Pioneering Hydroponics

Since 1976


Are LED Grow Lights Any Good?

Grow lights are essential for all grow rooms - but not just old light will do. Your plants need - and deserve - high-quality light to make sure they grow healthy and strong. Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, have gained more and more popularity with growers in the past few years.



 LED eco grow


History of Hydroponics

The earliest record of the history of hydroponics dates to around 600 BC with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which were built alongside the Euphrates River in Babylonia.

In the 10th and 11th centuries, records of hydroponics were found in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan in Mexico. Marco Polo, a 13th-century explorer, noted similar floating gardens in China.



Indoor Growing Equipment Checklist

The right hydroponics equipment will allow you to build a highly efficient grow room, which removes the stress from your day-to-day life and from your plants. You’ll see better and bigger yields, whether you’re a beginner or an expert in hydroponics.




How to Use Climate Control Systems Efficiently

Climate control systems are essential to keep your grow room running efficiently. Having the ideal climate for your plants helps yields grow strong and healthy. But what do you need for an efficient climate control system in your grow room?




Why are Plant Leaves Curling Up? And Other FAQs


Plants tend to present similar symptoms when it comes to plant diseases, nutrient deficiencies, and other similar issues. If your hydroponic garden is looking unhealthy, there may be serious underlying issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible.





What is Foliar Feeding?

Hydroponic nutrients can be used in foliar feeding in spray form. Instead of adding fertiliser to the growing medium, you simply spray it onto the plants’ leaves. This lets nutrients pass directly into the plants’ vascular system by direct leaf and stem absorption.





Is Your Grow Room Too Cold?


A cold grow room will have a negative effect on your plants. You’ll start noticing plant stems becoming purple before growth starts to become stunted. This results from reduced nutrient uptake and decreased photosynthesis levels.



5 Most Common Plant Diseases in Hydroponics - Part 2

In part 1, we looked at powdery mildew, grey mould, and root rot. In this second part, we’ll give an overview of iron deficiency and downy mildew, two other common plant diseases every grower needs to keep an eye out for.




How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats in Hydroponics

Have you spotted small, black flies buzzing around your grom room? 

Fungus gnats can be a very irritating pest affecting your hydroponics grow room all year round. And when you take into consideration that a single female fungus gnat can lay up to 1,000 eggs in her one-week long life span, it’s easy to see how this pest can easily become uncontrollable.




5 Most Common Plant Diseases in Hydroponics - Part 1

We’ve previously mentioned how to treat Pythium in hydroponics, but are you aware of other common plant diseases that can affect your plants in hydroponics?

Learn how to diagnose your plants before it’s too late and learn how prevention can help save you (and your plants) from a lot of trouble.




Passive Hydroponics 101


Passive hydroponics means that a nutrient-rich solution is made available beneath the roots of a plant. It relies on natural capillary attraction as the solution flows over a plant’s roots, rather than on any kind of pump-based assistance or recirculation technique. This means that the nutrient solution is there only until it’s used, but during this time it provides a major step up in yield when compared to hand watering pots and/or trays.




Rockwool Slabs and Nutrient Application


Did you know that Rockwool is the most used substrate when it comes to growing tomatoes hydroponically?

Rockwool slabs are also a great growing medium for a wide variety of other plants due to being easy to set up and use.





How to Get Rid of Whiteflies in Hydroponics


Whiteflies are common pests in indoor plants, greenhouses, and even in hydroponics. 

As they often attack a variety of plants, whiteflies can easily decimate a hydroponic garden and lead to loss of yields. 

Don’t let whiteflies ruin your hard work; learn to spot the early signs of an infestation and how to get rid of whiteflies.





Guide to EC Levels in Hydroponics


EC and pH levels go hand-in-hand in hydroponics.

pH provides insight into the nutrient balance of your nutrient solution and EC levels provide an indication into the quantity of nutrients available in the solution.




How to Treat Pythium in Hydroponics


Also known as damping-off, root rot, or water mould, Pythium can completely destroy hydroponics crops. The spores are extremely well-adapted to surviving in water and often disinfection and sanitation processes aren’t enough to keep Pythium at bay.



How to Choose Your First Hydroponics Grow System


Hydroponics are ideal to grow plants indoors, which is particularly important if you don’t have a garden or any outdoor space. Depending on your growing needs and unique situation, you’ll need a specific grow system for your plants.





Guide to High Pressure Sodium Lighting


High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lighting is an efficient way of getting light to plants. It stimulates plant growth by diffusing the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum ideal for photosynthesis direct to your plants.




How to Get Rid of Thrips in the Grow Room


Whether you’re growing your indoor garden in soil, coco coir, or hydroponics, you may come across thrips. These insects often plague grow rooms and destroy plants before you even realise they were there. 





