Hydroponic gardening can be a little tricky when you first get started…avoid these common hydroponic gardening blunders and you’ll do fine.
Growing without real knowledge – The idea of hydroponic gardening is so simple most of the items you’ll need to assemble your first hydroponic gardening system are already in your home. However, hydroponic gardening can be a bit overwhelming and difficult to understand for the beginner, that’s why we recommend gathering reliable, up-to-date knowledge about hydroponic gardening systems before setting up your first hydroponic garden to prevent system failure, crop contamination, marginal harvest, etc. Get the proper knowledge regarding hydroponic gardening systems, advanced nutrients, growing medium and grow lights first…read ‘Hydroponic Gardening for Dummies” and get the absolute best beginner knowledge about hydroponic gardening systems available.
Thinking this is your grandparent’s garden. – Many people believe that anything labeled as ‘plant food’ will make their plants bloom. They fail to understand that hydroponic gardening is very different from a conventional garden and require different growing conditions. Hydroponic gardens require pumps and misters that may become clogged with traditional fertilizer sediment…not to mention the mineral levels in advanced nutrient fertilizers compared with traditional fertilizers.
Forgetting to monitor the pH – Another common mistake hydroponic gardeners make is not managing the pH level of the advanced nutrient solution properly. As unbalanced pH can kill your plants, it’s a wise step to maintain it to optimal level. The optimal advanced nutrient solution of concentrated minerals and water to a strength of an average of 20-24 CF with an end pH of 5.5-6.5. Also, remember hydroponic gardens are much more accustomed to changes in pH levels compared to traditional gardening.
Over-Feeding – Do not over fertilize your plants as too much fertilizer will kill your plants. If you under fertilize, plants will take longer to grow but will not die. Follow the mixing instructions on your hydroponic solution package, if you aren’t sure, use less rather than more.
Hands Off Maintenance – Things like forgetting to plug your pump back in, not checking that your timers are set and working correctly, and not checking that your meters are calibrated and working correctly can cause all sorts of problems. Check and recheck your equipment and settings.
Insufficient Lighting – Adequate lighting is essential for hydroponic gardens flourish via the natural process of photosynthesis process. Lighting is very important and depending on the size of your grow room and understanding “what to buy and why” can become pretty complicated. Also, many suppliers of hydroponic lights sometimes make some extremely absurd claims in respect to coverage area, when selling hydroponic light kits to beginners. If you want to learn more about hydroponic lighting our clear and easy to understand guide will help you choose the perfect lighting system for your indoor hydroponic garden.
Adequate ventilation is an important aspect of successful indoor growing. Often beginners don’t realize the importance of adequate ventilation. There are two things that need to be considered:
- Adequate exhaust to remove excess heat due to the use of HID lighting.
- Adequate inlet to ensure fresh air is continuously introduced into the environment.
Assuming you have good air circulation/exchange, your garden room will naturally have between 300-400 PPM (parts per million) of CO2; higher CO2 levels should accelerate growth rates. If you choose not to supplement CO2 in your garden room, it is important to address the air circulation/exchange so that your plants will receive fresh CO2. Lower than normal CO2 levels will cause your plants to stop growing.
Propagating in Unhygienic Environment – Another common mistake beginners make is that many growers fail to maintain a clean and healthy growing environment. This includes dead plant matter left in the grow area, wet floors, non-sterile equipment and bacteria build up in the advanced nutrient solution reservoir. Clean your grow are regularly and keep your equipment sterilized.
Lack of Patience – When you are germinating seeds, everything becomes a waiting game. There is no hard and fast rule about when seeds will finally sprout, and sometimes they take their time even under optimal conditions. Do not touch your seeds while they sit dormant in your growing medium because you could kill them.
Hydroponic gardening can be a little tricky when you first get started but don’t get frustrated, hydroponic garden is a labor of love. Gardening with hydroponics is smart, fun, and affordable.