10 Common Mistakes Hydroponic Gardeners Make!
Entering into Hydroponic world can be fun and rewarding. After all growing edibles without soil is advantageous as it involves less space & labor, manages pests effectively and many more. But you can run into some common errors and face sluggish growth while dealing with a hydroponic system. No doubt that getting familiarize with those mistakes and avoiding them in the first place can produce a better & higher yield. So, just take a look at some of those errors and try to eliminate them before you involve yourself in hydroponic gardening.
- Growing without Knowledge – Growing hydroponically is not that easy for novice gardeners so its recommended to gather an apt knowledge of hydroponic systems before setting up one. Improper or inadequate information can lead to system failure or shutdown. So, gain proper knowledge regarding hydroponic nutrients, apparatus installation, growing medium, grow lights and more. Best is to read How to Grow Hydroponically to acquire subtle knowledge regarding these systems.
- Harvesting Early – One of the biggest mistakes gardeners make in a hydroponic garden is cutting down their crops too early. No matter some plants go from seed to harvest in just a few weeks; some will really test your patience. It’s better to let such crops grow to their fullest before harvesting them.
- Providing Infrequent Lighting – Adequate lighting is required in hydroponic gardens to let crops reach optimal height or simply to make them go through photosynthesis process. Many novice growers are unaware of these evidences and they tend to keep their plants under a reading light or a single bulb. Moreover, many rely on fluorescent lights due to their prices but the truth here is that they too won’t help at all development stages. You should consider buying either LED or HPS (high-pressure sodium) bulbs for your hydroponic growing systems.
Tip – Give preference to LED bulbs as they run cooler and are more energy-efficient than HPS ones.
- Over-watering – Just because water is one of the most crucial requirements for plants doesn’t mean you have to go overboard with it. Continuous saturation of plants will make their leaves droop and slow down their growth which can ultimately lead to root rot. Try to water once when you see the top layer of soil drying out.
- Not monitoring the pH – Another usual mistake growers make is not managing the pH level of the nutrient solution properly. As unbalanced pH can kill your plants, it’s a wise step to maintain it to optimal level. Moreover, there is no doubt in the fact that soil-less environment is much more accustomed to changes in pH levels as compared to traditional gardening.
- Providing Insufficient Air Circulation – For healthy plant growth, good ventilation is extremely important. So, make sure that there is sufficient amount of air exchange in the place where you are cultivating. Some people make mistake by not letting proper air flow in their grow room which is one of the main causes for deterioration of plant health. If your grow room is confined to a small space, make sure to choose blower or fan that best fits that area.
- Propagating in Unhygienic Environment – Another common mistake involved in hydroponic growing systems is that many growers fail to keep their surroundings hygienic. Some of the unhygienic practices include dead plant matter or debris in the grow room, wet floors, non-sterile equipment and bacterial build up in the solution tank. These undesirables are definitely not good for your hydroponic growing system and can have adverse effects on it.
- Thinking the Wrong Way – Many people believe that anything labeled as ‘plant food’ will make their plants bloom. They fail to understand that hydroponic gardens are quite different from a conventional garden and require different growing conditions. It’s always advisable to buy nutrients and fertilizers from reputed stores. Purchasing the stuff from a nearby unauthorized dealer may look convenient but can lead to complete foliage damage.
Tip – Treating your plants with Brillx Growing Solution can help them to propagate faster.
- Over-Feeding – Everything in excess is bad and same is applicable to plants when it comes to feeding. If you apply high doses of fertilizer to your crops, salt deposits or fungus will accumulate on the media which will stunt crop’s growth. So, read the instruction label before using a fertilizer.
- Not Keeping a Regular Watch – Forgetting to keep a constant eye on the hydroponic growing systems is another mistake many gardeners commit. So, monitor that growing room on a regular basis. Things you should check are your reservoir, fans, grow tray, pumps, grow light and so on.