So the good news is that if you find yourself on the receiving end of a stern ‘talk to self’ having well and truly screwed up your hydroponic growing efforts, you’re far from alone. Whichever way you look at it, there’s a pretty steep learning curve at play when it comes to making the switch to hydroponic growing – especially if you weren’t exactly an expert in standard growing beforehand.
Technically speaking, it’s all a pretty new concept – at least in the grand scheme of things – and we’re learning more about it every day. As such, it’s hardly surprising that newcomers are to a large extent guaranteed to fall foul of a few rookie mistakes here and there – at least 99% of first timers doing exactly that.
So no matter what it is you are growing, or at least thinking of growing in the near future, here is a quick look at five mistakes most or all newcomers to hydroponics make at least once:
1 – Cheaping Out on Lighting
First of all, yes, you are new to the game and no, you don’t have bottomless pockets, but if you spend as little as possible on lighting just to get up and running, every step of the process will be made infinitely harder. It’s common for newcomers to assume that as they are new, it makes sense to invest in rather low-grade hardware to get up and running. Logically speaking however though it’s actually quite to the contrary as the better the equipment and lighting you buy in the first place, the easier you will find it to both learn the ropes and begin making progress.
2 – Challenging Plants
Chances are you have one or more specific plants or crops in mind which are to a large extent the very reason you are getting into hydroponics in the first place. However, just as is the case with growing things outdoors there are certain plants and crops which even the most experienced and dedicated hydroponic growers struggle to get right. When you are learning the ropes, it is in your best interests to start out with plants and crops that are notoriously easy to grow. The reason being that it is inevitable that you will make a few mistakes along the way while learning, so you might as well make them while growing plants that will survive them, as opposed to killing off the whole crop in one fell swoop.
3 – Go Big, Go Home
Just as soon as you get wind of how much incredible hydroponic gardening you can cram into a tiny space, the overwhelming temptation is to do exactly that. You buy your gear, prepare a pretty epic growing area and soon afterwards you realize you shouldn’t have thrown yourself in at the deep end. Starting off too big makes it impossible to learn the fine intricacies of controlling and managing your hydroponic garden – always start out small and simple.
4 – Overlooking the Air
When you have a fabulous hydroponics system up and running with near-total automation and the best quality hardware out there, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve covered all bases. Sadly, you haven’t, as if you fail to pay sufficient attention to the quality of the air in the room itself, you really won’t get very far. Good ventilation and air circulation along with ideal oxygen and carbon dioxide levels are mandatory...don’t forget it.
5 – Jumping the Gun
Last but not least, it won’t wreck your crop and ruin your hard work as such, but one of the biggest and most common mistakes made by newcomers is that of jumping the gun when it comes to harvesting. Of course you’re excited to get the rewards of your handiwork and yes, things are looking incredibly tempting, but if you’re able to inject a little added patience into the mix, you’ll be rewarded with something vastly more pleasing and satisfying than had you jumped the gun.