Learn to make your own homemade hydroponics system to grow virtually any plant, vegetable and fruit without soil.
Next time you go shopping for your hydroponic grow systems and accessories, try getting the best stuff for the plants you're growing, which is not always the most expensive product on the market. Learn how to spend money intelligently on your gardening hobby.
Hydroponic gardening is a hobby that can be extremely satisfactory, but in the long run it can get quite costly as well. But the proportion between cost and success is not always direct and you've probably heard stories of people being extremely successful in growing their plants with homemade hydroponic grow systems that cost them 50$, whereas others that spend hundreds upon hundreds can't get the same results. So what's the trick in becoming successful when growing plants using hydroponics? And most importantly, how do you spend your money intelligently on your hydroponic grow systems and components, in order to get the most you can per buck spent?
One of the main errors that you'll have to avoid if you want to make the most out of what you have (system and accessories wise) is giving attention to details that might seem smaller at first, but which can prove to be deal-breakers in time. One example that comes to my mind right now: in hydroponic grow systems that use growth pots, many new gardeners tend to fix these pots at what they consider safe distances from one another, then start growing the plants. The small detail of distance is not very important right now, as all the plants will be growing equally, but when they get taller and wider and as their leaves tend to expand, they will overlap if the pots weren't separated enough, competing with one another for light. This makes some plants overshadow the ones from the adjacent pots, stripping them from their much-needed light and stunting their growth.
Another thing you'll want to avoid is using your hydroponic grow systems the same for all the plants you grow. For example, if you have a $400 ebb and flow system that worked great with growing lettuce, it's not necessary that growing strawberries in the same conditions using the same hydroponic grow system will have the same results. Strawberries require more water than lettuce, but their coronas are sensitive to water and can rot easily, which makes an ebb and flow system one of the least advisable to grow them in (unlike lettuces, which love growing in ebb and flows). Adapting yourself to the kind of plant you're growing and its characteristics is crucial, if you want to make the most out of what you spent.
So how do you spend money intelligently on hydroponic grow systems? By spending it in accordance to what you're growing, how much you're growing and the other factors that the environment you're growing it in will produce. You will have to find a good balance between your needs and the amount of money you have available.
And don't go spending huge sums of money on something that might not be completely necessary, just because you heard that it can "do wonders to your plants". For example, if you can provide a quality natural light source for your plants, there's really no reason spending another $300 on a high pressure metal halide lighting system, just because it could add a little extra weight to your plant when it's full-sized.