Fresh produce can be difficult to find and access these days, especially since the pandemic has caused problems in a lot of aspects of daily life. Not only can it be unsafe to go out and buy food, but supply systems have also been hampered. That is why many people are considering growing their own vegetables at home through hydroponic systems.
Hydroponic systems have revolutionised urban farming, making urban spaces just as viable as rural areas when it comes to the growth and supply of fresh produce. While it can be challenging for the uninitiated to get started on their own growing systems, the process has been explored enough that a set of strategies has been developed for better and more successful hydroponic growing.
Here are some of these important strategies:
1. Maintain the right water quality
One of the most important concerns for any grower is the quality of their water. Before you even construct a growing system, you should have thoroughly tested your water quality to measure its acidity or alkalinity using pH meters and strips.
Ideally, you would want your water supply to be slightly acidic at a range of 5.5 to 6.5, but different plants have different optimum pH levels. A plant’s optimum pH range may also change, depending on its stage in its life cycle.
Aside from pH levels, it is also important to regularly measure the EC levels in the water. The EC level is the measure of dissolved salts, nutrients, and minerals in the water that plants need to remain healthy. This is tested using an EC meter dipped into the water.
2.Optimize your fertigation system
Fertigation is the process of injecting fertilisers into an irrigation system. You need to inject the right amount of fertilisers into the system since the plants are grown without soil. They need these nutrients to survive.
It is also crucial to inject just the right amount, as there is no soil to buffer the roots’ exposure to the various chemicals. Root enhancers might also be a beneficial addition to your fertigation, as these can help plants absorb nutrients more easily, stimulating growth.
3. Choose the right growth medium
The absence of soil means that an alternative must be used for plants to grow in. Most hydroponic growers use a combination of clay pebbles and coco coir, as it retains oxygen at great levels for the plants. These are also mixed because coco coir can be expensive, and the more affordable clay pebbles and pellets can be mixed in with them at no harm to the plants.
To ensure your plants take root in your growth medium, make sure to use the right root enhancer as well.
4. Clean the whole thing regularly
If the system is dirty and contaminated, your plants are less likely to grow according to your objectives. They may even start to die off, depending on the severity of the uncleanliness.
Hydroponic systems should be kept in sterile spaces free of pests. The nutrient solution reservoir should also be regularly cleaned with a diluted bleach solution. This bleach will clear out the tubing of material buildup, ensuring a good level of flow. Generally, reservoirs should be cleaned once or twice a month.
You can also reduce clogging by opening the valves at least once a week.
With these strategies and some elbow grease, you could have the successful hydroponic growing operation you’ve always dreamed of. You can have access to fresh produce any time of the year so long as you put great effort into the care of your system and your plants.
If you need root enhancers to help with your hydroponic plants, send us at Moonshine Global a message. You will likely be impressed with the results our bio-stimulant can provide.