Hydroponics for newbies

hydroponics setup

Hydroponics setup: If you are new in hydroponics. Then this blog is for you. So, this blog is about a guide or every step you made before you doing the hydroponics. I will be covering how I prepare my plants for this system.

Location of hydroponics setup

 

So, look for the east side of your house where there is a beautiful sunlight or sunrise up there happening around. Then try to look for spot where can you put your basic of hydroponics setup. Now the area of hydroponics is that there is a big factor of the sunlight is very good. Because the crop will grow bigger and faster, if the sunlight is good.

hydroponics setup

Basic materials in hydroponics setup

You have to start with crack method. Its very easy and simple. So, there are strobe box, fruit box or you have the empty container. You can store the water. So, for about 10 liters or up that’s good. So, you have to look for emptying bottles or empty containers that can restore 10 liters or up to 30 liters of water. As long as the water is good and the volume is very large is no problem.

hydroponics net cups

Net cups for hydroponics setup


I choose inch net cups as the holes in my system are 1 inch. The size of net cups would be determined by the size of the holes in your system. I bought plants but normally I would germinate from seeds and then transplant the seedlings. I will be planting kale size parsley and celery. Sure, to choose plants that are suited to your location.

 

You have to start with crack method. Its very easy and simple. So, there are strobe box, fruit box or you have the empty container. You can store the water. So, for about 10 liters or up that’s good. So, you have to look for emptying bottles or empty containers that can restore 10 liters or up to 30 liters of water. As long as the water is good and the volume is very large is no problem.

Growing mediums

 

We will need several items for growing plants in this system. One of which is hydroton clay balls. Hydroton balls is a growing medium composed of expanded clay pebbles.  I use hydroton balls for several reasons. It helps to support the plants, maintains pH neutral, light in weight, reusable and provides lot of oxygen to your roots. There are several substitutes for cocopeat and perlite.

hydroponics Growing mediums

So, let’s take the mystery out of mixing hydroponic nutrients. There are many water-soluble fertilizer blends for hydroponics but I am using one that I currently have one hand herbs and pepper formula NPK 11:11:40. This is appropriate for type of plants you are growing for e.g. if you growing leafy vegetables you want to apply a fertilizer that has a higher nitrogen to encourage leafy growth.

 If you are growing flowers then you need higher phosphorus to encourage more blooms. Some NPK are lettuce 8-15-36, tomatoes 4-18-38, cucumbers 8-16-36, strawberry 8-12-32 etc. Fertilizer mix also requires calcium nitrate and magnesium sulfate. pH requires up to 5.5 -6.5. TDS needs up to 600-700ppm not more than that.

You require TDS meter for measuring the conductivity which is a concentration of total dissolved solids in the water. pH meter for measure the acidity or alkalinity of a water. Also get calibration meter for calibrate. You have pump or reservoir for solution. I would suggest you either paint your bucket on the outside or use some insulated lining which would maintain the temperature of the water and prevent algae growth.

Why is pH so important?

Optimal acidic pH range for hydroponics crops is important. Incorrect pH will reduce or completely lock out the amount of nutrients your plants can absorb. Spinach and all leafy vegetables, they recommend a pH level of 5.8-6.2. For pH up, you must use potassium hydroxide and for pH down you can use nitric acid. Wait for 15-20 minutes and again test the pH level.

Let’s begin

Fill your 5-gallon bucket with tap water and set it aside for at least 24 hours This should be sufficient time to allow the chlorine to evaporate. Next day wash the hydrogen thoroughly to remove the dust and other debris. Begin preparing your plants by washing off the potting soil. Try and get as much of the green medium off as possible. Insert the plants into the net cup. Ensuring that the roots goes through and that the length is sufficient when the net cup is placed in the pipe. 

hydroponics lets begain

The root would touch the water. Grab a handful of the hydroton balls and place it around the plant. Make sure to keep the plant towards upright.  For mixing of fertilizers, 5 gallons of water would require. 12 gm of fertilizer, 12 gm of calcium nitrate, 6 gm of magnesium sulphate or Epson salt. Scoop out some of the water you left overnight into your mixing bucket. Put your fertilizer into the bucket and mix thoroughly until dissolved. Before add the mixture to the reservoir. You will need to measure ppm of the water in the reservoir. Finally add your mixture to reservoir and let it circulate for 15 minutes. You can also add some chlorine free water to lower the ppm.

Keeping records and changing out nutrient solution for

Hydroponics setup

You should begin keeping records throughout the growing season. It’s the best way to understand what you are growing and how your crop responds to the nutrients provided for hydroponics setup. Keeping records makes the sound tedious but it serves the purpose of making sure you get the most out of your harvest. Over time the nutrient concentration within the solution changes after every 2-3 weeks, as the plants can take what they need. Discarded solution can be used for the plants in your garden.

Note: You have to maintain pH of your nutrient solution within a range of 5.5-6.5 and TDS limit up to 600-700 ppm.