How to grow vegetables hydronically

Maintaining a clean and hygienic growing environment is imperative for the success of your crops. Before starting a new harvest, it's crucial to thoroughly clean and sanitise the growing system, removing any residual debris or contaminants. Then, rinse the system with fresh water to eliminate any cleaning or disinfectant products used during the cleaning process. The water you use for your crops plays a vital role in their growth and development, so it's essential to check the water's electrical conductivity (EC) and make sure it's below 0.2 EC. The water should also be clear and free of visible particles. If the water source doesn't meet these standards, you may need to use a reverse osmosis system or filter to purify it. The growing environment is another critical aspect for crop health. Ideally, temperatures should range between 15-25°C, although if temperatures regularly exceed 25°C, it's necessary to regulate temperature and humidity levels using air conditioning and dehumidifiers. Additionally, maintaining the CO2 concentration between 1200ppm and 1500ppm is essential. Plants require adequate light to grow properly, so it's important to provide indoor plants with enough light or choose an outdoor location that receives ample sunlight for outdoor plants. LED lights are preferred by experienced growers as they are energy-efficient and keep the growing environment cooler. Other types of lights, such as High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide, may be more affordable, but they don't last as long and need to be replaced more frequently. Maintaining the correct EC and pH levels is vital for your plants to absorb the necessary nutrients. The EC levels should be kept low initially and adjusted as the crop matures, while the pH levels should be kept between 5.5 and 6.5 for optimal nutrient availability. Regular monitoring of the EC and pH levels is especially crucial in non-recirculating systems to prevent the buildup of nutrients and ensure root health. Caring for your plant roots is also crucial for their overall health and nutrient absorption. Using root activator and root conditioner products and monitoring root health, especially if temperatures frequently exceed 25°C, can help prevent root problems. It's also necessary to avoid over- or under-watering to prevent root damage. Finally, proactively controlling insects and fungi is key to avoiding crop damage. Routinely using a combination of insecticides and fungicides with different active ingredients can prevent pests and diseases from becoming a problem. Consult a local rural or hydroponic store for recommendations on the best products for your growing conditions and preferences.

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