Which PK Booster is Right For You?


What is a PK booster? PK’s Boosters are nutrient supplements containing Phosphorus and Potassium and are designed to be used throughout flowering periods of the plants’ growth.


A Beginners Guide to Hydroponics


Have you thought about switching from soil to growing hydroponically? Hydroponics is basically planting and growing plants without the use of soil, instead plants are grown in water and fed a nutrient-rich water solution.


How to Plant Seeds in Rockwool


Rockwool cubes are chosen by many growers for grow rooms, as they provide a great medium to plant seeds in. With very high density, Grodan cubes provide great structural integrity for plants.





How to Deal with Spider Mites in Hydroponics


Part of the arachnid family and related to spiders, spider mites also have eight legs. They’re web spinners, building large networks and bridges between their colonies so they can travel all over plants. There are around 1,200 species of spider mites, with a few hundred species plaguing greenery.



5 Benefits of Growing Plants in Grow Rooms


Growing plants indoors can protect them from harsh weather conditions but that’s not all. Grow rooms are preferred by growers across the UK for a wide variety of reasons. Hydroponic growing could be the solution you’re looking for to healthy, strong, and plentiful yields all year around, every year.





How to Grow Chillies with a Heated Propagator


As the UK doesn’t have the appropriate weather to grow chillies in the garden, a heated propagator tends to be the ideal choice. It provides the plants with the heat they need over a long growing season so they can best grow from seed to fruit.



What is Sulphur Used for in Plants?


Plants need sulphur to have a normal and healthy development, and this nutrient is just as important as nitrogen or iron. Without sulphur, plants aren’t able to efficiently use all other nutrients to grow as they should.





How to Set Up a Grow Tent


Grow tents in the UK are extremely popular options to grow plants in. There are a few main supplies you’ll need to set up your grow tent, such as ventilation, lights, carbon filter, and ducting.



Grow Room Setup 101


When setting up a grow room, there are a few basic factors to take into consideration. The space, the lighting, and the airflow need to be prioritised to ensure your plants have the best possible environment to grow healthy and strong.





How to Eliminate Grow Room Smells


Grow rooms can have strong, unpleasant smells originating from volatile organic compounds that plants release.

There are a few things you can do to remove these odours from your grow room to ensure you have a lovely smelling environment.





Why You Should Try DWC


Deep Water Culture, or DWC, is one of the simplest and most popular methods of hydroponic growing. There’s no timing of feeds and no chance of under or overwatering, as long as you don’t let the grow system run out of nutrient solution you can be pretty certain of a huge crop! 


What is Aeroponics? Is it Something All Growers Should Try?


The idea behind aeroponics is simple. Basically, roots hang suspended in the air while nutrient solution is sprayed on them, without the use of soil or growing media. 


How Magnesium Deficiencies Affect Your Plants


Magnesium is an essential secondary macronutrient that is vital for plant growth and health. It plays an important role in the process of photosynthesis and is the key element in chlorophyll, which is required to give leaves their green colour. 


Why You Need Good Air Movement in Your Grow Room


First things first, who wants to be stuck in a stuffy, hot, humid room? Nobody! Well that’s how your plants feel too. Like you, they want a temperature-controlled space that has plenty of lovely fresh air. 


What Does Iron Do for Plants?


Plants need a wide variety of nutrients such as nitrogen to function properly. Iron is another essential nutrient for plants, allowing them to grow strong and healthy. This nutrient is very important for photosynthesis. Even though it’s classified as a micronutrient, iron is extremely vital.




4 Common Mistakes with Hydroponic Nutrients


When starting hydroponics, it’s easy to make mistakes. Hydroponic nutrients need to be mixed in correctly to make sure your crops grow healthy and strong, however, there are a few common mistakes made when it comes to the grow room.




What Type of Media Should I Use for My Grow?


When we refer to media we’re talking about what you put into your pots for your plants to grow in. Media comes in different forms and supports plants in different ways, which is why there are many types.


Hydroponic Growing Media: Coco Coir


Coco coir is an organic fibre that derives from the coconut tree, sourced from the dense and tough husks you find inside coconuts. Being incredibly strong, coco coir is a great growing media solution. It’s also resistant to fungi and rot, making it ideal for wet environments.



What Size Fan, Filter and Lighting Set-Up Do I Need In My Grow Room?


Maybe this is the first time you've setup a grow room. Or possibly you're increasing the scale of your grow. Either way, sometimes it can be a little confusing when it comes to choosing how many plants you'll get in a certain space and how you'll provide them with enough light and ventilation. This is a basic illustrated guide on how to choose the right equipment to get the most from your crop in a given space.





