Growing hydroponically can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start or what you need, but it’s actually very simple — it just means growing without soil. Hydroponics is a great way to grow cleaner, healthier plants, indoors or out, 365 days a year.
pH is the measure of acidity/alkalinity in water or soil and impacts how effectively plants can absorb available nutrients. If the pH of your plant’s growing environment is too high or too low, nutrients will be less available to your plant. Typically when using a water-based system like our Root Farm Hydro Garden System, a pH between 5.5 and 6.5 is sufficient for most plants. To adjust your pH, use our Root Farm pH Up or pH Down product designed just for plants.
Note: Balancing the pH of your nutrient solution when using growing mix in felt pots is great for your plant’s performance as well, even though it’s not as critical as it is in water-based hydro gardening.
What size felt pot should I use for my plants?
Our small Root Farm Felt Garden Pot is great for leafy greens like lettuce and swiss chard, and herbs like basil or cilantro because they need less space and use less water. Plants like peppers or eggplant require more resources and more space so we recommend our medium Root Farm Felt Garden Pots for those. Finally, heavy feeders like tomatoes require lots of nutrients, water and space.We recommend our large Root Farm Felt Garden Pot for tomato plants so they have the space they need to grow strong.
Which path should I choose? Drain to waste with the felt pot or recirculating with the Hydro Garden System?
Really it all depends on what you’re looking for. If you want something a little closer to traditional gardening with the ability to feed more frequently and grow plants faster, then growing with felt pots is a great path for you. If you want to have the ultimate control over your plant’s environment and grow faster, cleaner food year-round*, then you’ll love growing with our hydro garden system. At the end of the day, the fun is really in dabbling and finding your sweet spot for growing the foods you love.
* with appropriate lighting
Why do I need to use Root Farm Base Nutrient with a Root Farm Supplement?
Two very important nutrients for all hydro plants are calcium and phosphorus. Unfortunately, these two nutrients do not play well in solution together and so we had to split them up. Our Root Farm Base Nutrient (Part 1) contains foundational nutrients, including calcium, to build a strong base for your plants nutrition. Our Root Farm Supplemental Nutrients (Part 2) contain plant specific nutrients, including phosphorus, that provide a more complete nutrient regimen for your favorite plants.
Which supplement should I use for my plants?
The Root Farm Supplement that you use is completely dependent on the type of food/plants you’re growing. If you’re growing vegetables or tomatoes, Root Farm Tomato & Veggie Supplement is the one for you. If you’re growing fruits like strawberries or citrus trees, our Fruit & Flower Supplement is a great fit. And finally, if you’re growing leafy greens or herbs, our Root Farm All-Purpose Supplement is great for that.
If growing indoors with the Hydro Garden System, how many hours of direct sun or bright light will be required?
Generally we recommend at least 6 hours of direct sunlight when growing outdoors. For growing indoors we recommend using supplemental grow lighting for most edible plants. It can be challenging to grow larger food crops with limited sunlight through windows, though it is possible with plants that have lower light requirements like lettuce and herbs. Grow lights work best when you use them on a timer with a 16 hour on/8 hour off cycle.
How is the Root Farm Hydro Garden System different from AeroGarden?
The Root Farm Hydro Garden System can be used to grow larger plants than the Aero Garden, and can be used to grow indoors or outdoors. Also, the Root Farm system doesn’t include a light, so a supplemental grow light may be needed if you want to grow indoors.