Hydroponics is the system of growing plants and crops without the use of soil. Plants in a hydroponic system have roots immersed in a fertile liquid solution that contains all nutrients essential for optimal growth. Tomatoes are the most popularly grown hydroponic crop on a global level. The best hydroponic nutrients for tomatoes are the essential primary and secondary nutrients required by tomatoes as they help plants to produce maximum, healthy yields.
Nitrogen is the most essential nutrient required for optimal plant growth and a necessary component of hydroponic solution for tomatoes. Nitrogen is the key part of all living cells and supports the proteins, enzymes and metabolic processes that help in synthesising and transferring energy through the plant. Nitrogen is also a part of chlorophyll, which helps in photosynthesis and helps the plant grow rapidly. The nutrient increases the production of seeds and fruit in tomatoes. Nitrogen has to be supplied to the tomatoes through the hydroponic solution since regular water or atmosphere is a poor source of nitrogen for plants.
Phosphorus is among the best nutrients in a hydroponic solution for tomatoes and supports healthy photosynthesis in plants. Phosphorus helps in the production of oils, sugars and starches in tomatoes and the transformation of solar energy into chemical energy. The presence of phosphorus helps plants mature properly and increases the resistance to stress, leading to rapid growth. Phosphorus in tomatoes leads to prolific blooming and healthy roots.
Potassium is the third most essential nutrient for plant growth and among the best hydroponic nutrient for tomatoes. After nitrogen and sometimes calcium, potassium is the most absorbed nutrient by plants. Potassium supports the process of photosynthesis in plants and helps in the creation of protein. The adequate levels of potassium in plants leads to high quality tomatoes and helps the plants resist disease.
Calcium is among the secondary macronutrients required for tomato plants, though in relatively less amounts than the primary macronutrients. Calcium is often present in soils when tomato are grown conventionally and does not have to be added to the ground. However, the addition of calcium is necessary in hydroponic solutions. Calcium is an important component of the cell wall structure as it helps the cells transport and retain other elements within the cell body. Calcium also provides strength to plants and helps in counteracting the effects of organic acids in plants.