Learning from the errors and failures is part and parcel of setting up a hydroponic system. It is ideally advised to correct these mistakes in time and do things correctly after a while. In order to get the desired results, it is important that we make mistakes as an opportunity to scale the hydroponic systems. However, you might come across the most common areas of failures and mistakes that you can work on and we would like to highlight those 7 common mistakes that will guide you to turn your hydroponic venture or your homegrown garden's produce a success

Mistake 1 - Grow Space and Hard to Use Systems

The common mistake that we have seen harvesters do is underestimating the growing needs. If you ask what are the growing needs? Well, Lighting, water, essential nutrients, pest control, heating and humidity are different growing needs. The space to move should be considered while designing a setup. The grower needs to focus on accessibility, convenience, automation and space planning prudently. The users should always focus on accessibility rather than just putting up the setup

Mistake 2 - Underestimating System Build Costs

The grower should design the system first so that he optimises the space properly. By optimization, we mean that the right amount of sunlight, humidity, heat.

Mistake 3 - Choosing the Wrong Crops

Every plant is different in its own way. One thing that every grower needs to understand is that every plant has its own needs and it grows differently. Things that one must really question while choosing a plant are -
• What are the techniques to grow the crop/plant?
• The effort that one would require to consider right from sowing to harvesting
• Is the production technique applicable to grow that plant?
• Are there any external constraints like sunlight, humidity, pH value etc.?
By asking these questions, you would narrow down your crop search or see if any modifications can be done in the basic production technique to cater that plant.

Mistake 4 - Your pH value is wrong!

Many nutrient deficiencies occur due to pH problems. This issue is highly ignored or rather mismanaged by the grower. Why does a pH value matter so much?

pH helps to gauge whether the nutrient solutions or plain water are acidic or alkaline. Ordinary tap water has a pH level that in most cases is suitable for use in hydroponic systems. Growing media in most cases is already pH balanced, for instance, Rockwool is more alkaline than other growing media like coco coir.

In hydroponics, you will find plants prefer to have a range of 5.5 to 6.5 depending on the plants (refer to the image attached). Both a pH testing kit and also pH adjusting compounds are advised to be used. It is recommended that you should check the pH value on a daily basis. Once this adjustment is done then all your plants can take up all the nutrients they need.

Mistake 5 - Using Too Many Nutrients or the Wrong Nutrients

Mistake 6 - Over Watering

As we all know, roots are the primary source of your plant's water, food, and oxygen intake. Did you know that roots also need air to breathe and if the plants are treated with an overabundance of water then they are completely drenched into the water leaving no breathing space? For simple understanding, it is that distressed boyfriend who needs some space for their own thing. If there is too much water or the roots are constantly wet, there are not enough air pockets. It will cause plants to adopt a stooped posture which is not good for their growth. With, right practices overwatered plants can be controlled and converted into healthy growing plants.

When to water plants?
Coco Coir – Aim to water plants every 1-2 days. When the coco coir is staying wet for 3+ days, try pouring minimal water until plants get bigger and start utilising more water. Don’t let the coco coir to dry out, but don’t put water if the top inch feels moist. However, if the container feels light, it means that you need to water!
For DWC/Water Based Hydro, make sure there are large airstones that make lots of bubbles. Since overwatering is essentially oxygen deprivation to the plant, you can actually overwater your hydroponic plant (in a sense) by not providing enough oxygen.

Mistake 7 - Not Enough Light

Light is one of the most crucial attributes in setting up a hydroponic setup. Investing in the right lighting rig is the key to solve the lighting issue. Growers seek help in this department as to why their system failed or could not figure out why the expected yield was not procured. You can easily make or break your hydroponic garden by ignoring the importance of lighting.

Lighting is one of the important investments that a grow has to make their systems work efficiently. One can do this by carrying out some research as to which is the best solution for growing the plants.

Mistake 8 - Sanitation, or Lack of It

One should consider these 2 points important. First, the growing space should be dry and clean. Secondly, the tools used in the hydroponic setup like pH reader etc. should be properly cleaned before use.

The chances of algae present in the nutrient reservoirs are high. When you flush the system you will have to make sure that the reservoir, piping and grow beds are thoroughly cleaned. The precipitation of salt remains on the pot and the growing medium can be observed. You also have to keenly observe that there is no diseased plant as one plant would infect other plants too.

No matter how careful you are but there are chances that certain issues might occur that you might be unaware of. There are different attributes that a hydroponic system contains and one has to make sure that it runs efficiently all the time. The above-mentioned mistake will definitely guide you to some extent to what you might come across. If you face some other issue or cannot see the expected result then growloc will help you. Feel free to comment your observations and we will assist you.

Sanket Jiwane