Pioneering Hydroponics

Since 1976

Indoor gardening - A beginners guide

Environment

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.
  4. Air circulation – Is important as it maintains a good CO2 level in the grow room. It also helps with transpiration and prevents fungal growth.
  5. Water – People underestimate the importance of good quality water. Water quality should be assessed before nutrients are added with a pH meter. Ideal pH should be between 5.8 and 6.2 for Hydroponics and 6.0 – 6.8 for soil and coco. This is perfect to add nutrients too.

Systems

People are frequently unsure of which system they should choose. We have made it super simple to choose the system that best suits you. Simply choose how you want to feed your plants and which media you want to use and will point you in the right direction.

Constant feed

Use pebbles? You should use a Deep Water Culture system.

Zero Media? You should use NFT or Aeroponic system.

Timed Feed

Use pebbles or mixed media? You should use a Flood and Drain system.

Freedom of any media? You should use a Dripper system.

Passive Feed

Use soil? You should use a Wick system.

Coco or soil? You should use a Hand Watering system.

Media

Sometimes its personal preference and sometimes it is simply the case that something is just fit for a specific purpose. Whatever the reason for your choice of media, make sure it’s a good quality one.

Grodan

Grodan comes in cubes and slabs, it retains moisture and offers excellent support to plants, making it great for young plants and cuttings.

Soil

Soil is a traditional media, it will retain moisture and support plants. Soil usually contains nutrients or additives.

Coco

Coco is made from the husks of coconuts. This buffered medium retains moisture whilst providing plenty of air pockets which roots love.

Clay Pebbles

Clay pebbles are made from fired clay and can be round or irregular shapes. Clay pebbles are reusable, they are free draining and offer optimum aeration. Roots love finding their way to fresh air pockets hidden amongst the pebbles.

Nutrients

Just like any living organism plants need food (or in their case nutrients) in order to grow and develop. Nutrients nowadays are varied and come in various forms with various job roles and can be organic or mineral.

Base nutrients are needed for growth and development. They are available as one or two part solutions, these can be powdered or liquid form.

Additives are used for more specific purposes such as root development and bloom enhancing. Again these can be liquid or powder.

Lights

The two most common types of HID (high intensity discharge) lighting are Metal Halide (MH) and High Pressure Sodium (HPS). The difference between these two lights is mainly the spectrum output. MH emits a blue/green spectrum where HPS emits more of an orange/red. Both good for plant growth in their own way, HPS is great for bloom stage while MH is better for vegetative stage.

A handy tip, try to ensure lights switch on and off at the same time each day. During the vegetative phase you want to give plants a good 15-18 hour stretch of light each day. While the bloom or flowering phase requires less hours of light, 10-12 hours should do it.

Meters and measures

As mentioned earlier your grow room environment is super important, so to ensure you have the right balance of humidity, temperature, pH, EC (should we go on?) You will need specialist meters in order to monitor them. Keeping these under control will make growing easier in the long term and will help you to produce the best possible yields.

An EC and pH pen will measure the pH and EC levels in your reservoir. For plants, getting the right pH and EC levels will ensure they produce optimum results.

Humidity and temperature can be monitored by using a Thermo-Hygrometer. This will display, monitor and record minimum and maximum temperatures and humidity levels. This helps you to prevent plants getting too hot or cold and will help avoid bacteria and fungi caused by high humidity levels.