You have spent time research hydroponics and you have your homemade or your store-bought kit ready to grow plants. This is a fun way to grow your favorite plants and you can be sure that your entire family will want to learn how to garden with you.
As mentioned, this type of gardening is not an exact science. It takes time and patience to get it just right and no two gardeners will ever get the same results. You know that the results that you get will depend on many things including the system that you are using, the amount of time you are putting into your gardening project and the climate of your area.
While hydroponics is not an exact science, there are some things that you can do to find more success with this adventurous gardening.
Here are some tips for your hydroponic garden:
• Choose the right plants:
It may go without saying, but choosing the right plants will go a long way in hydroponic success. There are things that do better with this type of gardening. These include many varieties of tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, herbs, and cucumbers. Of course, you can try other plants and may find that you get good results, but if you are just starting out, it is recommended that you stick with the basics.
• Give the plants support:
Even hydroponically grown plants need support, especially plants like vine tomatoes. You can anchor the stems with plastic or you can give your plants support by using vermiculite, rock wool or gravel.
• Oxygen is the key:
Plants that grow hydroponically depend on oxygen. You have to have it. Air pumps and aquarium bubbles are good choices for hydroponic gardens. This will aerate your plants and give you better results.
• Use products made for hydroponics:
There are many gardening products on the market, but your best bets are the ones that are specifically made for this type of planting. This is especially true for fertilizers and nutrients.
• Monitor the pH levels:
You have to keep a close watch on the pH levels of your hydroponic plants. You should maintain a pH level of 6.0 at all times.
• Watch the roots:
Your roots are very important to the success of your plants. If you allow the nutrients to drop to the lowest levels every now and then, it will promote oxygenation. This will help your plants really thrive.
• Change the solution:
It is a good idea to change the hydroponic solution every 14 days. This will help you replenish the nutrients.
• Use your aquarium for hydroponics:
You have seen plants grow in aquariums before-this is hydroponics. Fish in your tank will help provide your plants with nutrients helping them grow and thrive. If you have a pump, this will give your plants oxygen.
• Clean your equipment before using:
If you are using parts or pieces that you already have around your home or you are using old parts that have been given to you, then you need to make sure that you take the time to clean them thoroughly before you use. If you are using old equipment, it could be contaminated or dirty. These harmful chemicals can prove to be detrimental to your plants. You can also use containers that have held food or that are meant for food. These are almost always safe for hydroponic gardening.
• Avoid using metal:
It is not recommended that you use metal when gardening with hydroponics. You can, however, use stainless steel.
• Use electrical devices meant for saltwater:
You want to make sure you are using good quality equipment. Hydroponic nutrients conduct electricity, so use electrical devices that are made for saltwater.
• Watch the humidity:
Humidity in the air can affect your plants. You need to keep an eye on the amount of humidity surrounding your plants. Not all plants do well in high humidity levels.
• Consider the growing medium:
You have lots of growing medium to choose from—the one you pick will depend on what you are growing and what works best for you. Popular growing mediums include composted bark, gravel, expanded clay, oasis (which is foam-based materials that are used in floral creations), peat moss, perlite (which is volcanic glass that is popular) and pumice. Other materials include rockwool sand and vermiculite.