Getting the Temperature Right in Your Grow Room


Making sure your grow room is at the correct temperature is one of the first things you’ll be told to do when you begin to grow. But did you know that the temperatures you have your room at will need to be different during different stages of growth?




What Does Nitrogen Do for Plants?


Nitrogen can be absorbed by plants in either ammonium or nitrate form, or even through small organic molecules. The environment surrounding the roots, the rhizosphere, needs to maintain a balanced pH. If it’s too high, it can influence both the storage life and the taste of the plants. Hydroponic nutrients need to be perfectly balanced for healthy crops.





What You Need to Know About Beneficial Microbes in Hydroponics


Give your hydroponic plants the push they need by providing them with beneficial microbes. They help to protect your plants from harmful microorganisms and to more efficiently use the nutrient solution.






How to Deal with Aphids in Hydroponics


Sealed grow rooms are less susceptible to aphids, however, they can be very dangerous due to reproducing asexually. Just one aphid can cause a serious population boom and infect your plants very quickly. These soft-bodied insects feed with a straw-like mouth, which pierces into the plants and sucks the sap.







Hydroponic Growing Media: Clay Pebbles


Clay pebbles have the perfect shape and surface to allow your plants’ roots to adhere to them and for beneficial bacteria to colonise. Additionally, clay pebbles have a porous structure with a high-water capacity, which releases both water and nutrients as plants require them.



How to Choose Hydroponic Nutrients


Knowing what hydroponic nutrients to utilise when growing plants in hydroponics is essential for strong and healthy plants. From choosing the right growing medium, to using bloom booster, and other vital nutrients, here is a guide on how to choose hydroponic nutrients.





Product Spotlight: Wilma System

As a joint collaboration between Atami and Nutriculture, the Wilma system has been designed to provide a simple solution. As easy to use as a pot, Wilma doesn’t require as much maintenance due to the automatic feeding timer. These systems have several benefits.




Hydroponic Grow Systems: Nutrient Film Technique

NFT, or Nutrient Film Technique, consisting of a very shallow film of dissolved nutrients in water. This stream is continuously pumped past plants’ bare roots, which provides a permanent exposure of the roots to a water supply perfectly balanced with essential nutrients and oxygen.

Other systems have a conflict between plants’ essential requirements, often resulting in an imbalance of one or two requirements to achieve an optimum amount of one requirement. We took many years to perfect our NFT systems and, unsurprisingly, they’re Europe’s best sellers.





Grodan Rockwool Cubes 101: The Do’s and Don’ts

Rockwool cubes have become an extremely popular choice as a growing medium. Also referred to as stonewool, rockwool is made from basalt. This growing medium has been used for over 40 years due to its capacity of water-holding, being sterile, and due to its inert capacity.

To ensure the best possible result from propagation cubesdelta cubesgrow cubes, or  rockwool slabs, there are a few do’s and don’ts to follow.






Hydroponic Grow Systems: Aeroponics

These soilless hydroponic grow systems consist of growing plants in air and the roots receiving a nutrient solution in mist form. Intermediate to advanced growers may find it easier to keep the pH level at the accurate level needed but this system is ideal for for anyone who is experienced and wants to improve their growing results.





Top Benefits of a Heated Propagator

heated propagator helps seeds to germinate quickly with a constant temperature when indoors. Virtually the same as an unheated propagator, the built-in heat mat in heated propagators help to overcome plant growing limits due to cold weather.

Make sure to increase your plants’ success rates through using a high-quality propagator such as the X-Stream propagator.




3 Factors Affecting Your Grow Room Environment

When establishing a grow room, there are several factors affecting the environment for hydroponic growing in addition to ensuring the pH levelsare stable. The quality and the quantity of crops improve according to the accurate control of the environment. Both the yield and the growth of plants can be affected by the slightest change, which makes it even more vital for growers to keep the following factors in mind.




Hydroponic Grow Systems: Drip Irrigation Systems


Drip irrigation systems are utilised in hydroponic grow rooms to regularly provide water and nutrients to plants. Through small perforations in tubes or hoses, these low-pressure grow systems typically deliver water to all roots evenly with a pressure of between 5 to 15 pounds per square inch.




Top 4 Grow Room Essentials You Need


 Hydroponic grow rooms have a few main essentials needed in addition to grow systems and a nutrient solution. Ensuring that every detail is controlled and accurate will provide you with the results you want - healthy plants and a big yield.




A Guide to Hydroponic Lighting

Hydroponic lighting is a vital component for hydroponic growth, making sure that plants receive the lighting they needed efficiently. Depending on the types of plants you’re growing, you will require a lighting timer so you can easily provide your plants with their individual lighting needs.





Hydroponic Grow Systems: Ebb and Flood


Did you know that Nutriculture holds the record for the world’s tallest tomato plant? It was grown in an Ebb and Flood system, reaching 19.8 metres, or 65 feet.

