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Hydroponic Gardening: Tips Beginning Growers Should Know, But Don’t Know To Ask

Beginners may not think of all the things that go into starting a grow. Beginners may not think of all the things that go into starting a grow.


Would-be growers often decide to start an indoor garden on a whim. Maybe they have been misinformed about the difficulty of indoor horticulture, or they know a friend who has grown successfully and made it look easy. Unfortunately, there are many things potential growers never consider before building an indoor grow room, and all of them can lead to frustration, anger and the temptation to throw in the towel. Here are five factors to consider before taking the plunge into the world of indoor cultivation.

Time Commitment

Many potential growers underestimate the amount of time required to care for an indoor garden. A new grower should expect to spend at least a few hours a day in their grow room in order to maintain a clean environment and provide adequate conditions for their plants. Verifying that equipment is functioning properly, removing debris, examining for pests or deficiencies, checking temperature and humidity, and testing for pH and PPM concentrations should all be done on a daily basis. Cloning, pruning, topping, harvesting and trimming are all time-consuming processes that will occur periodically within a perpetual indoor garden. Many of these processes take hours or even days to perform.

Increased Costs

Besides the initial cost of equipment—building materials, lighting, fans, air conditioning, hydroponic system, etc—there are many ongoing costs that need to be taken into account. Every indoor garden requires electricity, so you have to consider the increase in your utility bills. Make sure to check with your electricity provider before you set up your garden so you can educate yourself on exactly how much your electricity is going to cost.
Although the increase in cost for water is not as significant as electricity, it is something every new grower should consider—especially if they have a large garden or are using a reverse osmosis filter.
Nutrients, medium, cloning necessities and other ongoing garden expenses should be taken into consideration as well. Nothing is worse than running out of money for nutrients halfway through a cycle. Quality nutrients may seem expensive to the unsuspecting grower, but remember that you get what you pay for.


As your garden grows, so must your knowledge of plant physiology. A good education can save you from many potentially devastating complications. A healthy garden requires proper identification of pests, nutrient deficiencies and signs of stress. Without genuine knowledge, a grower can easily misidentify a problem and make it worse by implementing the wrong treatment. Inexperienced and uneducated growers commonly fail to identify problems until they are beyond treatment.
Hydroponic stores, books, other growers and the Internet are the best sources for information. Pick and choose the information that seems logical and apply it to your garden. You will make mistakes, but if you learn from them you will increase your knowledge and your chances for success.

Increased Security and Lifestyle Changes

One thing rarely considered before people set up a grow room is security. After you’ve invested vast sums of money in quality hydroponic equipment, the last thing you need is to advertise your location to potential thieves. Carbon filters, duct mufflers and other devices that eliminate any indication of an indoor garden from the outside are vital to the security of a grow room. The best way to keep an indoor garden secure is to not tell anyone of its existence. The most successful indoor horticulturalists are generally reclusive people and keep their lifestyle private. Security equipment like cameras, alarms and dogs are other great ways for a grower to protect their investment. These methods are great as reactive measures, but the true security of a garden is all about the proactive measures.

Understanding Photosensitive Plants

When first starting out, many growers are unaware that most plants need particular light cycles in order to trigger blooming and flowering periods. It is the darkness in the 24-hour cycle that is the determining factor for photosensitive plants. That means in order for a grower to set up a perpetual growing operation, they must set up multiple rooms that are equipped for different light cycles. Most importantly, the blooming and flowering room must be light-tight. Light leaks will produce undesirable results and in extreme cases won’t produce flowers at all.

Bonus Tip: Calculating Electricity Costs

To get an idea of what a garden’s electricity will cost, take a closer look at your electric bill. Most electric companies charge consumers by the kilowatt-hour. For example, let’s say your electric company charges 15 cents per kilowatt-hour. This means for every hour you have a 1,000-watt light on, it will cost you 15 cents. Assuming the 1,000-watt light is on 12 hours a day, it would cost $1.80 per day (12 hours multiplied by $0.15). Now we’ll multiply the daily increase in cost by 30 to get the monthly cost increase: $1.80 x 30 = $54. For this particular example, the grower running a single 1,000-watt light would have a monthly increase in their electric bill of $54.


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Here are still more grow tips, this time about lighting.
Last modified on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 08:17

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