General Hydroponic Tips
Hydroponic gardening, unlike soil gardening, is completely controlled by the grower. The grower determines the amount of nutrients, light, oxygen, air flow and human exposure that their hydroponic garden receives. Therefore, the end result will be totally dependant on the grower's expertise.
The following are a few basic hydroponic hints for beginner growers:
- Unused closets and basements provide the best grow areas for hydroponic plants because temperature, traffic, light and humidity can all be controlled within.
- Your garden room should be a low traffic zone, so that climatic conditions aren't continually interrupted.
- Concrete or tile floors are the ideal for grow rooms because they are easily washed and maintained. The most ideal grow floor is concrete with a floor drain.
- Cover the grow room walls with a highly reflective material, for example flat white paint or reflective Mylar (a type of polyester film with metallic pigmentation). This will increase the amount of light projected onto your hydroponic garden.
- Keep airflow constant with oscillating fans. The fans must be oscillating, so that they continue moving and blow directly on young seedlings and dry them out a bit after the nutrient and hydro filtering. If you don't have access to an oscillating fan, an open door, window or an exhaust fan attached to a thermostat will circulate fresh air while expelling stale, humid air out of your growing space.
- To save on heating costs during the winter months, hook up a vent system to move warm air from your indoor grow garden into other rooms in your home.
- Your HID (high intensity discharge) lamps produce up to twice as much light as halogen lamps and should be placed in the center above your growing area for maximum plant coverage.
- Situate plants approximately 24-inches from HID lamps, so that the heat from the light doesn't burn the plants' leaves.
- Keep your lamp dry - a hot HID bulb can break if it comes into contact with even a few droplets of moisture.
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