The goal of any hydroponic gardener is to produce healthy, bountiful plants with a long lifespan. How you irrigate your plants is one of the keys to reaching these goals. Utilize your resources effectively with these tips for implementing efficient irrigation.
Do Your Research
First things first—you need to know what you will be growing in your new hydroponic system. Different plants require different kinds of attention. Plants like strawberries, green beans, lettuce, and many herbs will grow easily in your garden, while root vegetables, like yams and radishes, require more work. Some other vegetables, like zucchini, will grow easily but take up way too much space. A typical rule of thumb for any type of garden is to know exactly how much love your plants will need to grow healthy and strong before you plant them.
Prepare Your Nutrients Ahead of Time
Your hydroponic garden’s plants absorb their nutrients through the water during irrigation, so save yourself some extra work by taking time to prepare the mixed nutrient fertilizer regularly. By preparing a large amount of fertilizer at once, you can save yourself time on days where you might be busy with other things than gardening—like workdays.
To save even more time, consider buying premixed fertilizer for your hydroponic garden. Fertilizer subscriptions can ensure that you always have food for your plants without having to reorder repeatedly. Always keep an eye on your plants to make sure that they are growing well and have enough nutrients to survive. Each gardener’s experience will be slightly different.
Have the Right Equipment
Irrigation equipment is the most unique element of hydroponic gardening, so it might be hard to find the right equipment that you need to get started. For beginners on a budget, wick irrigation might be what you need. In hydroponics, wicks can be placed at the bottom of your growing medium and reach into the water below to hydrate your plants, kind of like straws for your plants’ roots. This method will work for smaller gardens growing plants that do not fruit. Wicks also need to be replaced often to avoid mold or bacteria buildup. It’s easy for beginners to pick up hydroponic gardening by using wicks, but to grow bigger better plants, you’ll need to switch to more efficient methods later on.
A different method used in many hydroponic gardens of any size is the hydroponic drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation requires some extra equipment that we sell at FloraFlex, like tubing and drippers. This method is especially essential for implementing efficient irrigation, as you will have strict control over your plants’ water intake through the drippers that insert directly into your growing medium. Control over the water intake ensures that no water or nutrient is wasted—all the water goes straight to your plants.
Efficient irrigation is one of the biggest draws of hydroponic gardening, so be sure to keep FloraFlex in mind when looking to start your efficient gardening journey!