Tools for a Well-Stocked Grow Room
Hydroponics is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. There are many different systems, add-ons, and tools you can choose from to customize your grow room. Here are a few basic tools to consider.
No matter whether you are a seasoned grower with a large grow room or an amateur tentatively trying hydroponics for the first time, your hydro system can be adjusted, fine-tuned, and expanded to suit whatever needs you have. Here’s a list of some of the tools that may be useful in your grand plans.
Of course, your plant requires nutrients to grow healthy and strong. In hydro growing, the nutrients are delivered to your plants via water. If there is a lack of a particular element, consider adding a nutrient booster or plant tonic to help ward off disease and boost growth. Just remember that in contrast to soil growing, hydroponically grown plants are very sensitive to changes. While adding a much-needed nutrient might be just what the doctor ordered, adding too much can also be disastrous.
Air Pump, Tubes, or Stones
A hydroponic nutrient solution needs to be aerated with an air pump, tube, or stones. Porous air stones come in various sizes and omit bubbles to increase the oxygen levels around your roots, which in turn helps the plant grow by allowing more nutrients to reach the plants.
If growing indoors, away from natural sunlight, you need to make the choice about which type of artificial lighting to use. You can also use supplementary artificial lighting in a grow space that uses sunlight as its main light source. The additional lighting can give your plants a general boost and help you get the most out of your crop. You can also tackle specific problems using the appropriate light source. For example, additional blue and green light help plants grow short and bushy, and red-light boosters help with oil production and flowering.
Smart Meters and Controls
Smart meters and controls can be used to regulate and monitor just about anything (if you are a commercial grower or growing on a large-scale, you can even monitor multiple areas at once). The meters report atmospheric information to your computer, and a timer can help regulate humidity, air, fan speed, water, and light. This allows you to monitor the results and alter the environment to keep conditions constant and accurate. Of course, it is also a good idea to invest in a backup generator in case your system has a power loss, which would immediately impact your plants and ruin all your hard work.
Simple But Necessary Tools
You can get too busy thinking about your plants, roots, and nutrients but forget about yourself. Protect your eyes and see your plants without squinting by wearing wrap-around, polarized sunglasses. Opt for a pair that includes protection from UV and infra-red (IR) waves and can be worn both outdoors and indoors.Advertisement
Industrial syringes help measure and control quantities of nutrients or water while keeping things clean and tidy.
Soft wire ties, commonly used for sealing bags or tying wayward cables together, can also help keep your grow room neat and tidy. They’re also useful for training plants or tying your crops to supports.Advertisement
Space and Budget
There is a plethora of products you can buy for growing, but you need to keep in mind the space you have. For example, there’s no point buying large lights if they are too big for your grow area or if you aren’t growing much. Your budget should also consider your level of expertise and your reasons for growing. If you’re just starting out, you might want to purchase cheaper tools and systems to work out what is best for you. Then, once you know the basics, you can upgrade from there.
Written by Beth Garner
Beth Garner is a freelance writer based in the UK where she maintains a small plot of crops in her urban garden.