Many growers start with soil but quickly move on to try other methods that promise adventure and the lure of even greater rewards. Hydroponics offers accelerated root growth which leads to vigorous, high performing plants. Bigger, faster, stronger is a typical description from some hydro enthusiasts who swear they’ll never go back to growing in soil. On the other hand, hydro is typically known to be less forgiving than soil.
The leading threat to growing with hydroponics is root rot, which will stagnate growth and eventually kill plants or entire crops. A couple of simple precautions will prevent would-be disasters in the modern indoor garden.
Control The Environment
In summer, watch out for root rot, which can easily occur when water temps rise above 18 degrees. When roots rot they begin to tint until they eventually brown and die off. Pathogens and bad biology are the cause, and they tend to thrive in warmer waters. Typically, water temps run about 10 degrees cooler than room temps, so gauge the health of your hydro system by measuring your room temperature. Start with controlled grow room heating and cooling. If average temps are above 23 degrees, additional cooling may be needed, you could also consider adding a water chiller to the reservoir if necessary.
To properly thrive using any grow method, environmental control is key.
Pathogens can multiply in water and grow mediums when room temps constantly exceed 23 degrees. Keep garden temps between 17- 28 degrees, targeting 20-24 degrees. This will keep water temps in the correct range for roots and plants to grow vigorously, while keeping away the bad biology that causes root rot.
With hydroponic practices, gardeners see a noticeable difference in growth rate and overall results when environmental factors are well maintained. Ideally, your grow room shouldn’t be affected by what season it is outside. In addition to maintaining a comfortable environment, be sure to keep a generally clean room, free of any constant moisture, hot spots, or other undesired microclimates.
Winters are generally more forgiving for indoor gardeners, just be sure to maintain room temps to avoid slowing down growth. Keep daytime temps above 15.5 degrees and night time temps above 10 degrees, these controlled temperatures should maintain proper growth rates and avoid problems.
Providing these basic essentials of hydroponics will empower indoor growers to achieve maximum yields with minimal effort. Don’t be intimidated, as simple hydro methods can be set up with ease. Keep the water and nutrients well aerated and maintain a pH between 5.6 and 6.4. Whether indoor or outdoor, be sure to top off warm tanks with cold water to prevent potential problems.