10 Tips For Growing In The Summer!
And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
HYDROPONICS GROWERS: GETTING READY FOR SUMMER?
SUMMER IS COMING!!! What is your plan for your grow?
Yes, summer is good for the body, we want to wear light clothing, go to the beach and enjoy the view of the sea, organise a couple of picnics with families and most importantly ditching the cold jackets.
Well for hydroponic growers the idea and feelings are not the same, it’s an ordeal and not a joking period, and well it could be after reading this article.
Plants and animals generally don’t like this change of weather thing, it induces quite a great deal of stress, you may not know, but they don’t have a flair for it.
So, your work as a hydroponic grower is to make sure the environment is relatively consistent.
For those who don’t know how to go about making a cool environment for their plants this summer, we will give you 10 basic things (tips) and if you do following, we are confident that your grow will enjoy this hot period.
Let get started…
Ten (10) basic things to do these summer
- Improve air exchange: Hydroponics as a farming method relies on two things since it uses a soilless medium, the air is one of them, you need to ensure that the exhaust and intake fan is bringing cooler air at this summer period and then make sure the cool air is from a good source.
Technology has made it possible to automatically control the air with thermostatically control fan, so can control the speed.
- Temperature: there is a limit which plants can withstand high temperatures and if coupled with the high temperatures during summer, it can have a great deal of effect on the plant, for most crops the ideal temperature in a hydroponic system ranges from 20 to 25oC, if your temperature increases to about 30-32oC in your indoor hydroponics system, plants can still just survive it, but the grower has to very careful of such range.
- Reduce your Electrical Conductivity (EC): it is a normal thing to take more cool water in hot days, this happens to humans and animals too. Since most of the time, the hydroponic system makes use of nutrient solution to germinate crop, the more the plant take such water the more nutrient it takes with it.
So, at this juncture you will have to reduce the solution by 20% pure water to make more water available to the plant at the expense of nutrient.
Moreover, for this to happen with success mostly at the vegetative stage, you will have to set your EC; low to medium. A lower EC if your plant is at the flowering and fruiting phase
- Increase Humidity: the amount of moisture in the air is also an important factor to consider. You will need a humidifier to control the humidity at a different stage like vegetative and flowering or fruiting.
- Choice of Light: during the summer period you will probably have to make a good choice of lighting system for your hydroponic grow. HPS light are most common but you will have to control the light energy by diming or switch off some. A better idea is to use a LED light with more lower energy emission but good illumination.
- Micro-organism addition: when using a growing medium like clay pebbles, coco coir and coconut mixes, adding micro-organism like Trichoderma harzianum can be great help.
- Keep track of the pH: Never leave the pH of the nutrient solution unchecked in this summer season, check the pH level every day and guess what? Keep it stable at all times within the range of 5.5-6.5.
- Nutrient Chilling: Most plants can withstand high air temperatures of say 90, 100oF or more when the nutrient is chilled using a reservoir chiller to a temperature of 66-670F. In this condition you will have to use a pump to circulate the nutrient solution through the circulating system.
- Run at night: Run your system at night whilst temperatures are cooler.
- Finally, sort the root mass from the growing medium, depending on the type of growing medium you are using, you can reuse some mediums like clay pebbles, coconut coir. If you are using substrate like Rockwool, you need to dispose of after usage, unlike https://urban-grower.co.uk/collections/ coco coir, clay pebbles, it is not reusable. For clay pellets especially if using aeroponics or aero-hydroponics you can use boiled water.
- Make sure the hydroponic growing system, the tool and equipment is free of dirt and disease free.
We have the instrument, equipment set-up and expert at Urban Grower that will answer any hydroponics question that may disturb you this summer period, visit https://urban-grower.co.uk