USA hydroponics store

Thinking of Taking the Plunge?Separating Musts from Nice-to-Haves

We’ve all suffered at one time or another from enthusiasm fever. Think back at the time you first took up a hobby. It consumed you, right? Your thinking got pretty rosy imagining how you might join the experts’ ranks. You jumped in head first with the best of intentions. Your mind giggled as you ran out to shop for the best guitar, running shoes, sausage making equipment.

You got your prized booty home and couldn’t wait to begin. For the first several days, you practiced, ran, or made sausage with wild abandon. You could almost feel the pin in that blue ribbon the judges were going to pin on your pride-filled chest. When friends texted invitations to go for drinks, you brushed them aside loftily, ‘Not today,’ you texted back, feeling a little smug, ‘I’m actually working on my new project. Catch you later!’ And for a few days or a week, you filled your hours with guitar playing, running for miles, or stuffing intestinal lining with ground pork and organic sage handpicked at dawn. And then? The enthusiasm flagged, and before long the shiny gui tar, superswishy running shoes, or sausage stuffing equipment sat gathering dust in a corner somewhere.

As with any other hobby, the first thing many people do when taking up hydroponics is feverishly race to purchase every possible item that fuels the habit of an expert. Resist this urge. Focus instead on the few things you’ll need in the beginning stages. That way, if your enthusiasm should flag, at least you’ll have a few Benjamins left over to purchase that sausagestuffing equipment you’ve begun dreaming about.

The first thing you’ll need is a dedicated area for your new garden. You’ll need to either purchase an easy-to-install grow room or build a greenhouse. Starter grow rooms take up a largish closet-sized space and can be set up in under an hour, if you can follow directions and are handy with a screw driver. Grow rooms provide the best value for money. You’ll find costs range from several hundred dollars to over $500, depending on the add-ons you purchase. Like we said, use restraint at first. Even if small, greenhouses can cost considerably more – up to several thousand clams. This is because you’ll need either a cement floor and drainage system or put down gravel before you even begin to build.

The next thing you’ll need is a reliable source of energy. Beginner growers who’ll be satisfied with a limited crop selection may get away with using a combination of sunlight and fluorescent bulbs. However, once you take up hydroponics with more verve or to overcome short, dark winter days, you’ll want to incorporate more intense artificial lighting. Grow lights can vary in both scope and price, depending on the variety and characteristics of the plants you grow.

Here’s a list of basics, some of which can be picked up for a song and dance at the local Goodwill store, flea market or at summer yard sales:

  • temperature control unit
  • exhaust fan
  • heating mats
  • light fixtures
  • blue and red spectrum lights or fluorescents to begin
  • an aeration system (an aquarium system works well for small gardens)
  • starter mediums, such as perlite, marble or Styrofoam
  • Rockwool oasis or Rapid Rooters
  • kiddie pool, fish tank or plastic tubs to use for beginning tables
  • supports, such as tomato cages or sturdy stakes

Of course, if you’re in a hurry or hate to pick through yard sale junk, you can always purchase any of these items from stores specializing in hydroponic equipment.

Previous: Questionary TRUE or FALSE. Check your knowledge

Next: Next Steps…What and How to Plant for Successful Results

Do you find usefull?

growing hydroponic systems