Regular Maintenance of Your Hydroponic System
- Testing the nutrient balance of your liquid solution should be done at least every 3 days. There are several ways to check the pH of the nutrient solution in your hydroponic system. Paper test strips are probably the most inexpensive way to check the pH of the nutrient solution. Liquid pH test kits are the most popular method for the hobby gardener. The Most high-tech way to check pH is to use the digital meters. The most popular type of meter is the digital pen.
- Checking the water level in your system container should be done at least every 3 days. When adding water to the system, first enhance that water with your nutrient solution or you will dilute the container liquid and throw the proper nutrient balance in to a tail-spin.
- You should daily check the plants for growth patterns, and to see if any pests or disease has attacked your plants…and then immediately do whatever is necessary to counteract the infection or deficiency.
- When plants are full grown (especially herbs) you should consider topping or clipping the plants at the appropriate time so that the plant will acquire new vigor, grow even better, and you will gain the clippings for use in your cooking. Of course, harvest any ripe or fully grown herbs, fruits, or vegetables so that the plant will sprout more produce, and you will then have the advantage of vine-ripened additions to your kitchen.
- Just be ever aware of the level of light, whether sunlight or artificial light and wind where the plants are growing so that you are able to adjust for excesses of those items, such as adding or removing screen cloth, or moving the system to a more protected area, as they could damage the plants. Also, if the plants have been subjected to rain, check your nutrient levels quickly to avoid dilution of your liquid sources.
- Try to monitor your unit at the time the pumping system should begin to always make sure the pump is working and effective to deliver the nutrients to your plants.
- Completely change the nutrient reservoir at least every three weeks.
- Periodically, flush a mix of clean water and hydrogen peroxide through your system to keep the piping clean and free of harmful buildup. You should maintain the cleanliness of your system at all times.
That’s it! If you do those things, you will be properly maintaining your system and should see vigorous growth and production throughout the growing cycle.