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The Four Most Common Errors Hydroponic Growers Make

Whether you want to enter the world of hydroponic gardening for fun or profit, it pays to know what you are doing before you make any investment. As with anything, you will become a better gardener as you become more accustomed to the requirements and complexities of growing plants in a soilless environment, but with the right amount of research and planning, you can avoid several costly, common, and time consuming mistakes, such as:

  1. Going Cheap On The Light – Many make the mistake of thinking that fluorescent lights are suitable for all plants at all stages, or are simply drawn to fluorescents because of the price. The truth of the matter is that fluorescent lights emit only one kind of light: white. Sunlight, which is that standard by which all other lights are judged, emits the full spectrum of light colors. Thus fluorescent lights are only really adequate for young, seedling plants. As your plants enter the vegetative and flowering stages, they require red, blue and orange rays to grow appropriately. Florescent lights may actually cost you more than you expect, both because they yield a poor quality crop compared to other lights and they require frequent maintenance.
  2. Thinking More Is Better – Water is good for your plants, and good quality fertilizer is good for your plants, but that doesn’t mean your plants will benefit from truckloads of both. If you give your plants too much water, the roots will rot and the plants will die. If you use too much fertilizer you may get salt deposits on your media or a fungus that stunts your plants’ growth. Make sure you allow enough time between waterings for the roots to dry out a little, and always follow the label’s instructions when using fertilizer.
  3. Thinking Anything Labeled “Plant Food” Will Help Your Garden Grow – A hydroponic garden is different from a traditional garden, and therefore has unique needs. Always purchase your fertilizer and nutrients from a reputable hydroponics retailer. It might be tempting to just grab a bag of fertilizer from you local hardware store, but that will most likely result in a lot of unnecessary frustration, and perhaps a even a completely dead crop.
  4. Not Understanding pH Problems – pH refers to the acidity or alkalinity of the nutrient solution or water. Most tap water has a pH level suitable for hydroponic growing, but not all. Most hydroponic growing media is pH neutral, meaning a level of 7.0. If the pH of your nutrient solution drops below 5.6 or raises above 6.3, you will probably run into nutrient deficiencies. Rockwool, however, is a bit more alkaline than most, and may benefit form a slightly more acidic nutrient solution.

Make sure you understand the best pH balance for your media and your plants, and invest in a good pH meter. If you are doing everything else right but your hydroponic garden is still not growing as much as you are hoping, this is most likely your problem.


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The Advanced Nutrients Team

Since 1999, Advanced Nutrients has been committed to educating the community and bringing the most up-to-date knowledge to the forefront of grows across the globe. Every article you read here has been curated by Advanced Nutrients’ industry experts, so you can continue raising your bud weight… and your reputation.

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Over time, components within the nutrients settle on the bottom of the bottle. When you pour a bottle without shaking it, you can potentially be pouring out an unbalanced solution. Shaking up the nutrient bottle ensures you are pouring the right blend into your reservoir, giving your crops the nutrition they need.

Usually, it’s not a problem. But some products are incompatible with each other and can damage your plants when they’re used together. For example, bloom boosters with high PK numbers or low-grade silica products can destabilize your nutrient mix and cause nutrient lockout.

Nutrient manufacturers design their products to be used with each other. In doing so, they include specific portions of each nutrient in each product, so crops receive the right nutrition through each stage of the grow cycle. When you stick with one manufacturer, you don’t have to worry about inadvertently destabilizing your nutrient mixture. One example of why you need to stick with only one manufacturer’s products is Advanced Nutrients’ pH Perfect line. These products are designed to keep your crops’ root zone within a specific pH range. When you use them alongside products from another manufacturer, we can’t guarantee your root zone will maintain its optimal pH level.

Yes! If you’re growing with Advanced Nutrients products, you can use our easy nutrient calculator to generate the correct nutrient chart for your crops in seconds. Check out Advanced Nutrients’ nutrient calculator here. Another great resource is our library of free custom-growing recipes. Try our expert grower-tested nutrient schedules here.

You can also download our official BudLabs app to generate nutrient schedules and receive real-time notifications for specific tasks, including feeding your crops. Upgrade to BudLabs Pro to maintain profiles on an unlimited number of crops.

If you are a grower, visit this link to find the closest Advanced Nutrients Authorized Retailer. If you are a retailer, visit this link to identify our official distributors.

Our greatest passion is growing great cannabis—and helping other growers do the same. That’s why we offer complimentary cultivation support 24/7 from Monday to Friday and from 9 AM until 7 PM PST on Saturday… With the same level of advice licensed producers would pay consultants tens of thousands of dollars to unlock.
Just call 1-800-640-9605 or email support@advancednutrients.com. For Spanish-speaking growers, email spanishsupport@advancednutrients.com.

Yes! If for any reason you are not absolutely thrilled with the results you achieve when you use our products, just bring the unused portion, along with your original sales receipt, back to the place of purchase within six months, and ask for your money back. Find out more about our Grower Guarantee here.

Advanced Nutrients has spent many thousands of man-hours developing a technology that automatically balances your pH for you — putting it in the “sweet spot” and holding it there for one week.

And the technology is so “smart” that it can account for many of the aforementioned variables in your grow room. Our proprietary pH buffering agents and stabilizing mechanisms became the foundation of a new system aptly called pH Perfect® Technology. Learn all about it here.

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