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Maybe you're thinking of going hydroponic. Maybe you've already started a hydroponic system.
No matter where you're at in the hydroponic scene, it's important to know the ins and outs of maintaining your system.
The good news is that hydroponic systems do not require as much specialized maintenance or equipment as most people think. With some careful thought and planning, taking care of your system can be easy, efficient, and even fun.
Check out our tips for properly maintaining your hydroponic system. Then head over to our shop to see what you need to keep your system on track.
How to Properly Maintain Your Hydroponic Systems
1. Perform Daily Inspections
This is at the top of the list when it comes to keeping up with your hydroponic systems. Just like with any garden, you need to be checking in on your systems daily.
Remember that hydroponic systems present a faster and more efficient means of growing plants. Because growth rates are so high, it's important to inspect your systems daily to make sure you eliminate any problems that arise.
We suggest setting a daily check-in time when you spend time with your systems and perform maintenance. Treat it like an appointment.
Better yet, set two daily check-in times, ideally once in the morning and once in the evening.
2. Check Humidity Levels and Address Accordingly
Before setting up your plants in your hydroponic system, check to see what humidity levels these plants prefer.
In general, humidity is a positive factor in plant growth. You can control the humidity levels of your systems easily by using a mister and daily misting all of your plants.
3. Be Wise with Nutrient Solutions
It's important to educate yourself about the ins and outs of nutrient solutions. These operate very differently from traditional soil, and you'll want to be careful about filling and refilling solutions.
You'll want to test the strength of your system's nutrient solution on a daily basis using an EC meter. Depending upon the reading, you'll either add more tap water to the solution trays or fertilizer.
Be careful of just adding more nutrient powder if you see that the solution is nearly gone. It's very easy to over-nutrient your plants!
4. Don't Put Things Off
If you see a problem of some kind during your daily inspection, do your best not to leave it until another day.
Infestations, molds, or bug problems can quickly escalate over a short amount of time. It's important to take care of any of these issues right away or you risk wiping out part or all of your hydroponic systems.
Don't let all of your hard work go to waste!
5. Prune and De-Pest
Once again, there is a lot of crossover between care for regular outdoor gardens and care for hydroponic systems.
You'll want to prune your plants regularly. This involves getting rid of any dead or dying components such as blossoms or limbs.
Read up on your bug knowledge so that you can easily identify pests over helpful pollinators. When you discover a pest presence, eliminate it by using approved pesticides or other organic methods.
6. Take Notes
It's wise to keep a journal of your hydroponic maintenance as you go along. Make notes about anything and everything.
Most importantly, you'll want to make note of planting and germination dates, nutrient solution monitoring, and any pesticides or fertilizers used. Write down any problems or infestations you've encountered and how you resolved them.
Also keep tabs on humidity levels, wattage of lights used, and plant growth rates. Your notes will act as a good reference for addressing problems down the road and for starting up your next systems.
7. Know Your Plants
The best way to streamline your plants' growth rates is to know their needs.
Before and during the progress of your hydroponic systems, find out everything there is to know about your plants.
It's important to identify germination and growth rates, preferred humidity and light levels, and ideal fertilizers. Research about spacing between seedlings and other ideal care solutions.
8. Make Sure Your Lighting is Solid
Hydroponic systems depend upon a good lighting setup and effective nutrient solutions for optimum growth.
When it comes to grow lights, you'll want to choose lighting that best mimics sunlight. Basic fluorescent or household light bulbs will not do the trick in this respect.
We recommend LED lights, compact fluorescents, or high-intensity discharge lights, depending upon the size of your garden.
Lighting is likely where you'll feel the pinch of the investment factor of hydroponic gardens. Don't let this sway you. Better lighting means better plant health.
9. Inspect Your Equipment
When it comes to hydroponic gardens, faulty or poor quality equipment can actually mean the detriment of your plants, no matter how much care you pour into them.
You'll want to invest in high-quality water pumps and grow trays. Choose ones that are built of sturdy, not flimsy, material.
Your nutrient solutions and grow mediums should also be from a trusted source and in line with the nutrients your specific plants require.
You'll also always want to have a pH testing kit and timer on hand in order to monitor acidity levels and light exposure.
10. Know Your Resources
You don't have to navigate maintenance of your hydroponic system alone.
Have resources on hand so that you can easily address any issues or questions that arise in your hydroponic journey. Exchange numbers with that knowledgeable gardener down the street or read up on hydroponics.
The best thing about having a hydroponic system is getting to continually learn. Be open-minded and flexible in your care, and your plants will surely flourish.
Keeping Up With Your Hydroponic System
Once you go hydroponic, you won't want to go back.
Just like any garden, hydroponic systems require their own particular care and maintenance. When maintaining your system, inspect your plants daily and understand their needs. Stay on top of your equipment and address problems as they arise.
Most importantly, keep an open mind and educate yourself as you go along.
At Doctor Point, we are the experts when it comes to maintaining your hydroponic system properly. We offer an extensive selection of high-quality products and equipment designed with your flourishing hydroponic garden in mind.
Get a head start on that hydroponic garden you've been dreaming about by heading over to our equipment selection now!