Maxsea 16 16 16 ( Made from Bloodmeal)

by Frankie
(Orlando, Fl)

Thank have a very informative website!
You recommended the Maxsea 16 16 16, yet you would not use it, because it is made from dried blood. What hydroponic nutrients would you recommend (NFT System) for tomatoes? Best Regards, Frankie B.

Answer: When I first started this website, I was still using Maxsea products....they are less expensive than "professional" hydroponic nutrients, are very nearly complete all by themselves, and they produce very good results when all other factors in the garden are maintained.

Unfortunately, since the mad-cow scare (aka Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), I have had very conflicted feelings about using any bloodmeal or bonemeal products. In case you are not aware, mad-cow disease is related to Anthrax. It is caused by something called a prion, which is many times smaller than a virus and is actually not a living organism! When it comes in contact with living cells, however, it becomes "animated" and goes to work destroying the host organism....very nasty stuff.

Although it costs a little more, your best bet would be to use some "proper" hydroponic nutrients. If you are trying to keep things organic, I suggest using the Canna Bio line of products (they contain NO animal products). These are one-part stand alone fertilizer products....there is one formula for vegetative growth, and another for flowering. This makes it a little easier to mix up your nutrient solution. Also, these fertilizers mix up at just the right pH, so you won't need to check the pH every time you adjust the nutrient solution (and you won't have to buy any pH Up or pH Down!)

If you are not too concerned with keeping things strictly organic, I suggest using B.C. Nutrients....they are my personal favorite. If you have a small garden (say 4 to 6 plants) you can pick up the nutrient sample pack for a very reasonable price from Alternative Garden Supply. These nutrients are a three part system. You mix Veg and Micro for the vegetative growth formula, and you use Flora and Micro for the flowering formula. It is actually very simple to use, just read the directions that come with the nutrients and be sure to follow them!

Obviously, other "professional" nutrient products will work just as well (General Hydroponics, for example). All of these fertilizers have a vegetative formula high in Nitrogen and a flowering formula high in Phosphorus that will work very well for tomatoes.

The biggest factor that will determine your success is how well you maintain your nutrient reservoir. This means maintaining an appropriate nutrient solution strength, keeping the pH adjusted, and completely changing the nutrient solution every two to three weeks.

That should be enough to give you some good results, and keep things relatively simple at the same time. If you find you are having good results and you want to take things to the next level, there are three additional things I recommend adding to the nutrient solution. They are....

Vitamin B1 (Thrive Alive, for example)
liquid seaweed (Maxicrop)
and a Silica product (like Silica Blast)

You really only need to add half as much as they recommend of these products to make a real difference.

Unfortunately, I have not yet found another "cheap" hydroponic nutrient product like MaxSea. I have experimented with making my own compost teas using worm castings and bat guano, but getting the mix just right is very tricky, and these ingredients end up costing just as much as the professional hydroponic nutrients. I hope this helps!

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Find out the cheapest and easiest ways to garden productively in this article.

Hi everyone, Jason from Jason's Indoor Guide here. When I got started with hydroponic gardening more than 22 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.

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 20 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).

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 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.

Make a year's worth of compost in one week!
What is colloidal humus?

Make the world's best compost

Unfortunately, I have been gardening for over 20 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! 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.

And when I say decrease operating costs, I mean decrease them to almost ZERO, especially if you are producing your own nutrients.

High Efficiency

One final solution to eliminate the cost of your hydroponic nutrients: Imagine a hydroponic system that does not require you to buy any nutrients, does not require you to make your own compost, and does not require you to brew your own nutrient tea. Seriously! No cost and no effort as far as providing nutrients to your plants is concerned. Plus, at the end of the gardening cycle, you harvest all of your garden vegetables, PLUS YOU HARVEST FISH from the system!


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This solution is aquaponics. If you are serious about producing all of your own food and being self-sufficient, this is the ultimate solution for reducing expenses (as much as possible), reducing the total amount of work required, and maximizing the productivity of your gardening efforts. I have been gardening for over 20 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.

Produce garnden vegetables AND fish together. Eliminate fertilizer costs!

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!

High Efficiency
Soil Gardening

This is where my advice ends for people growing in water. But some of you out there are in love with soil gardening and organic gardening, and rightly so! It's a pro-human activity. It is pro-conservation. It is pro-life. It nurtures and promotes life at all levels, from the micro-organisms to beneficial insects, to healthy humans. It's natural. it's spiritual. Gardening is written deeply into our DNA, like how you feel watching a bonfire or sitting by the ocean or next to a river.

My friend John at Food4Wealth has more than 20 years experience organic gardening, so he reminds me a lot of myself. He knows organic gardening like I know hydroponic gardening, and over the years he has learned just about every trick there is to organic gardening. He knows what makes the plants grow, and he knows how to do it with as little effort as humanly possible. His garden never needs digging, naturally repels pests, has no weeds, always produces more than his family is able to eat, produces vegetables everyday all year round, and....only requires 8 HOURS of light, easy effort PER YEAR!

Low effort organic gardening!

Years and years of experience and results can't be argued with....the Food4Wealth gardening strategy is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work....specifically for organic gardeners who love soil gardening. THIS is the most efficient and productive way to do organic gardening, period! And combined with the ability to make a years' worth of colloidal humus compost in just one week (see World's Best Compost), this overall organic soil gardening strategy is just unstoppable- foolproof, low cost, and low effort!

Learn about high yield organic gardening

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