All Hydro 101

Mixing Nutrients – A Beginner’s Guide

  • Before adding nutrients or supplements, check the baseline EC/PPM of the water. Hard water and PPM levels (.7 scale) may hinder growth. The use of RO filtered water is recommended.
  • Add your base nutrient until the target EC/PPM level is reached. The ideal level depends on plant size, genetic variety, lighting intensity, environment, and growth phase.
    If you don’t know where to start, consult the feed sheet or nutrient calculator provided by your manufacturer.
  • Begin adding supplements, one at a time, allowing each to mix into solution before adding the next.* Not allowing each component to mix thoroughly can cause nutrients to become unstable and fall out of solution.
  • Allow solution to mix thoroughly and measure pH. Calibrate your pH meter weekly to ensure accurate readings.
  • Adjust pH to the appropriate level based on grow media being used:
    Hydroponics   5.5 – 6.2
    Coco Coir        5.8 – 6.2
    Soil                   6.2 – 6.7
  • Now you’re ready to feed your plants! Once mixed, unused nutrient solution should be discarded after 7-10 days. Check the pH of the nutrient solution each time before watering to ensure the pH has not fluctuated out of the ideal range.

* Keep in mind that some supplements will add to your total EC/PPMs, check the labels for their NPKs, or check our nutrient calculator at for estimated PPM ranges for Botanicare supplements.


Continued in Organics and Minerals: Do you Really Understand What’s Going into your Garden?