Anyone new to hydroponic gardening could easily feel overwhelmed, especially if you read some of the books on the market. The majority of these books are loaded with industry and technical jargon that the average person can’t understand it. One exception to this terend is the GrowFoodEasy Hydroponic Gardening Journal & Planner. Gardening expert Professor William “Billy” Cool has assembled a collection of the top 7.5 best hydroponic gardening rules to make your hydroponic gardening experience satisfying and more rewarding.
1. Wactch your EC
Plants grown indoors under lights will take up water at a greater rate than they take up nutrient. Over time the EC (CF) of the solution will rise. Regularly top up your tanks with water or 50% strength nutrient solution and use an EC meter to monitor your solution.
2. Maintain the pH
Keep the pH of your nutrient solution at around 5.8 – 6.2. Check regularly using a digital pH meter, as pH can rise as the plants feed. It’s okay to turn your pumps off for half an hour while you adjust your nutrient solution’s pH and strength.
3. Keep your plants in the dark
Do not let any light leak into the grow zone. Make sure the dark period goes completely uninterrupted. Consider keeping the surroundings properly dark during this phase.
4. Start your plants off slowly
Use a half strength nutrient solution to start your plants off, moving to two thirds to full dosage rate (as detailed on the bottle) after the first advanced nutrient solution change (about 7 – 10 days after planting).
5. Watch the temperature
As with all hydroponic growing applications, the temperature of your nutrient solution is crucial. Try to keep your nutrient solution at around 65°F for high levels of dissolved oxygen and optimum nutrient uptake. An underwater thermometer will help you keep an eye on your solution temperature.
6. Clean your tanks regularly
As a general rule, drain your nutrient solution and replace with a fresh batch every 7 to 10 days for optimum yields. Obviously bigger tanks can get away with less frequent changes whereas bigger plants prefer more regular fresh nutrients.
7. Use Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide (35%)
Thoroughly clean your tanks in between crops with a 10% food grade hydrogen peroxide solution and rinse thoroughly.
7.5 Always be prepared
When it is time for nutrient change, keep an extra reservoir ready with plain water.