If you’re into hydroponics, it’s pretty safe to assume you’re into the maximization of yields. Regardless of what it is you are growing, the fact that you have chosen to grow it by way of hydroponics indicates that you are striving for vastly superior yields than would be possible with soil growing.
The thing is though, while hydroponic growing makes it an entirely possible to hit the jackpot in terms of yields, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee a stellar ROI. Like anything in the world of gardening, hydroponics is in no way a game of chance and nor is it something you can succeed in without making all the right moves. Nevertheless, the fact that the very point of hydroponic growing is to give yourself complete and total control of all growing conditions means that there’s technically no reason to or excuse for getting it wrong.
So for those looking to get the absolute maximum returns on their hydroponic investments, here’s a quick look at a few tried and tested tips harvested from the pros:
1 – Keep a Journal
No, that’s not a misprint and nor is it some half-baked idea of little merit – keeping a growing journal is something the professionals do and something you should be doing yourself. The reason being that sooner or later, you are going to find it absolutely impossible to accurately remember every little tweak, change and observation you make which could be solid gold information with regard to improving output. From feed changes to temperatures to lighting to nutrients and everything else across the board, the more you write down, the clearer your recipe for success will be when you find it.
2 – Prune Vigorously
Even with all the hydroponics technology in the world, your best friend when it comes to maximizing yields is nothing more than a good pair of pruning shears. You need to be seriously meticulous when it comes to your pruning habits in order to ensure that every single leaf and stem which is heading even remotely toward uselessness is severed and removed from the equation immediately.
3 – Provide the Ammo
While it’s fair to say that a few of the products on the market today promise more than they can ever deliver, there are nonetheless plenty of outstanding products with which you can put together the perfect plant nutrient program. You’ll always get out what you put in, so if all you are willing to feed them is garbage, garbage is all you’re likely to be returned with.
4 – CO2 Caution
If you are relatively new to the world of hydroponics, it’s generally recommended that you stay away from CO2 generators. Sure, they can be useful and effective if you are hugely experienced to know exactly what you are doing, but if you cannot tick both of these boxes, chances are you will seriously affect final yields…and not in a good way.
5 – In the Shade
Never under any circumstances store your nutrients where they may come into contact with direct sunlight. In fact, you will be better off making sure your nutrients are always stored in an area which is cool, dry and as dark as possible.
6 – Bothersome Bulbs
Try to remember that the vast majority of conventional grow lights and bulbs on the market can degrade in terms of their performance up to 30% by the end of the first year. So if you’re really serious about yields, you need to think about replacing your bulbs more often.
7 – Blackouts
Last but not least, during the hours of darkness you give your plants the very best kind of darkness you can give them is total, absolute pitch-black darkness. As such, even if it means investing in thicker window dressings or perhaps putting up a blackout blind, the more perfect the darkness, the better the ultimate yield.