If you have been doing indoor hydroponic gardening, you are accustomed to hassles involved in setting up your garden indoors namely keeping air conditioning, humidifiers, grow lights, etc. running.
Why not start an outdoor hydroponic garden instead?
Outdoor hydroponics achieves the perfect equilibrium between nutrients and water, and in the summer when there is sufficient sunlight, your plants will develop healthier and faster than in soil gardening.
Not solely will your plants grow faster and healthier in outdoor hydroponic system, but you will be exempted from the need to weed them or deal with insects which can destroy your plants.
If you’re not sure where to start from, here are some basic tips to make sure your outdoor grow box hit the ground running!
The best light source
One of the key benefits to growing outdoors hydroponically is the free lighting you receive from the sun. Summer sunlight is considerably better than any grow lamp or artificial source of light. In fact, the sun is basically the “outdoor hydroponic grow light” of the entire universe, so make sure you take total advantage of it!
Keep the Water Reservoir Cool
Plants will exude plenty of water in the outdoor heat than when they are grown indoors.
This is why you need to make sure that your hydroponic water reservoir stays cool during the summer.
There are a few means to do this:
- Add cold water to the tank – keep in mind this will change your pH and EC
- Place your reservoir in a shady spot away from sunlight
- Add frozen bottles of water during high-heat days to keep it cool.
- Buy a water chiller for hydroponics – most efficient but most feasible option
Scale-down the Electrical Conductivity (EC)
In hot weather, it’s recommended to lower the electrical conductivity of the nutrient solution because your plants will need greater amount of water in the summer days. Decreasing the amount of nutrients will make the absorption of water easier.
When the plants are in a vegetative growth phase, you must fix your EC to low-to-medium, since medium-to-high will restrict this growth.
Raise the Heat Tolerance of Plants
In the starting days of the summer, it is advantageous to add some liquid kelp and humic acid to the nutrient solution for hydroponic growing of plants. This will aid to boost the tolerance of the plants to excessive heat and will help prepare them for the blazing hot summer days ahead.
Prefer a ratio of 5:2 of humic acid to kelp. This ratio helps energize the growth of the roots and the root mass which is necessary for absorbing extra water during hot days. This mixture of extra nutrients will also strengthen your plants and help them shield from cell damage due to stress from excessive heat and direct UV light.
Another key advantage of an outdoor hydroponics garden is the natural breath of wind. The air movement helps cool the plant and keep the stomata open. This makes sure that sufficient amounts of carbon dioxide are absorbed and that the evaporating water and oxygen are released in a timely and proper manner.
Protection against Pests
Despite precautions, there are possible chances are if you choose to grow your plants outdoors you will need to deal with pests and animals too. The wisest advice is to fence in your garden or grow a few extra plants and hope the critters don’t get too greedy.
In order to shelter your plants from pests, you need to make certain that they are as healthy and strong as possible. This is the reason you should use all-purpose, full-spectrum fertilizers with high potassium to nitrogen ratio.
Why Outdoor Hydroponic Gardens
A huge benefit of an outdoor hydroponics garden is the fact that it can grow food about three to four times faster than the traditional method of gardening using soil. This type of gardening can help grow vegetables or fruits in urban areas where there are restricted possibilities for traditional agriculture and gardening.