To grow for an entire month, your seeds will need water, light, an atmosphere and also food. 

In the AHiS space experiments JAXA used OAT house series fertiliser as nutrient for growing sweet basil.

However, we might not find this in New Zealand. JAXA advises to use instead hydroponics fertiliser or any fertiliser for vegetables. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to dilute and prepare it.

You may substitute the fertiliser with a supernatant resulted from mixing soil and water and is let to sit for a while. The soil contains various elements necessary for the plants’ growth, which dissolve into water after mixing the water and soil.

Let the solution sit a while – half a day to a day and the soil and water will be separate.

Remove the residues on top and use the aqueous solution resulted (this is the supernatant) as a fertiliser for your seeds.

If you are experimenting with soil as a medium, you do not need fertiliser. The soil contains the elements necessary for plant growth.

The OAT house series fertiliser used on the ISS contains major elements and trace amounts of metal ions necessary for plant growth and has the following chemical composition:

In the AHiS experiment on the ISS, OAT house #1 powder and OAT house #2 powder are dissolved in water at 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively. For example, 3.0 g of OAT house #1 and 2.0 g of OAT house #2 fertilizer powder are dissolved in 1000 mL of bottled water. As a result, the following is the final concentration. This is filled in the watering syringes.

OAT house fertiliser

OAT house #1

OAT house #2

TN (Total nitrogen) * 10.0%

TN (Total nitrogen) 11.0%

P2O5 (phosphorus) 8.0%

Ca (calcium) 16.4%

K2O (potassium) 27.0%


MgO (magnesium) 4.0%


MnO (manganese) 0.10%


B2O3 (boron) 0.10%


Fe (ferrum) 0.18%


Cu (copper) 0.002%


Zn (zinc) 0.006%


Mo (molybdenum) 0.002%


*Total nitrogen includes ammoniacal nitrogen and nitrate nitrogen.

OAT house fertiliser’s concentration after dissolving it with water

OAT house #1

OAT house #2

TN (Total nitrogen) 0.030%

TN (Total nitrogen) 0.022%

P2O5 (phosphorus) 0.024%

Ca (calcium) 0.0328%

K2O (potassium) 0.081%


MgO (magnesium) 0.012%


MnO (manganese) 0.0003%


B2O3 (boron) 0.0003%


Fe (ferrum) 0.00054%


Cu (copper) 0.000006%


Zn (zinc) 0.000018%


Mo (molybdenum) 0.000006%


Did you know?

The fertiliser solution used on the International Space Station to grow the basil seeds comes from space. Except for hydrogen, some helium and lithium, which were formed after the Big Bang, all other chemical elements we have here on Earth have once been in a star. This means, you are made of stardust too! 

The following two tables show nutritional elements (what we need to survive) and where were they formed (in which type of stars or processes) 



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