Nutrient Starter Kit

nutrient starter kit

Nutrient Starter Kit

Crop Feeding Success, Made Easier.

When looking for a crop nutrient starter kit, the choices can seem overwhelming. There are lots of brands of nutrient solutions and a growing number of companies offering hydroponics and soilless growing specialty fertilizers develop complete feeding programs for weekly directions of how much to use and when.

hydroponic spearmint

Just like any recipe, when it comes to a crop nutrient starter kit the best ones start with quality ingredients and keep it simple. Kind of like Jamie Oliver’s signature “five ingredients or less” dishes-very satisfying, easy to prepare and healthy.

elite garden master nutrient starter kit

We are going to have a look at two different types of nutrient starter kits. Because we have used these plant nutrients and crop supplements for a period of years in our greenhouse at Grozine, we can give you some practical insights in what’s good and some of the things you can look for when shopping around for a high quality nutrient starter kit that can give you great results without making things overly complicated; especially if it’s your first try. We’ve tried all this stuff on our tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, kale, spinach and essential oil crops like Scotch Spearmint and have had great success; even on a busy schedule.

Here’s a few of the things that we have found to make one nutrient starter kit better than others, in our nutrients starter kit wish list:

Quality Components

Evaluate if the nutrients just the bare basics, ie simple fertilizer ingredients, or are there some other beneficial crop nutrient additives like amino acids, vitamins, humates, etc? Sometimes there are limits as what a manufacturer may print on their label, so due to fertilizer labelling laws, you may not always be getting the full picture. Check with the manufacture or website if you want to know more.

amhydro dark energy nutrient starter kits

Easy to Follow

If your garden nutrient starter kit contains a lot of different bottles with a lot of different dilution rates, your chances of making a simple error that could hurt your cropping success increase. Most of us can only remember around 5 things or so at a time, and further, if you decide to keep buying the components as you ramp up your gardening efforts over time, it means more bottles to buy and replace.

Clear Instructions

A good quality crop feeding chart should be included with your nutrient starter kit. The better ones can tell you what to apply for different growth phases, for example from starting seeds or cuttings, early leaf growth, vegetative growth, flowering and ripening. While the crop you grow may or may not go through all of these different growth phases, it’s important information to have to get the most out of your nutrient starter kit.

elite garden crop feeding chart

All the Tools for The Job

Some nutrient starter kits will also supply you with some graduated measuring beakers, spoons, etc. Accurately measuring highly concentrated crop nutrients is important for getting the best results for your plants while not wasting your money by applying more than you really need to.

nutrient starter kit measuring graduated cylinder

Good Value

While some hydroponic or soilless crop fertilizer liquid concentrates or powders may seem like a better deal based on the price for the same bottle size or weight, to REALLY see what kind of value you are getting you’ll want to check the dilution rates and also see the crop feed chart to see how often it may need to be applied. If something costs less but you need to use twice as much of it for the same end, you aren’t really saving anything-or you might be paying more!

Other things that you won’t easily be able to tell, if you haven’t tried the kit yet, but that you should keep in mind while you use it for future consideration are:

pH (measure of acidity to alkalinity)

The pH of the nutrient solution after you’ve added all the components to your water following the directions; some feeding programs may work friendlier with your particular water source, for hydroponics or coco a pH of 5.8 is great, while if using peat mix or soil you might want it to be closer to pH 6.4.

NOTE: It’s really important to know the right pH for your soil or growing media type, liquid test kits are super inexpensive and reliable, although if you’re more serious about things a hand held tri-meter is a great investment.

TIP: for the best quality crops and less potential issues in your nutrient solution, always use RO Filtered or Rain Water; not only does it make your nutrients work better, your crop will taste and smell better too.

TDS (total dissolved solids)

TDS is a measurement that tells you how “strong” the nutrient solution you are feeding is. You need an electronic device to accomplish this called a Dissolved Solids or Conductivity tester. However, if you have a good feed chart from a reliable manufacturer, you will usually be in the Zone for good results just by carefully following instructions, where TDS is concerned. Again, a hand held try meter is a good investment-they measure TDS, pH and temperature so you can make sure your plants get an optimal feeding every time you irrigate with your nutrient solution.

Now, let’s have a look at couple of different nutrient starter kits that are available online or at your favourite hydroponics gardening outlet.

Elite Graden Master Kit

The Basics:

This nutrient starter kit is good for mixing upwards of a Total 360 US gallons (that’s around 1,400 Litres) of nutrient solution.

Hint: While that IS a pretty good amount, keep in mind a 5 or 10 gallon potted plant during peak feeding can drink up a half to a full gallon of nutrient solution DAILY.

This nutrient starter kit comes with everything you need for crop feeding, from propagation to harvest and includes a proven crop feeding program and even comes with a high quality measuring beaker with very fine graduations.

The Elite Garden Master Kit includes the following nutrient components, all supplied in handy One Litre Bottle Sizes:

2- 32oz Base Nutrient A
2- 32oz Base Nutrient B
1- 32oz Root Tonic C
1- 32oz Resin D
1- 32oz Root Igniter

Note, if 360 US gallon of nutrient solution isn’t going to be enough for your garden size, Elite also offers, MEDIUM & LARGE sized nutrient bundles, with the Large size good for mixing up to 240 gallons per week and the Medium size yielding up to 60 gallons of nutrient solution per week.

AmHydro Sample Pack #1

The second nutrient starter kit we can recommend is perfect for growers already using basic hydroponic or soils fertilizers and want to get more out of their crop without risking any big changes to their existing feeding program.

amhydro epic boost

AmHydro has been supplying specialty crop nutrients to growers all over the world for over 30 years and has a reputation for offering tremendous value. While widely recognized by large scale commercial growers, AmHydro offers growers of any scale a super value priced sample pack of their three best crop nutrient supplement additives so that you can see for yourself the difference to be had without having to change your basic crop fertilizer program.

At Grozine, we have used these additives with AmHydro’s GroMagnon and BigBangBloom base fertilizers, as well as other brands, on a very wide variety of crops, including: strawberries, tomatoes, leafy greens and herbs–all with very good results. Great bang for buck to be had here.

amhydro dark energy nutrients

The AmHydro Sample Pack #1 is only $14.95 USD (includes shipping to most States) and gives you THREE highly concentrated crop nutrient additives that you can mix with your existing fertilizer program for a difference you can measure at harvest and during cropping.

For the minimal fee you get:

(2) 4 oz Dark Energy
(1) 4 oz SuperNova
(1) 4 oz Epic Boost

Note, the AmHydro components are SUPER concentrated, with often 2mls per US Gallon being recommended as the upper dosage rate, so the samples can go pretty far. Check with their feeding chart to see when to apply each component and how much is recommended.

amhydro super nova nutrient additive

Stay tuned at Grozine for some In-Depth Real World Reviews for Elite Garden Nutrients and AmHydro’s Epic Line-up—as well as others!

If there are products you want to learn more about, drops us a line HERE and tell us.

About Erik Biksa 246 Articles
Erik Biksa has been writing about and discussing hydroponics growing, related technologies and cropping methods since 1999 in a variety of professional publications and platforms globally Erik has travelled the world learning and teaching modern growing techniques and technologies and is appreciated by many growers for his informative yet hands on approaches. Presently, he is the Editor at Grozine Hydroponics Mag.