Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without using soil as a growing medium. Modern farmers, especially urban farmers, prefer hydroponics because, in addition to saving space, the selling price of the crop is high. Planting using hydroponics can also be done by anyone without special qualifications.

Plant care in hydroponics will be different from traditional plant care. Proper care will produce good quality plants, and vice versa, if not handled properly, plants can be damaged and die.

Here are 3 things to pay attention to when growing hydroponically so that the plants you grow will grow better.

Water quality

Water is one of the main factors to consider when growing hydroponic. This is because water becomes the growing medium for plants and is also used to dissolve the nutrients the plants need. The water used must be of good quality and avoid using water contaminated with contaminants or waste.

Water quality can be determined by various indicators, such as pH and the level of dissolved minerals. The pH level and the level of dissolved minerals will affect the ability of the plant roots to absorb the provided nutrients. Hydroponic plants require water with an optimal (neutral) pH, which is around 5.5-7.5. A pH that is too acidic (below 5.5) will damage the plant’s root cells, and a pH above 7.5 (alkaline) can impair the ability of the roots to absorb nutrients.

Dissolved minerals are also a measure of water quality because the amount of these minerals determines the ability of the roots to absorb incoming nutrients. On average in Indonesia, the value of dissolved minerals in groundwater is about 150–250 ppm, while the value of dissolved minerals for PDAM is higher, over 250 ppm.

Too high values ​​of dissolved minerals prevent easy penetration of water into the root cells of plants. Therefore, it is better to choose clean water from springs and not mix with other chemicals.

Condition of the nutrient solution

Hydroponics replaces the soil’s function as a supplier of food or plant nutrients by providing a nutrient solution. This solution is a mixture of water with various fertilizers from macro- and microelements. Each plant has its own formula according to the needs of the plant.

This nutrition is commonly referred to as abs mix, which can be easily found in grocery stores and many online sales outlets. AB Mix contains various macronutrients such as nitrogen (N), calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), potassium (K) and sulfur (S), as well as micronutrients such as manganese (Mn). , Iron (Fe). ), magnesium (Mg), chlorine (Cl), boron (B), zinc (Zn), and myloden (Mo). When applying it, you must look at the nutrient requirements of the plants.

Not only the amount of nutrients in the nutrient solution, we also need to check the position of the pH, EC and ppm in the nutrient solution to match the cultivated plants. Each plant has a different tolerance value.

You can measure these three indicators using a pH meter to measure pH, an EC meter to measure EC in solution, and a TDS meter to measure ppm. To adapt to the conditions necessary for the plant, you can search in some existing literature.

Environmental conditions and plant roots

It is necessary to take into account not only water and nutrients, but also the condition of plants and the environment. The condition of the plant in question is that part of the plant root that must be provided in order to be able to receive the provided nutrients.

Make sure the plant is set up correctly so that the nutrient solution touches all existing plant roots. Also make sure that the roots of the plant are healthy, not rotting or damaged, as you can see from the condition of the growing plants.

If the plant is fresh, the roots of the plant are in good condition, but if the plant is wilting or has other problems, check the existing roots. In hydroponics, plant roots are the main key to plants growing well or not. This is because these roots become one of the nutrient gates during growth.

These are three things to consider when growing hydroponically so that your plants can grow well. Let’s make your own hydroponic garden at home, also a solution for those of you who want to garden but have a small piece of land.