This hydroponics grow system is reliable, simple, and cost effective. Ebb and Flood systems consist of trays or pots that are filled with grow media such as clay pebbles. Unlike soil, the clay pebbles don’t add nutrition to plants - they serve to anchor plant roots and to be a temporary water and nutrient reserve.





Hydroponic Growing Systems: Deep Water Culture

Deep Water Culture growing systems, or DWC, involve suspending plants’ roots in solutions composed of water and nutrients. These well-oxygenated growing systems differ from other others through the 24/7 immersion of the roots in water. Aeroponics or Ebb and Flood, for example, consist of watering plants on a constant basis.

In traditional DWC systems, smaller setups may experience wild fluctuations of water levels, pH, and nutrients, which can also translate to difficulty in maintaining a stable and consistent water temperature.



How Water Quality Affects Plant Growth in Hydroponics

Although not the only used medium in hydroponics, water is an essential component for the nutrient solution. Too much water in the soil can cause roots to rot, which subsequently means that plants need to receive the amount of oxygen they need. Plants need water so they can transport nutrients such as sugar throughout their structures.

Water helps to keep plants nourished to help them grow strong, and to maintain its proper temperature. pH levels, electrical conductivity, hard or soft water, and temperature are vital components to keep balanced.



Air pressure and fan control

Adequate ventilation in your grow room is vital. If you don’t provide ventilation to keep air moving in and out of your grow room you can find that temperature, humidity and C0levels are too high. HID lights produce a lot of heat, so if you are using these it is crucial that you have sufficient ventilation to reduce the grow room temperature.

Signs you do not have enough air movement in your grow room can include mould, mildew and high humidity; all indicate the need to take action. Read on to find out more about how to maintain the perfect grow room environment.



Why we’re Coco about 60/40

There’s no doubt about it, we are a nation of coco lovers. But what if we are missing a trick? What if we could have all the benefits of coco… And more!

Gold Label 60/40 is a perfect mix of 40% premium RHP certified Coco and 60% mixed shape clay pebbles. This careful balance protects against drying out, oxygen starvation, clumping and compacting. Providing a top-quality rooting environment.



Maintaining the perfect pH level

The perfect pH level changes depending on what you are growing in and of course what you are growing. We recommend a pH level between 5.8 and 6.5.

Check pH levels of your nutrient solution in your tank weekly. You can use an approved test kit e.g, Nutriculture liquid pH test kit or an easier and more precise result can be achieved by choosing a digital pH meter like the HM Digital PH-200 and PH-80

If the pH of the solution is in the correct range 5.8 – 6.5 you needn’t do a thing.

If the pH of the solution is above the correct range add phosphoric acid (pH Down).

If the pH is below the correct range add potassium hydroxide (pH Up).



Indoor Gardening - A beginners Guide


Growing environment is so important to successful growing. The five main factors to maintain are:

  1. Temperature – The ideal grow room temperature is between 26-28 degrees. You must remember that fluctuations in temperature will affect your humidity levels
  2. Humidity – Most plants with thrive with humidity between 40-60%. Some do like higher humidity but you must be aware that high humidity increases the risk of disease and fungus.
  3. CO2 level – Plants need CO2 in order to grow. CO2 will naturally be around 300-400 PPM, you can however supplement CO2.

Light spectrum and measurement explained


Natural sunlight consists of a wide spectrum of colours, although it may look orange/yellow/red to the human eye, the sun actually produces a much larger spectrum of light, including blue, green and purple. These become visible when a rainbow is present. Plants make use of a range of colours present in the spectrum. This broad spectrum of colour can also be separated by wavelength, which is measured in nanometers.


   Light Spectrum

Why choose Rhino carbon filters?

Pelletized carbon is created by burning coal and processing it into rods which are broken up and distributed throughout the filter. The problem with palletized carbon is that is has very small pores due to the bonding agents used in the manufacturing process which cause pore structure to collapse. This makes pelletized carbon filters less effective at absorbing odour, and so will not rid grow rooms of odour.



WINNERS!! Garden Culture Great UK Hydro Store Survey

Now we’re not known to brag but…. Look at these brands of ours voted top of the crop!! Crack open the bubbly!

Garden Culture magazine conducted a survey, putting you the retailer in the driving seat. They wanted to know the favourite UK Hydro brands and they wanted it to come from the horse’s mouth.



Plants need oxygen too!

A lot of people forget that Oxygen is one of the most vital nutrients a plant requires - plant roots need oxygen for aerobic respiration, this is a necessary process that aids roots in taking up nutrients.

One of the first signs of low oxygen levels in a plant is wilting under warm or bright conditions. Insufficient oxygen availability for plants will reduce their ability to absorb nutrients and water.