My love for gardening never really faded away even though I moved to a new city. As a kid mom always instilled in me a passion for Mother Nature. I remember how I put tiny pips in planters and pestered mom almost everyday on when I would get to see a flower bloom.
Today, away from family, career has taken a predominant step in my life but the undying love for gardening still exists in my heart. Though dwelling in a weeny box apartment, I still have herbs in my windowsill that would give a grand smile as the sun rays hits them graciously and motivate me for better days to come.
With the changing times, I thought of taking the first step in hydroponics. I admit I jumped with both feet and didn’t do any kind of research, just read here and there and thought this would be fun. Worst decision I ever made. The ponics leaked, plants went yellow and it was an utter catastrophe throwing me off track completely emotionally as well as it is quite hard to watch something that you grew wither off in a jiffy.
That’s why I knew I had to put a guide to prevent newbie hydroponic users make the same mistake that I underwent. I agree few didn’t happen with me but the possibility still persists so bear in mind to avoid potential damage to your plants and home.
Build-up of weeds
If you are building a reservoir for your hydroponics for holding the nutrient water, make sure that it is a solid dark container that inhibits entry of light to prevent algae or weeds from building up in the solution. Do not buy a see-through container as they breed weeds easily.
For traditional gardening, I always prefer sterile soil that are absolutely organic and do not contain any toxic elements. I don’t want pesticide in my tummy (at least in what I grow). Bottomline, make sure that the grow media you purchase is sterile such as rockwool cubes, pertlite, clay rocks etc.
Prevent formation of mold
Unlike soil gardening where rodents, pests are a constant pain in the neck, you need not worry about hydroponics. However mold and certain impish rodents always find a way to your hydroponic garden. The best way to maintain a healthy hydroponic system is by keeping the surroundings clean and calm like bio-lab clean. The problem with mold is it can spread easily by transferring itself from surface to surface.
- Make sure you wash your hands before touching the plants.
- Remove dead or fallen leaves, dead plants from your hydroponic garden right away and bear in mind to wash your hands again.
- Do not over water making the grow medium get soggy as it will breed mold.
- Ensure proper ventilation in the room i.e. place near a window and open it regularly for proper sunshine. Also make a mental note to keep humidity at a low level.
- Disinfect and sterilize all tools and components of your garden before hand.
Look out for leakage
As your garden needs constant irrigation, make sure that the reservoir is sealed, the tubes or drainage equipment’s are fixed appropriately and do not lead or spray water in any way. This might seem like a trivial point but trust me I lost plants because of leaked reservoir.
Make sure you have a proper sealant or else it can wreck havoc to your flooring (and if you are gardening under grow lights – electrical equipment’s are needed). So be extra careful.
I made a few mistakes and I learned a lot. As they say, experience and failures are best teachers in life. I really hope you can learn from the mistakes (the easy way) from another person’s mistakes.