The first time you walk into a hydroponic store there can be a little sticker shock. At first it doesn’t look too bad, $14 for this bottle…oh wait I have to buy these three as well and you leave the store paying $80 to grow some basil and lettuce. Being cheap I like to know how much I will be spending on a hobby before I start out so I did a little exercise.
I took a look at the major nutrient manufacturers and determined using their recommended feeding schedule what it would cost per gallon to complete a 4 week vegetation cycle and a 8 week vegetable and bloom cycle.
To be fair I only included products that provided the primary/secondary macronutrients and micronutrients. Though I am not discounting the effectiveness of various supplements that these companies provide and I wanted to stick with the basics and have a close to an apples to apples comparison as possible.
|Avg, Price||Size||Nutrients Used
over 4 weeks (Veg Only)
|Cost per Gallon of mixed nutrients||Nutrients Used
over 8 weeks (Veg/Bloom)
|Cost per Gallon of mixed nutrients|
|General Hydroponics||$ 1.08||$ 2.80|
|FloraGrow||$ 12.50||qt||8.08 tsp||$ 0.53||12.12 tsp||$ 0.79|
|FloraBloom||$ 12.50||qt||2.02 tsp||$ 0.13||14.14 tsp||$ 0.92|
|FloraMicro||$ 15.95||qt||5.05 tsp||$ 0.42||13.13 tsp||$ 1.09|
|Dutch Nutrient Formula||$ 0.82||$ 2.30|
|Advance Grow A||$ 7.50||L||11 tsp||$ 0.41||11 tsp||$ 0.41|
|Advance Grow B||$ 7.50||L||11 tsp||$ 0.41||11 tsp||$ 0.41|
|Advance Flower A||$ 7.50||L||0 tsp||$ –||20 tsp||$ 0.74|
|Advance Flower B||$ 7.50||L||0 tsp||$ –||20 tsp||$ 0.74|
|Dyna-Gro||$ 0.66||$ 2.03|
|Liquid Grow||$ 15.00||qt||3.5 tsp||$ 0.27||3.5 tsp||$ 0.27|
|Liquid Bloom||$ 18.95||qt||0 tsp||$ –||7 tsp||$ 0.69|
|Mag-Pro||$ 17.95||qt||0.875 tsp||$ 0.08||3.875 tsp||$ 0.36|
|Pro-TeKt||$ 13.90||qt||4.25 tsp||$ 0.31||9.75 tsp||$ 0.71|
At first glance these numbers look pretty promising, until you remember the fact that this is the cost per gallon. So if you had a 40 gallon reservoir this can make your cost obvious jump up significantly. Fortunately in my case I only fill my tank up to 9 gallons so a 4 week cycle would cost me on average $7.68 for a 4 week vegetative cycle or $21.39 for a 8 week vegetative and bloom cycle.
Now given I am planning on growing some legal herbs in my hydroponic system (basil/oregano/cilantro) and maybe a little lettuce. This would result in some pretty expensive produce. For this reason and that fact I love chemistry and don’t get to play with it much these days I am planning on going for the less expensive homemade nutrient route, which I will provide more details once I get some more conclusive results of success or failure…