Whether you are a beginner or experienced hydroponic user it is very common to face certain problems like nutritional deficiencies, pests, weeds and pathogen growths. I installed a hydroponic system with the help of my friend to grow plants at my own backyard. My family loves eating lettuce leaves on a daily basis so I thought of planting the same so that I can save a few bucks on that.
As days passed things went well but in between I encountered a few problems and I was really upset but then my friend advised me that problems are common and they can be fixed quickly. He himself has been growing plants using hydroponics since a long time and I must say he knows everything about it.
Here a few problems that I faced and a few ideas that I got from my friend to solve the problems.
Problems with nutrition supply
I had some problems with my plants where fruits were emerging properly but they will stop growing after some time and wither off. I was totally confused why the fruits weren’t growing to its fullest and just then I got to know that it happens mainly due to nutritional deficiencies. Apt amount of nutrition and correct amount of minerals should be provided for the plants on a timely manner.
The main problem occurs when the nutrient solution changes its composition once it enters the system as most of the plants start extracting the nutrients. High humidity, improper ph levels are some factors that hinder the absorption of minerals and ions. In some cases plants fail to absorb magnesium due to increased levels of potassium in them.
This problem can be solved by accurately supplying nutrients and checking the levels consistently. It is also important to check factors like humidity, ph and temperature so that such deficiencies do not occur.
Wherever you can find light, water and nutrients you can spot an algae growth easily. And the same thing happened with my hydroponic system. I started getting an earthly smell in the pumps and channels along with greenish slimy patches inside the system. I did not know what to do and how but understood the fact that it might create problems for the plants by blocking the filters and channels. Moreover it was also consuming the nutrients that are supplied for the plants. The only way to offer some protection is to cover the reservoir with some dark material that can prevent the entry of light and also limit exposure of the nutrient medium to light. Once if you find that there is unwarranted algae growth then it is better to remove the crops and clean the whole system to start afresh.
Had a tough time dealing with pests
This is something which is written in every gardener’s plight and seriously I hate dealing with fungus gnats, spider mites, pythium and aphids. But I had to deal with them while growing my plants hydroponically. When the system was kept indoors there wasn’t much problem. But when I shifted the system to my backyard all the heck started.
The only way to scare these or kill these pests is to treat the system with pesticides, or special products that are formulated and available in the markets designed to protect the hydroponic system from pests.
Conclusion: It is common to face problems and challenges everywhere, whether it is a small garden or a hydroponic garden. All that counts is how we deal with it and move forward to grow healthy plants. I still face some problems from time to time but I always find out solutions to fix the issue and my hydroponic system is working great and supplying me healthy produce.