Can I store fertilzer after it's been mixed with water?

by Fred
(Exeter, N.H.)

I use soil, not hydro yet. I have Fox Farm fertilizers, Big Bloom and Tiger Bloom. The instructions give directions for a gallon mix. I would be lucky to use that in a week. Can I mix these products and store them at room temp? And should it have a lid on it? I have read somewhere that with organic products, once mixed it should be used that day and not after. Is this true? Thank you very much, Fred.



Answer: Fred- even though organic fertilizers recommend using them right away once mixed, I have never had a problem saving them for three or four days. Even at a week you are probably still fine. I have no doubt SOME degradation occurs as micro-organisms begin to feed on the seaweed and other organic material in the fertilizer....but if you are keeping it in a cool, dark location this will be kept to a minimum.

Light will cause algae to grow when both water and nutrients are present....and heat will cause micro-organisms to multiply very rapidly. Avoid both and you should be OK for short term storage. I always kept a lid on my extra nutrients, more to avoid spills than for any other reason.

If you become overly concerned about the hydroponic nutrient solution quality, you could always try mixing it up a half gallon at a time (simply use HALF the fertilizer recommended in the directions). That will reduce the amount of time you have to store the extra nutrient solution.

If you were using freshly brewed compost tea, that would be a different story. Fresh brewed compost tea supports large populations of beneficial micro-organisms....this is one of the reasons it is so effective. If you try to store this type of fertilizer for several days, most of the beneficial micro-organisms are likely to die off (along with any benefit you would have gotten from using them).

I hope this helps you out Fred....and Happy Growing!

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(10 week update below)


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Hi everyone, Jason from Jason's Indoor Guide here. When I got started with hydroponic gardening more than 24 years ago, my first garden used rockwool cubes and B.C. Nutrients....and I remember thinking to myself yeah, sure, there may be a lot of advantages to gardening with hydroponics, for example there are very few pest problems, therefore very little pest control, no weeding, no plowing or tilling the soil, no soil testing or having to add things into the garden soil, no watering the garden....but for someone who just wants to grow their own vegetables and have more control over their food supply and the quality of the food that they eat, the cost of constantly having to buy grow media and hydroponic nutrients makes this an expensive hobby for most people...


Epic Nutrient Change



I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn't have a whole lot of money to work with and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as possible....and in the last 24 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!

As you browse through Jason's Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks....and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol)...


Homemade Cloner



And, regarding the cost of the nutrients....I experimented for about 3 years with making different compost teas and nutrient teas, but there is still a lot of expense $$$ associated with making high quality nutrient teas....like kelp meal, liquid seaweed, rock dust, bat guano, un-Sulfured molasses, worm castings. You can eliminate a lot of this expense by becoming an expert at making high-quality colloidal humus compost, and use your properly made compost as the basis of your hydroponic nutrient solution.

Unfortunately, I have been gardening for over 24 years and I have only just recently mastered this difficult skill....and even then, only because I happened to find a very easy to follow, high quality technique and decided to follow the instructions to the letter. I produced more high quality compost in just one week than I was able to use in a whole year! If you can master the technique, I highly recommend it. It is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase the productivity of your food production efforts, while at the same time decreasing the amount of effort required to grow all of your own food, and decreasing the total cost of operating your food production system.

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Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!



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