Our hydroponic gardening and equipment FAQ page will help you gain the information you need to start or expand your indoor gardening set up. Whether you wish to grow for medical purposes, or discover the benefits of hydroponic gardening on a wider scale, we invite you to browse our FAQs. You can also call us at 586.803.0966, or stop in to our Utica or Chesterfield, MI stores.
What is hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a method of gardening in which the roots grow in something other than soil. Hydroton, Rockwool, Coco, Sure-To-Grow, Peatmoss, silica rocks, and many other media is used to replace soil. Hydroponically grown plants grow faster, are more robust and yield more than traditionally grown plants.
Should I grow using soil or a hydroponic method?
This is a question you need to determine on your own! Disposing of soil, cleaning buckets, trays, and reservoirs will be a factor to what method you choose to grow with. Water can be tricky but produce amazing results; Soil or Coco can achieve just the same results and forgive the newer grower when the mix is not perfect. If you can manage the soil cycle or water cleaning cycle, take either route, do both, you will learn a lot about these plants and what it takes to properly grow them!
With so many options for Nutrients, what should I choose?
The choice is clear when you match the nutrient to the types of plants you are growing. Many nutrient lines are generic and meant to grow just about anything! Do some research and find out which nutrients are tested with your types of plants. Call the manufactures and ask lots of questions! In the end, they all cost just about the same to use. The numbers will scare you into thinking otherwise but the math shows what you get for what you use has everything working out really close in the end. Don’t take chances and grow with anything, call these big name providers and see what they have to say when you ask them if they test on the plants you grow. If you don’t have the courage to call these distributors, talk to some growers in your local store and see what works for them! Don’t listen to everything you hear, talk to a lot of people and find out if they are loving their crops or struggling with issues. In the end, organic or synthetic or a mix of both, you can and will get great results with the proper nutrients to feed your hungry crops!
What is PPM and pH?
PPM is a measurement of charged particles dissolved in water. In other words it is a method to measure how much nutrient is dissolved in your water. pH is a measurement of how acidic the substance (water, soil, coco, etc). Plants and beneficial life forms in your grow room prefer a range of pH for optimal growth to occur. Tap water will cause fluctuations in pH as the chemicals evaporate, always use R/O treated water to feed your valuable plants! Do not take chances with municipal water sources, often there are chemicals that make the water safe for drinking but provide a sub-optimal environment for your valuable plants. Chlorine and Chloramine are used to disinfect our water and should be removed so that you can control exactly what you feed to your plants. Those chemicals kill beneficial bacteria and we all pay top dollar for the host of beneficial fungi and bacteria that help our plants achieve the ultimate success!
Which hydroponic techniques are best for which plants?
Ebb and Flow or Drip Systems: Tomatoes, Basil, Certain Types of Lettuce Waterfarm Kits or BGH Bucket Systems: Cucumbers, Squash NFT Systems: Lettuce, Strawberries Aeroponic Systems: Small Vegetables, Flowers
Which type of lighting system should I go with?
A lot depends on the size of your garden but consider the chart below to compare the lumen output from various types of lighting. For the best results and to mimic the sun, we recommend you use a High Pressure Sodium or Metal Halide lighting system.