Entering the world of hydroponics is very fun and fulfilling, but it can also be somewhat intimidating. There are so many options for purchasing your hydroponics equipment that it can feel overwhelming. While it can be tempting to purchase the first system that looks cheap and easy to use to you, you don’t want to wind up with equipment that doesn’t match your needs. Here are the most important factors consider when buying your equipment.
- Your Available Space – Where exactly will you be growing your plants? A small greenhouse in your backyard? A large closet? Your basement? Before you purchase your equipment, make certain that you calculate the square footage of the space you will be using and figure out exactly how much hydroponics equipment you can put in there. If you are planning on growing rows of plants, try to allow at least one meter of walking space between each row to make it easier to tend to your garden.
- Your Plants – You probably already have an idea of what you want to grow hydroponically. Now you need to make sure that you find hydroponics equipment that can help those plants grow their potential. You certainly don’t want to purchase small, shallow trays if your plants have larger, thick roots. And you don’t want to waste your money on several eighteen-inch buckets if all you want to grow is smaller plants. Talk to your hydroponics retailer about what kind of system, medium, and fertilizer would best accommodate the size and growing rate of your plants. Many manufacturers also have phone numbers that allow you to talk to hydroponics professionals about these kinds of growing issues.
- Your Budget – Before you purchase your hydroponics equipment, you should decide upon how much money you are willing to spend, and try to make the absolute best use of that budget. It is important to keep in mind, however, that start up costs aren’t the only expense related to hydroponics. You should also try to factor in how much energy your lights will require and how often you may have to replace your equipment. If you plan on keeping your hydroponics system for years, it can save you a lot of money to spend a little extra when you actually buy the equipment.
- Your Time – Like most hobby growers, you probably don’t want to devote all of your time to growing you plants. This is why you should also consider exactly how labor-intensive individuals systems are. Something like an aeroponics system might seem immediately appealing. But since anything that goes wrong with the timer would result in a very quick drying out of the roots, these kinds of systems can sometimes require more attention than most. Most people simply don’t have the luxury of rushing from work to their home to save their plants in the event of a power outage. So look for a system that provides you with a larger margin of error, such as one that accommodates a medium that holds a great deal of air and water well.