Tag Archives: hydroponic gardening

Hydroponic mistakes I’ve made so far-Part 2

Construction mistake-Not cutting holes the right size…..

Pay attention mistake -Putting the rubber washer on the wrong side.

Check the directions! Mine got wet so I tossed em, figuring it wouldn’t matter whether I put the washer on the reservior side (underneath) or the plant side (on top).

BTW, it goes on top.

So as I’m watching the water trickle out of the garage…….I realized oops. However, I wasn’t about to take the whole system apart so I drilled a few extra drainholes in the reservior lid and that stopped the overflow.

I did eventually swap the washers around when I took the system apart to clean it. No more leaks!

Big oops-Forgetting to test the PH at least every other day

The first week, I tested the water when I mixed up the store bought nutrients. Was fine, so I forgot about. Then a week later when I tested it, the pH was way out of whack, too basic (too high). No wonder the poor plants looked terrible!

Test the pH……..now……..and often :).

Mistake-Not putting the light close enough

The original workshop had the top of the plant container cut down a few inches…….when I did mine, I thought “why cut? You can’t add that back when the plants get too tall!”.

However, the plants need to be within a few inches of the light when using flourescent grow lights. The seedlings were too far away…..so now I had to figure out shims to raise the pots up. And I had to raise the water level in the reservior (which means more nutrients) so it can pump higher. Raising the level in the plant section is just a matter of adding a level to the drain riser, so that’s no problem.

I’m being stubborn and sticking to my no cut theory.

Burn! Noooooooo! Poor leaves……light too close

Flip side of light too far away is light too close. My 5 foot high tomatoe vine, and a recovering hot pepper both ended up with scorched leaves due to growing into the light. Now the light is propped up at one end so the taller plants aren’t underneath it.

And more construction-not checking the pump tubing length.

A month into having the system running, I realized why my ebb and flow was taking forever to fill up…….the tubing was too long going from the pump into the filler stand so it had kinked and severely limited the water flow. Bad for the pump, bad for hydroponics.

Cue up the massive take apart and clean. I ended up making the tubing a bit too short so the pump now sits on a plastic block. First time I cued up the ebb and flow timer, the water came bursting into the plant area like a flood! Great! Now my ebb and flow hydroponic system actually flows instead of trickling!

Not setting it up after a move.

Well, I moved. And I did not bother to set up the hydro system after the move because I was too busy with other things (like fixing the broken stuff). I had switched the surviving plants into soil pots (and about half survived the switch), and figured in the spring I’d set it up and start again. Let’s just say it’s almost summer and I have not. Let’s just say that its two years later and I still haven’t set it up! Once I took it down it was out of sight, out of mind.

I should’ve set it up as soon as I moved in………..