4 Tips for Successful Hydroponic Growing
With the global population growing at a rate of approximately 1.05% per year or 81 million people annually, the increased demand placed on the Earth’s natural resources calls for new and innovative solutions to farming methods and food production.
One possible solution which has developed in the field of horticulture is a method of growing plants known as Hydroponics. Here plants are grown without soil, by using a nutrient-rich growing medium such as coco coir, gravel, rockwool, or sand, allowing for nutrients to be absorbed directly into the plant’s roots.
Without the need for soil, crops such as corn can be grown throughout the year, resulting in higher yields and fewer fluctuations in price. If you are looking for some growing tips for your hydroponic plants then read on.
Before plants can be introduced to a hydroponic growing system it is important to check the quality of your water supply to ensure the pH levels are correct. Ideally, the water should have a pH of between 5.5 and 6.5 which can be measured using pH strips or a pH meter.
EC or Electrical Conductivity levels of water measure its ability to dissolve salts and other chemicals and should also be checked to ensure your plants receive the nutrients and minerals they need from the water. The temperature of the water should be kept between 68°F and 72°F and can be maintained through the use of a heater or chiller.
One of the most important factors when it comes to hydroponic plant growth is light. Grow light for indoor plants is an essential factor in the cultivation of hydroponic plant growth, especially when there is less sunlight available.
Light-emitting diode lamps or LEDs are a preferred method for many growers due to their efficiency and effectiveness and their full spectrum of light which is similar to the rays of the sun. Lighting can also be adjusted according to the life cycle of your plants.
The right growing medium is another essential step when it comes to your hydroponic success. Due to the absence of soil in this method plants must be supported in other ways.
The growing medium must have the right combination of oxygen and moisture allowing for nutrients to be properly absorbed by the roots of the plants. Cocopeat and peatmoss and perlite are popular culture media used by breeders because they retain moisture and oxygen well.
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Without the presence of soil to nourish your plants, hydroponic plants will require nutrient-based solutions which are specifically designed for growing plants hydroponically.
Hydroponic plants need 17 essential nutrients in order to grow and develop properly, therefore, a good quality nutrient fertilizer will be required. With a variety of nutrient-rich fertilizers on the market to choose from it is advisable to purchase from a reputable supplier and to ensure the solution is right for the types of plants you are growing and the stage they are at in their life cycle.
These four tips will help to ensure the success of growing your plants hydroponically.
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