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8 Steps to Successful Hydroponics

8 Steps to Successful Hydroponics

It can be exciting to create your indoor garden, one that is free from bugs and the messiness of soil. This can be a relaxing hobby that will calm your mind and give you fresh, healthy tomatoes, and other plants.

Here are 8 steps to having a successful indoor garden.

1. Have the right environment. The best humidity for a garden should be around 40 to 60 percent. Some plants may want more, while some require less. Other considerations will be your level of carbon dioxide, and your air circulation and exchange.

2. Use filtered water. You’ll want to begin with a high-quality water before you add in your growth nutrients. You should reduce the PPM of your water by using an RO or Reverse Osmosis Unit. pH should be measured so that it falls around 5.8 to 6.2. If you are growing in soil or in coco, pH should be around 6 to 6.8.

3. Choose your hydroponics method. If you have a drip garden you’ll be able to provide a nutrient solution to the plant with drip stakes that connect to each plant. If you choose aeroponic, an oxygenated nutrient solution will be misted directly to the roots of a plant. NFT or Nutrient Film Technique gardens have a slow moving nutrient system that flows over the roots. Organics is also popular. Begin with the size of container you wish, then decide on organics, your fertilizer, and the water.

4. Select a growth medium. There are many different growing mediums. These provide the anchor for the root system. Some provide an anchor for your roots to hold onto, while other provide nutrients too. Some types are coco, soil-less mix, traditional soil, hydroton, rockwool or stonewool, and silica stone. 

5. Find the best nutrients. Just like plants in a garden, plants in a hydroponics system also require nutrients to grow. You can choose from organic or synthetic varieties. These are broken down into two categories: macro and micro nutrients.

6. Install your lighting. The most common type of lighting in a hydroponics garden is HID—High Density Discharge. These types of lamps work better in the orange and red spectrums, which is perfect for plants that have reached the flowering and blooming stages. The other type of lighting which is good for this type of gardening are the MH, or metal halides. These deliver a blue or green spectrum and are good for plants at the vegetative or early growth stage.

7. Buy testing equipment. You can choose from a variety of different testing meters. These can be used to test everything from pH, to EC, PPM, temperature, CO2, light levels, and humidity. Remember that if you don’t test, your garden will only be as good as the limiting factor. It’s important to monitor the environmental conditions. 

8. Find optional accessories. Once you get started in your new hobby you’ll discover all the wonderful accessories you can buy. These will help to make your life much simpler.