I'm new to Hydroponics stuffs. I'm striving to plant in hydro form currently. I'm living in under-developed country which is impossible to find the well established nutrients mix such as Master Blend or others similarity.

I'm planting lettuce types. I wonder can I use this fertilizer for my hydro garden? Or do I need to add anything or it's not for hydro at all? Because buying pre-mixed A B nutrients is not cost effective, I need to find other way around.

enter image description here

Ensure Ingredients:

  • TN: 15% ( 8.7% nitrate, 1.9% ammonium nitrogen , 4.4% urea nitrogen)
  • Water-soluble phosphorus anhydride: 10%
  • Water-soluble potassium: 30%
  • Water-soluble Mg: 0.08%
  • Iron (chelated): 0.05%
  • Manganese (chelated): 0.025%
  • Zinc (chelated): 0.0025%
  • Copper (chelate): 0.0036%
  • Boron: 0.0068%
  • Mo: 0.0009%

Thank you!

  • Sok, this looks like a great formulation for...fruiting crops. Lettuce loves more nitrogen in relation to the P and K. Are you growing anything else? I'll be watching for answers to your question. I've never grown hydroponically. My first instinct tells me hydroponics is high maintenance, high technology and higher vigilance. One wrong bug or formula will kill the entire crop. Why are you choosing hydroponics? If you want others to repeat what you do, why would you choose such a high technological, highly controlled way to grow food? What is wrong with indigenous soil? Very curious!!
    – stormy
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 21:19
  • Hi @stormy, I'm living in urban area, soilless is the way. In addition, most of my lands are in flood area; therefore, I can not plant anything with them. Thank you! Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 2:15
  • Do you have friends growing hydroponically? Sterilized room, drainage, major ventilation? Most of your lands are in 'flood areas'? The river overruns its banks once a year, more? Have you purchased lights yet?
    – stormy
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 9:42
  • I don't have friend which do grow hydroponically. I am currently willing to plant outside preferably on the open space roof-top. I have land which is in countryside, and I currently live in the city. Yet, the land are always flooded once a year with longer term that more than 8 months to dried out. I've purchased T5s light and expected to use it for seed germination. After that, I will move the plant into open space which have enough sun light and protected with the clear plastic on top. Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 7:08
  • Seed germination doesn't need light. Moisture and warmth are critical. I would germinate in moist paper towels and ziploc bag. Then put germinating seeds in tiny grow pots with good potting soil or starting medium. Let them get growing then acclimate to your roof. What do you mean clear plastic on top? Is this a green house on your roof? With great pots, planters and sterilized potting soil you should be able to grow very well on your roof. How cold does it get there? What is your zone USDA? Roofs can be ideal with a few additions such as wind blockers/wind diffusers .
    – stormy
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 7:36

1 Answer 1


Sok, this looks like a very decent fertilizer for hydroponics. But not for lettuce as an example. Be great for tomatoes or squash or cucumbers or strawberries (depending on the pH of the water)...you'd have to treat different 'sets' of plants differently. Be able to sequester certain groups or crops by needs. Definitely have to have a back flow device on your water distribution system. You have to have a mixing container for your fertilizer and a way to siphon and mix proper amounts into the separate water systems. Major ventilation, air pumped out, fresh air pumped in that goes through a filter to remove pollens and other stuff you don't want in the air. Fans that make your hair and plants MOVE when you are in the room. Timers for the light, heat, air pumps are necessary...I am unbelieving that hydroponics is the way to go over there. It is tough enough to be successful with plants in soil much less to grow hydroponically with artificial lighting, automatic fertilizing (arggghh), constant cleaning, testing humidity...there are no 'community gardens'?

  • I've seen many online videos who use Master Blend formula of 4-18-38, and they add Calcium Nitrate and Epsom Salt to create a 19.5-18-38 which said to be perfect for leafy plants. I've measure my tap water which has the good Ph level around 6.2 with the PPM under 50. I am having NTF system in place and also trying out Kratky method. Because I am going to plan outdoor on the rooftop, I think the technical of equipment such as air ventilation and/or other thing for growing indoor is not a problem. Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 7:16
  • I have normal pot planting with normal organic waste from various manure. But, it just that the space is limited and hydroponic seems the ways to go as the soil area is limited. Anyways, thank you for your insightful put. Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 7:17
  • I feel much better about your expertise! One other caveat! Do not use organic material that hasn't been sterilized!! Plants in pots (water) should never have to deal with regular non-sterilized potting soil..,( garden soil) and never use manures that aren't fully decomposed and sterilized. Are you going to grow other plants than lettuce? And I hope we were able to help with your enterprise! Those starts btw need fans until they have at least 3 sets of leaves to transplant...into your system. Your Master Blend formula doesn't have the best ratios for growing vegetatively.
    – stormy
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 21:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.