in a smaller 1 litre size containers, but the smallest size that I could find online from a reliable source only came in a 4 litre container. The benefit of purchasing in larger quantities is it becomes more economical as it works out cheaper per litre and will last you much longer.
If you have a local hydroponics store close by you may find it in the smaller 1 litre size, as I live a 2 hour drive away from anyone selling hydroponic nutrients I shop online.
I hope this review has been helpful to you, please leave a comments below especially if you have used this product and the results you have had.