One of the simplest ways to plant in a hydroponic garden is to buy seedlings. This will be especially true if you do not have the time necessary to grow by yourself whatever seeds you desire. When choosing seedlings, try to choose the healthiest plant and then take off all of the soil from the roots. Submerging the root ball in a bucket full of lukewarm water will do the job.
Always make sure that the water is neither too cold or too warm because either way it could send the delicate seedling plant into shock. With your fingers, gently remove any remaining soil from the roots. You will want to eliminate all traces of soil because the soil could eventually clog some of the tiny spray holes that are found in the nutrient tubes.
Once the roots are completely clean you can then pull as many roots as possible through the planting cups bottom. After that, you can add clay pebbles to make sure that the plant is upright and in place. The clay pebbles may seem too hard but in reality they are not. They are also very light and therefore will not damage the delicate plant roots.
Your next step for the plant seedling will be to tie it to the trellis above. To do this you can use common string and plant clips. The string will provide the necessary support so that the plants can grow straight upward. Growing straight upward will also allow you to maximize the limited space in the confined area of a hydroponic system. Loosely tie the string to the top of the trellis and then attach the string and clips to the base of each plant.
Now you will be ready to turn on the pump. It will be important to monitor the system on a daily basis. Always check the water levels daily and in certain dry areas you may need to check the water levels twice a day. It will depend obviously on the amount of water loss due to evaporation and excessive heat. Every few days you can also check the nutrient and pH levels.
Your pump will be running throughout the day so you will not need a timer on the pump. It will be important though to occasionally check the pump to make sure that the tank does not dry out. In a few weeks after you have planted the seedlings they will start to grow very quickly. This will now be a time where you need to monitor the plant growth on a regular basis.
One of your DIY hydroponics duty’s during this plant growth phase will be to inspect for diseases and pests. A diseased plant can quickly infect others because of the close proximity to each other. Any plant that is sick should be removed immediately. It is true that hydroponic plants are very successful when fighting off diseases but they may still have to fight off insects such as caterpillars, aphids, and so forth. Any bugs that you see should be picked off and discarded. Otherwise, enjoy your DIY hydroponics.