Indoor hydroponics things I wish I knew before I started
Indoor hydroponics is great, but it can be a lot of work and require patience! Here is a list of 5 things I wish I knew before getting myself into indoor hydroponics!
1) You will fail, many times
When you read how-tos and other blogs/videos showing off their hydroponics harvest, you will rarely hear about their failures. If you do, it will likely be a very minor one, like failing to "finish off their lettuce with red light to give it texture."
In reality, you will learn through trial and error what to do and what not to do. There are so many factors that go into successful growth that you are bound to make mistakes here and there. Don't be discouraged, and realize that it is part of the journey to becoming a hydroponics master!
2) You will not always know what is wrong
Plants, unfortunately (or fortunately?) cannot talk, and therefore we must rely on our own observational ability to determine if plant growth is healthy, and if not, what needs to change. This can be very frustrating, because not every symptom has an obvious root cause, or it may be a combination of conditions that causes it. You will, at one point, very likely kill several plants because you did the opposite of what the plant actually needed (see 1 above).
3) You will do a lot of washing and cleaning
Although hydroponics frees us from using dirt, it does get dirty nonetheless! Rotting roots, coagulating nutrient solution and general debris will begin to gather, and it will take lots of working to maintain a clean environment. You will want to wash your tubs and other containers regularly to keep them clean, and this can be very time consuming. Definitely not as frequent, but it sure can feel like doing an extra set of dishes once every few weeks.
4) You will use your brain a lot
From math questions about nutrient solution ratios and dilution to figuring out where to place your plants when you begin running out of shelf space, you will be racking your brain more often than not. It is not rocket science, but your success will be dependent on your ability to think and reason.
5) Things take much longer than you think
Think you can make a batch of nutrient solution in 10 minutes? Make it double. The tasks you need to complete in hydroponics have so many steps involved, that even completing what you think is a simple task can take a lot of time. Mixing nutrient solution? Sounds simple, but it requires multiple steps and waiting time to ensure all the elements dissolve. The only thing that does not take long is eating your hard earned harvest!