Are you interested in setting up a greenhouse? It may sound very tempting to get into hydroponics due to its diverse benefits, but it does require some efforts when it comes to keeping a proper feeding schedule and providing the plants with appropriate and adequate nutrients. To give our readers an easy head start, we shall teach you how to attain cheap hydroponics through a low-cost guide to supplies, nutrients, and systems.
Introduction to Hydroponics
Here is a little background on how hydroponics works. It is essentially a method of growing plants through utilizing a system based on water, which incorporates nutrients as well. Interestingly, no soil is used as plant mediums are utilized instead. Perlite is one example and it acts as a root bedding for the plant. It allows the plants’ roots to get into contact with the important nutrients that are sent into the water reservoir and this enhances growth.
Benefits to Hydroponics
- Optimized growth rate at 25% faster.
- Plant’s ability to grow larger as it gains easy access to important nutrients.
- Water conservation through water recycling.
- Not only does it promote sustainability and eco-friendliness, at the same time, but it also helps to contribute less waste, and in turn less pollution due to the absence of soil.
Cons to Hydroponics
- The process of setting it up and maintaining it would be very costly as compared to the conventional method of growing plants.
- More time-consuming in setting up and maintaining the system
- Chances of failure are very high because of the reliance on mechanical systems which may experience breakdowns.
1. pH Tester
Setting your water at the perfect pH is fundamentally crucial as the wrong pH can throw off the balance and cause many unnecessary problems. To do so, you are advised to get a pH tester so you can adjust the pH when needed.
2. Measuring spoons
To accurately even out the portions of nutrients and Epsom salts, measuring spoons would be a great lending hand to build an effective feeding solution.
There are many nutrients out there for sale for you to pick from. Just make sure you choose the appropriate ones that are specifically designed for a hydroponics environment.
4. Epsom salts
Epsom salts are recommended in servings of a ¼ teaspoon every feeding session. It helps to strike a well-balanced magnesium level and achieve growth.
Last but not least, how can we ever forget about water, one of the most basic and important factors for the growth of plants. For the ease of absorption, get a bucket or container to store the water so that it can be used to dissolve the nutrients and Epsom salts, allowing you to add them to your plants thereafter.
Ingredients to feed your plants
Now that you’ve been equipped with the required tools, the next stage is acquiring the proper ingredients to feed your plants. Although factors such as temperature and light are important, they serve to help the overall growth cycle more. Hence, they do not impact the feeding schedule as much as the two main components; hydroponics water and hydroponic feed nutrients do.
Water for both reservoir and watering has to be of high quality to ensure your plants remain healthy. Using undistilled water, especially from sources like tap water can lead to an unfavorable outcome. Overfeeding is one problem due to the introduction of certain nutrients that are derived from an external source.
Therefore, to avoid such situations, it is best to equip the highest grade filtered water and a system that has a multi-level filtration as they would help to thoroughly separate the components of the water accordingly before delivering it out into the reservoir and be used for the misting system. As a result, you would not have to worry about high existing content levels of stray salt, chemical, or other nutrients that you are about to add.
Hydroponics Feed Nutrients
Since there are many potential nutrients that you could use to aid your plant’s growth, it is important to pick out the best nutrients which are tailored for hydroponics. Since growing hydroponically means there is an absence of soil, you will not be able to enjoy the benefit of having certain nutrients derived from the soil.
Hence, it is important to cover those shortcomings with liquid and dry hydroponic feed nutrients. The difference between the two is that the liquid style has better ease of usage but it is also more expensive.
On the other hand, the dry version is cheaper but requires additional prep work to start it working for delivery. After selecting your choice of nutrients, you may add in Epsom salts and then, at last, you are finally good to develop a feeding schedule for your hydroponic and let the rowing begin.
The first important tip of the day we have for you is to moderately water your plants. Never water too much or too little. It is also crucial to maintain the cleanliness of the water flowing through the system. Meanwhile, feed your plants according to the best schedule with the appropriate nutrients and quantity. To do so, you are required to understand the feeding schedule provided by the nutrient manufacturers. Hence, you should be feeding the plants with the advised dosages in a consistent manner. The only scenario in which you should adjust the schedule is when adverse symptoms are displayed.
Thereafter, you should observe that your schedule perhaps will vary slightly from the manufacturer’s suggested version. To give you a clearer understanding with a general rule of thumb, our general feeding schedule is:
- First week= 5ml
- Second week=10ml
- Third week=10ml
- Fourth week=10ml
However, as this is just a rough idea of an ideal feeding schedule, this is meant only as a reference for you to follow. Ultimately, it is still the best to follow the recommended nutrients chart as stated on the brand you have brought.
- Expose your plants to sunlight with a minimum of six hours daily.
- Start by using a plant that has already been grown for ease of maintenance.
- Always monitor the pH and make adjustments regularly when needed.
- Ensure that you have set up a perfect cycle using a pump timer.
All in all, the best schedule is one that encompasses considerations for the type of plant, the hydroponic setup, the climate, and every other relevant determinant. With our guide, we hope that you are now equipped with a clearer understanding of hydroponics. With that, all the best in your hydroponics set-up and journey!