Growing hydroponically can become a pricey venture, so it’s smart to examine ways to reduce the total cost of a hydroponic growing operation. But be careful because there are times when purchasing the cheapest product can actually cost more money than it saves. There are reasons to consider factors other than just price when you purchase hydroponic nutrients.
When you purchase hydroponics nutrients, you are not just buying the product itself; you are also purchasing the research and development that went into the creation of the product. Cheaper products are often created with very little or even no research, which can lead to unpredictable effects on plants and poor yields. A higher price can sometimes signal that the manufacturer spent more time and money ensuring that it has high quality product that will have the best possible effect on hydroponically grown plants.
Using the least expensive hydroponic nutrients available can actually cost money. Many times these products can be diluted and have the improper balance of nutrients, which results in the grower being forced use more of them when compared to better quality nutrients. Over time, this practice can force the grower to spend more money than if they had purchased a quality nutrient in the beginning. Price is important to every business person or consumer but the quality of product also needs to be considered in a purchasing decision.
The point of any hydroponics nutrient is to create larger yields and a properly balanced hydroponic nutrient solution typically creates better yields. If the 3 main components of a hydroponic nutrient solution (NPK, Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium) are not well balanced and complement each other in an effective way, plants will not reach their potential. A higher price can at times mean a more effective product.
Every good manufacturer of hydroponic nutrients will support their product. This includes providing product information on a website and a phone number and email address customers can use for product support purposes. Part of providing a quality product is making sure customers understand how to use it after a purchase has been made. If a company does not provide a phone number and email address for support purposes it is a good indication that they only want to sell the product, but not support their customers after it has been purchased, so be careful about doing business with them.
Marie Oliver is Garden & Greenhouse contributing editor.