Getting started with hydroponics can seem difficult in the early stages. After many hours of research, the financial investment to acquire the equipment and the time spent taking care of your hydroponic garden, what could be more demoralizing than poor results due to errors? Jardin Futé presents the 5 most common beginner mistakes in hydroponics.
5. Not adjusting its pH
Measuring its pH is of utmost importance . Your plants are bathed in a nutrient solution. If the pH is not adjusted to the correct values, then certain nutrients become unavailable. This results in deficiencies slowing down the proper development of your plants. In the worst case, they may even die.
The simplest solution is to check the pH of the nutrient solution once a day. In order to facilitate this daily task, it is strongly recommended to acquire a digital pH meter . Unlike testers, they allow greater precision and speed of use. If the pH is not within the correct values, you can easily adjust it with the necessary pH regulating products. A pH that fluctuates within a specific range is not bad, unlike extreme values that can cause irreversible damage.
4. Not providing enough light
Although some plants are content with light from a window sill, not all of them. The lacking plants begin to stem, becoming thin and fragile. Many think that adding a bedside lamp will be enough to stem this phenomenon, but the reality is different. In order to obtain an optimal development of your plants, it is necessary to privilege horticultural lighting . Different types of lamps exist for different phases of cultivation or projects. They are specially designed to promote healthy growth within the hydroponic garden.
3. Using the wrong fertilizers
Taking a bit too minimalistic an approach, some growers buy fertilizers from supermarkets hoping to use them in their hydroponic systems. However, these fertilizers are not suitable for hydroponics. They do not dilute properly in the solution. Hoses, pumps and sprayers become clogged. Some nutrients are not available. As a result, the system loses efficiency. Instead, it is better to acquire fertilizers specially formulated for hydroponics. They provide the nutrients that the soil normally provides to plants. Many manufacturers offer their version. Available in liquid or powder form, the latter saves money because you don’t buy water, unlike liquid fertilizers.
2. A lack of hygiene in the hydroponic garden
Cleaning your growing space is important to avoid any risk of contamination. Green waste can pile up quickly. This can lead to a buildup of pests and even promote the development of disease.
A few simple rules to follow can avoid this disaster:
- throw away green waste
- thoroughly clean and sanitize hydroponic systems between crops
- clean used tools and instruments after use
1. Excess fertilizer
We all find ourselves at some point guilty of giving our plants too much fertilizer . Expect faster growth and fruiting, bigger yields, stronger plants, etc. However, more does not always rhyme with better.
In hydroponics, an excess of fertilizer leads to an increase in the concentration of salts. The plants, by principle of osmosis, dehydrate and dry out. They may also show signs of toxicity to one or more nutrients. In this case, the only solution is to rinse for 1 day with pure water or a specific rinsing agent. Afterwards, a new and light nutrient solution can be prepared while waiting for the plants to find a balance.
So, now that you know the 5 most common errors in the hydroponic garden, there is no longer any reason to hesitate. Hydroponics is a fun and magical way to grow your own flowers, fruits and vegetables. With the right preparation, while keeping these five points in mind, you will have the best chance of becoming a modern hydroponic grower.