Common Hydroponic Gardening Mistakes Made by Beginners
If you’re just starting in hydroponics, congratulations! You’re embarking on a new, exciting pastime with many rewards. But it’s fair to warn you that what seems like an easy-peasy way to grow and harvest plants comes with its own set of challenges which are often unknown to novice gardeners. Read on and let us help you to avoid stumbling into some of the most common hydroponic gardening mistakes made by beginners.
Failing To Keep It All Clean
Some hydroponics systems are so easy to use. Many beginning gardeners think they can just set it all up, walk away, and reap all those fruits, veggies, and other crops after a few months. Hydroponic gardens require as much care and oversight as outdoors ones, especially when it comes to taking care of the equipment. If you don’t periodically clear away dead plant matter, keep your tools and grow room clean, and flush, scrub, and sterilize your system, you’re encouraging the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew, and other unpleasant things that can damage your harvest. It’s a self-contained bio system, not a self-cleaning one.
Putting Things In a Bad Light
Plants need sunlight. Full stop. Hydroponic plants especially need proper lighting because they may never see the sun. Beginning gardeners don’t take these things into account, possibly believing one grow bulb is like another, so they pick up cheap, shoddy alternatives or the wrong hydroponic grow bulbs for the job. Springing for topnotch brand grow bulbs is the surest way to get plants to grow big and strong. Do your research and see what type is best for your crop and how much area it can cover.
pH Is Phenomenally Important
It’s likely that most growers think once the seeds are planted and the nutrient solution is introduced, it’s all in God’s hands. But don’t underestimate the power in your own hands, as well as your brain and eyes. Monitoring pH levels is vital. You should install a high-grade pH meter in your system to monitor them every day. If your solution grows too acidic or alkaline, your plants won’t get enough food and will soon wilt and die. All you need to do is add the proper solution additive to bring the pH back up or down.
Out With the Bad Air, In With the Good
One of the most common hydroponic gardening mistakes made by beginners is failure to take the air patterns of the grow room into account. Many beginners fail to keep their grow rooms well-ventilated— but whoever heard of stepping inside for a breath of fresh air? Adding a fan to your room can bring in fresh air and circulate. This can prevent the room from overheating, which, obviously, is bad for plants. If you have an exhaust fan set up, the extra fan can take some of the burden, helping it last longer. Good ventilation also keeps away plant-eating pests and stems the potential for mold growth. Breathe easier with a fan!