Hydroponics how to get started?
Growing plants indoors is generally quite easy once the hydroponic growing equipment is in place and the environment is under control, for someone venturing into hydroponics for the first time if not guided correctly it's like building a computer without any IT knowledge.
The aim of this article is to make sure that no matter where you get your hydro equipment from, we will still provide you the right advice on how to install it all properly.
After the initial decision has been made to start growing indoor in a grow tent or a dedicated grow room, most gardeners usually have allocated a space for where they wish to set up their indoor garden.
Good hydroponic equipment is not cheap, and cheap equipment does not last, so we really urge you take your time before rushing in and buying, most gardeners come back and upgrade to the professional brands anyway. So spending money on the cheaper bunnings hydroponics stuff really is a waste of time in our experience.
Rather than incrementally listing all of the necessary components to complete your indoor garden, we will just break it down simply (more of a basic introduction) and then once the understanding has formed we can then divulge further into the world of hydroponic accessories.
Most importantly you will need an indoor grow room as your foundation, they come in many sizes and shapes so finding one to slot into that space shouldn’t be too hard.
At this point we need to install our ventilation systems, most rooms require an exhaust system (to remove used air, excess heat and humidity) and an intake fan (to replenish the fresh air) without ventilation systems in place your plants would be exposed to temperatures way beyond their capabilities, causing them to quickly suffocate, stress and die.
Most ventilation systems whether exhaust or intake, come standard with the fan, carbon filter (removes the smell & prevents problems entering the environment) and ducting to connect.
Good, so now your ventilation is taken care of its time to install your lighting system!
Growing light technology is rapidly changing the way we grow plants indoors, there are many cheap alternatives but be warned, these alternatives can potentially be very dangerous. We have all seen houses that burn down exposing an indoor grow room, thankfully innovation decided to show up and thus created the digital wave of Full spectrum LED lighting we now all use safely and effectively indoors!
“Be sure to buy a digital timer with your new light as you will be dictating the light hours the plants depend on for each stage.”
Be sure to speak to your local shop about what LED grow light will best suit your space, stage and need. Some lights are only good for growing plants not flowering them, some LED lights do both and some LED grow lights are a complete waste of time and money.
Great! Now your grow lights are in, it is time to decide on what type of system you wish to grow in. There are many choices and systems here to choose from, you can grow in soil, coco coir or hydroponically and there are many other variations to these methods of cultivation.
We recommend for first time growers to start off with something easy and manageable like a coco coir and a fabric grow pot as it is very easy to use, once success has been attained with the coco style of growing most become comfortable in upgrading to a hydroponics system. Or further automate their coco grow pots with things like feeding rings, timer and a hydroponic nutrient reservoir.
Hydroponic nutrients, there are lots of them. Don’t become overwhelmed as they generally all grow plants, like everything – some are better than others. Firstly make sure its an approved nutrient product by the APVMA if it is not, then it's not approved for consumable crops! Speak to your hydro rep and get their personal recommendations as to what you should grow with, A-Grade Hydroponics tests everything that's on their shelves so if you do shop with us you can be assured that your end result in terms of quality and yield will be outstanding.
The remaining accessories needed in a functional grow room are things like a pH meter (to test the solubility of your water) and an EC meter (to check how much nutrition is present within the water) You can get combo versions of these meters to save on the individual unit cost.
So now your hydroponic grow room is up and ready! It's time to start growing, be patient, observe your plants carefully and document any changes via grow journal or using your phone picture diary. If you need a grow buddy coach then just go into your local shop they should be able to help you, if they cant then come into the A-Grade Hydroponics Showroom in Cheltenham, Melbourne. We know that we can.