Mike Straumietis: Key Components of a Nutrient Calculator
While nutrient calculators are similar to feed charts in that they show you the nutrients you’ll need to add to your system, they do it more accurately. Nutrient calculators allow you to enter your information and get a response, just as with any calculator. Practical calculators will also allow you to account for several crucial factors that can ultimately determine the outcome of your crop. Mike Straumietis points out that there is much more to these calculators than just simple mathematical equations.
It is pertinent to explore some of the functions and logistics of a nutrition calculator now that you know what feeding charts and nutrient calculators are. As stated above, there is much more to nutrient calculators than simple mathematical formulae. Mike Straumietis believes the best calculators will have the following features, so be sure to seek out a product that provides the following items.
EC or Base PPM
Mike Straumietis believes it is essential to know whether your water contains mineral traces. You can measure your solution’s electronic conductivity (EC) or parts per million (ppm). The EC counts the number of salts in a solution, whereas the ppm counts the number of minerals. If a calculator doesn’t take base PPM or EC into consideration, you may be over-calculating your solution. Water mineral content, or hardness, is a common occurrence in rural areas where much of the nation’s crop cultivation takes place. Failing to add this inherent mineral content to your calculations is one of the most common blunders you can make when calculating the amount of fertilizer to add to your water supply.
Variety of Media
Different media respond to nutrients in various ways. To begin with, inert media like coco and Rockwool don’t contain any nutrients, whereas soil normally does. The cation exchange capacity (CEC) of each material varies as well. Cation exchange capacity refers to soil’s ability to hold exchangeable cations, which in turn determines how effectively the soil will retain essential nutrients. The amount of nutrients you need to apply over time depends on which materials hold onto nutrients better than others and is an important factor in any feed calculation. Unfortunately, calculators fall short if they offer the same feeding schedule for all forms of media. Your plants are therefore unlikely to reach their full potential. In some situations, it is advisable to use a variety of media in your plants’ substrate. Doing so can help you ensure that your crops are rooted in a secure and nurturing environment in which they can grow unhindered.
The application guidelines will fluctuate because different hydroponic fertilizer formulations contain varying nutrient concentrations and ratios. You can also utilize multiple products simultaneously in order to achieve the proper balance of fertilizer and substrate. Using a reputable nutrient calculator, you can apply the appropriate amount of each product to the soil each week of a plant’s growth. Using such a calculator will allow you to ensure that you supply a well-rounded regimen of nutrition to your crops.