Hydroponic growing is not a herculean task, but expert tips and tricks will always be helpful. Before giving you any tips on hydroponic growing let me share my experience on traditional growing.
I am an IT professional aged 40. Though I have a small flower garden, I have never thought of vegetable gardening till the age of 35 as I was always busy with my work. I have seen and heard so much about growing vegetables at home for our daily needs. Though I am fond of making this plan happen, I was unable to find time. I had some space in the backyard where I wanted to grow vegetables.
So 4 years ago, I got acquainted with a person who helped me in starting a vegetable garden in the backyard. I just told him what I wanted to grow and he helped me in setting up a small vegetable garden with tomatoes, spinach, lady finger, brinjal, green chili, bitter gourd etc.
I used to water the plants regularly and I had some problems with pests and plant diseases. The amount of water required at different stages for different plants varied. When it started growing, some plants had problem with space also. Shortage of nutrients was another problem. Climatic variations affected the growth of the plants. Finally I would not say that it was a total failure but not satisfactory. Sunlight, water and nutrients were the prime requirements and space depending on the kind of plants you want to grow.
This had made me think about hydroponic growing. Before starting hydroponic growing, I did a proper analyzing on the facts where I had faced problems. So let me tell you those areas.
- Sunlight was a problem for me as some days it was so hot and my plants use to get dried quickly.
- Watering plants must be an everyday activity and on very sunny days two times a day. This was not possible on all days as I may get tied up with my work and will be late to reach home.
- Nutrients had to be given at proper time for good yields. Hmmmm !!! Every plant didn’t grow properly because some do need nutrients for its growth.
- Space while growing different plants differ and hence do a proper thinking and group plants of same type together than growing in a random manner.
- While growing in the backyard in an open space there are other problems related to pests which should be attended to at the earliest.
Now these above specified problems made me think of moving from traditional growing to hydroponic indoor growing systems. I could really see the change. My yields increased many folds with less tension.
Hydroponic growing is soilless growing where roots are suspended in various types of media surrounded by oxygen, nutrients and water. Light is given to the hydroponic system using LED grow lights. There are many types of hydroponic growing and just now I am not going to explain about all that as it becomes more technical. I would like to share what we should do before starting hydroponic growing. Here are some secret tips and tricks:
- Have a plan of what you want to grow. Preferably same plants in groups.
- Analyze what hydroponic growing equipment best suites your needs and plant growth. There are different methods like NFT, Ebb and flow, Drip system, DWC systems, Bubbler system etc.
- Know the nutritional requirements of your plants.
- Understand about the light requirements of your plants and have proper lighting arrangements.
- Keep all the supplies and equipment ready for use.
- Have a proper feeding schedule, nutrient strengths and nutrient changes schedule.
- As you can grow it indoors, you can check your plants any time you are free and check the water and nutrient level.
- Control of temperature in your hydroponic growing room is another important tip to have good growth and yields. This can be done with the help of proper exhaust fan setup.
These are certain tricks and tips for hydroponic growing. Now I used Bubbler system with Chopped Rockwool as medium. This worked out to be the cheaper method of hydroponic growing. I have grown tomatoes, spinach, lady finger etc, in my grow systems.
Hydroponic growing is healthy growing with zero pesticide use and is popular nowadays because of their ability to conserve water and ultimately provide fresh produce. Join hands for setting up hydroponic growing at homes and free yourself from all types of diseases.