Nutrient Feeding Schedule
Definition - What does Nutrient Feeding Schedule mean?
A nutrient feeding schedule is the process of fertilizing a plant throughout its entire life cycle. Nutrient feeding schedules are often included with hydroponic nutrients and other types of fertilizers purchased from the store. They are sometimes referred to as feed charts.
Nutrient feeding schedules are particularly important in hydroponics, where nutrients are often sold as two-part or three-part systems and there are specialized bottles for both the 'grow' and 'bloom' stages of plant development.
A feed chart is organized by growth stage, with the plants requiring different amounts of nutrients at different times in their lifecycles. They also include suggested doses and times for bloom boosters and other additives.
MaximumYield explains Nutrient Feeding Schedule
There are 17 known nutrients that play key roles in a plant’s growth. Without certain nutrients, a plant is frequently unable to successfully grow, develop buds, and flower. In some cases, the plant’s vegetative growth becomes stunted or deformed because of nutrient deficiencies.
Most plant nutrient feeding schedules are designed to be started the first week of the plant’s vegetative stage, if the plant is being grown in soil that already contains added nutrients. The vegetative time frame of most plants begins the second week after germination. At the vegetative phase of the plant’s life, it usually benefits from a nutrient feeding schedule that supplies it with a high level of nitrogen for that first initial feeding.
During a plant’s flowering stage, it will again require a nutrient feeding schedule that provides adequate nitrogen and lesser degrees of other nutrients. As buds develop, the plant will consume higher amounts of phosphorus.
As the plant grows and matures, the nutrient feeding schedule might change and increase or decrease depending on the plant type’s specific needs. The buds of a plant often require high amounts of potassium to harden off.
Prior to harvesting, it is advisable that the nutrient feeding schedule is reduced or completely eliminated.