Growing an indoor garden using hydroponics can be an amazing experience. After all, Americans living in urban areas or small spaces may not be able to have the outdoor garden of their dreams. Hydroponics can even increase the growth rate of your potential plants by 50% in contrast to growing your plants in soil.
Hydroponics use sand, rocks, and water rather than soil. This results in easier maintenance because the soil doesn't soak up the water you provide your plant. However, while hydroponics may have easier water maintenance, this kind of gardening still requires your patience. If you're not careful, you could kill your hydroponic plants in these three ways:
- Having a pH level that's too high or too low
The necessary pH level for optimal plant growth is typically determined by the type of plant you're growing. However, most plants require a usual pH level between 5.5 and 6.0 in order for proper growth. For most hydroponic gardens, the ideal pH level is 5.8 or 6.2.
It's important to keep this in mind since neutral water has a pH level of 7.0 and your plants may not fare well being placed directly into it. Test your garden's pH level periodically and adjust it with a hydroponic solution from your indoor gardening store.
- Leaving your garden open to bugs
Just because your garden is indoors doesn't mean your plants are safe from harmful insects. Spider mites can easily invade and destroy plant health without you noticing because they're so small. Until your plant's leaves begin to turn brown you may not even be aware of their presence!
Research how to control plant mites and periodically check your plants' leaves for tiny holes or browning. If you find signs of spider mites, spray your plants with floramite or another type of natural insecticide. Don't be afraid to sacrifice a plant either. Spider mites can easily travel from one plant to another. It may be for the best to throw away one plant before the spider mites can make their way to the rest of your garden.
- Not providing your plants with the right nutrients
Because your plants aren't grown in the soil, they don't naturally receive the same nutrients they would otherwise. Therefore, it's essential that you provide your plants with these base nutrients yourself. Without them, your garden won't grow and your plant health will suffer.
Hydroponics may seem like an easier way to care for your plants, but in reality it's trading one form of plant care for another. To maintain the life of your indoor garden, you need to preserve your plant health by adjusting the pH level accordingly, providing nutrients, and by getting rid of any pesky insects.