Tips & Tricks
When growing your own hydroponic garden, lighting is an absolute necessity. If you’re new to hydroponic gardens, hydroponic systems grow gardens without soil. Plants are grown in a nutrient-rich solution of water that conserves water, soil, and space. This means that gardens can grow indoors, in controlled environments, and year-round. Grow light is necessary for hydroponics to work optimally.
Whether you’re an indoor grower reusing your soil or prepping your beds for next season, there are a number of ways to prepare your soil for reuse. Start by breaking up the soil. Then add humus, amendments and inoculants to add nutrients and life to your soil. Apply a little compost tea to kick it all off and your soil will be ready for another round of big harvests!
Increase your propagation success by inoculating your medium appropriately. Broad-spectrum inoculants that include mycorrhizae and Trichoderma such as Great White Shark are outstanding for soaking Rockwool or peat-based plugs prior to sticking your cuttings. These "good guy microbes" protect the plant from root/stem rot diseases such as Pythium, Fusarium, and Rhizoctonia. In aeroponic or DWC cloning machines, use Botanicare's Hydroguard to keep the water clean and pathogen-free. Proper inoculation is crucial for successful cloning.
More Fans, Slower Speeds: Rather than using just a few fans on high speed, add some extra wall fans and turn the speed down. Air circulation is crucial to exchange CO2 at the leaf surfaces, but high winds can dry out or stress plants. You’re looking for Breezy, not Windy.
Potassium silicate is an outstanding supplement to help your plants make strong stems and harden cell walls to resist infection naturally. But since it is an alkaline product, it can react with other fertilizers in your nutrient mix. To avoid “clouding” or reactions that could cause some lockout, mix potassium silicate products such as Pro-Tekt and Armor Si FIRST when mixing your reservoir. This will allow the alkalinity to fully dilute in solution before interacting with the other fertilizers, thus eliminating any cloudy effects or nutrient reactions.
Light is a necessary component of the successful growth yields. Regardless of the size of the indoor operation, light matters. Even though light is vital to any production, often times a lighting system is left up to incomplete knowledge or guesswork. The fact of the matter is, with correct lighting, indoor yields can exceed current expectations. This, however, requires thorough planning for light fixtures.