Am I doing anything wrong? Is it the correct manner of doing this? Many questions can come in your mind when you are using hydroponics for growing plants. Before diving deep into this, we must renew our knowledge about hydroponics.
Hydroponics is an advance technique developed by plant scientist. With the help of hydroponics, you can grow food anywhere in this world and even in space (wondering about the taste of salad grown in zero gravity?). All made possible because of soil-less crop production in hydroponics.
Today, we will see the correct way of doing hydroponics so that you can avoid getting into any trouble.
Here is a list of some things which you must do while operating a hydroponic system:
1. Ensure Proper Nutrient Mixing and Oxygenation:
It is critical to check that nutrients are getting mixed well or not in the solution. Just like us, plants also show symptoms when they are not well. Yellowing of leaves and wilting are some of the common symptoms of nutrient deficiency.
You have to check the air pump or the air stone installed inside the nutrient reservoir. Air bubbles increase the efficiency of nutrients to get mixed adequately.
2. Make a Routine for Monitoring Plants:
Why are we emphasizing to make a routine? Because it is one of the most crucial steps in hydroponics to monitor plants. It takes only five to ten minutes for inspecting the plants and the hydroponic system quickly.
The more frequently you check your plants, lessen the chances of a problem.
3. Prune your plants regularly:
Some plants are required to prune for their better growth. Pruning encourages the vegetative growth of the plants by the removal of dead, or unwanted leaves.
Better you maintain the plant's shape, the more vigorously it will grow.
4. Clean the whole system after every harvest and reservoir once in a week:
It is better to wash the nutrient reservoir at least once every week. Regular cleaning and sanitization help in the elimination of algae and bacterial growth inside it.
Once you finished the harvesting, clean the whole hydroponic system, every growing channel should be flushed out with water and then sanitized. Now, when you transplant the seedling in the hydroponic system, the chance of any contamination or pathogen entry is low.
You are now aware of what to do, but here are some things you should avoid doing in hydroponics.
1. Using the unsuitable growing medium:
The choice of growing medium can either decrease or increase the productivity of your hydroponic system. Some growing medium like Coco coir and Rockwool clogs the system sometimes because of their suspended particles.
There is not everything disadvantageous about the above medium. Rockwool has a decent oxygen retention capacity, and Coco coir is eco-friendly and reusable. That is why it is better to use a medium which does not break apart easily. Vermiculite and Perlite are examples of suitable growing medium for a hydroponic system.
2. Not having power backup:
It can be a big mistake if you don't have power backup for your hydroponic system. The plants depend entirely on the nutrient solution for their nutrient and water requirements. Once there is a power cut-off, the pump stops, the plants will start wilting within an hour. Be ensured this will not occur to you.
Assure the continuous supply of nutrient and water to the growing plants of your hydroponic system.
3. Not following the plant's natural life cycle:
A hydroponic system can grow plants in any environment or area, but still, they have a natural life cycle. Growing plants incompatible for a particular season can be disappointing for you, as they will not grow according to your expectations.
Experts suggest following the crop calendar and the plant's natural life cycle if you want a regular and consistent vegetable supply from your hydroponic system.
4. Forcing extra nutrients unnecessarily:
We cannot force anything over others, and this applies to the plants too. Beginners easily believe that their plants will grow more if they supply extra nutrients to their hydroponic system.
Overdose of nutrients is intolerable for delicate plants. It will not only waste the resources but also harms the growing plants.
Home hydroponic gardening is not a difficult task to do if you know what to do. Happy gardening.