What is Hydroponics?
Strictly speaking, ‘Hydroponics’ is the science of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions where the plants are grown either directly in the solution or in an inert growing medium without using soil. But for our purposes, ‘Hydroponics’ refers to the whole world of indoor growing using grow lights, and in fact many growers use traditional soil mixes when growing indoors. Hydroponics isn’t just about grow lights though: it’s about the complete life cycle of plants from germination to harvest, and how to ensure plants reach their maximum potential. Hydroponics means providing plants with optimum conditions to thrive, taking into account light, environment, nutrients, irrigation techniques, pest control and every aspect of plant growth. It is an endlessly fascinating subject that involves both science and skill and a subject that isn’t just a hobby for many, but a way of life
How Do I Get Started with Hydroponics?
Getting started with hydroponics can be as straightforward or as involved as you choose. Considerations of space and budget will probably be the determining factors when you make your first steps into the world of hydroponics. But even if you have a large area to devote to your new hydroponics project and unlimited funds, the best introduction is probably to stick to soil mixes until you get the hang of dealing with grow lights and environmental control. The key with indoor growing is to replicate nature artificially, so the key areas to concentrate on as a novice are grow lights and air exchange. Grow lights replicate the natural light of the sun and ventilation set-ups remove stale air and introduce fresh air. The most effective horticultural lighting is from High Intensity Discharge (HID) systems, but you may choose to opt for the simplicity of a Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) to get started. Once you have chosen your grow light, organise a ventilation system involving an extraction fan to remove stale air from the growing area, and preferably an intake fan to bring fresh air in. Once those two basics are sorted, you are ready to introduce plants to the grow room and get started with hydroponics!
What Kits Are Available for Beginners?
For newcomers to hydroponics growing, the techniques and equipment can seem a bit daunting. It can be hard to know what grow lights are the best for your growing space, and what ventilation equipment is best to ensure adequate climate control. To make matters easier, we have put together a number of Starter Kits where all the components are been specially selected to be ideal for specific sizes of grow tent. Grow tents are a popular and convenient choice for hydroponics growers as they provide an enclosed growing area in which the lighting cycles and environmental conditions can be precisely controlled. A typical hydroponics Starter Kit will provide all the essentials a novice will require to get started with hydroponics: a purpose-built grow tent; a suitable grow light system for the size of the grow tent including adjustable light hangers and timer/grow light controller; a filtered air extraction system to remove hot, stale air from the growing area. Once you have these essentials in place, you will be able to grow using soil mixes or perhaps experiment with hydroponics irrigation systems such as Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) or Deep Water Culture (DWC) as you gain more experience.
How Much Will I Need To Spend?
The cost of your hydroponics set-up is entirely a matter of what you want to achieve and your budget constraints. If you have a small area and want a simple grow light above your plants and you think your growing area had adequate air exchange without the use of a ventilation system, you can get started with a Compact Fluorescent Lamp, Reflector and Timer for a little over £50. If however you want to invest in a grow tent of, for example, 1 metre x 1 metre in size, with a High Intensity Discharge lighting system including light hangers and timer plus a system for filtered air extraction from the grow tent, then you are looking at in the region of £250. Add to that expense the costs of whatever growing medium and plant nutrients you may wish to use and the cost is more likely to be nearer £300 for a complete grow. For larger systems and more elaborate set-ups, the total cost can be several hundreds of pounds more. One tip we always give our customers is that taking financial short-cuts when setting up a hydroponics system tends to be a false economy as it is usually possible to make a considerable saving by buying all the essential components as a complete Starter Kit than purchasing them individually over a period of time.
Can Anyone Grow Using Hydroponics?
At 3CH our motto is ‘Hydroponics is for everyone.’ Many Hydroponics techniques are also transferable to outdoor gardening, and many outdoor gardeners, once they have caught the hydroponics bug, use hydroponics to ensure they can grow all year round and are not limited by the seasons or the inconsistent British climate. Many traditional gardeners cherry-pick hydroponics techniques to augment their established methods, such as using hydroponics propagation lights to give their crops a head-start in early spring. Hydroponics also provides scientifically researched plant nutrients and additives that provide precisely the chemical compounds, trace elements and vitamins the plants need as and when they need them as opposed to trusting to nature. In many ways, using hydroponics takes the chance factor out of growing and so improves on nature, which makes it the right choice for anyone who aspires to grow successful plants. The advantages of using hydroponics techniques include: • Year-round growing • Not dependant on the unpredictable British weather • Adaptability of conditions to suit needs of your plant • Elimination of soil-borne diseases • Greater choice of crops • Increased crop yields • Access to plants’ roots • Control of acidity levels • No more over-feeding or under-feeding • Self-watering systems • Low maintenance • Improved propagation results
Here at 3CH, our philosophy is simple: to provide the best hydroponics products for our customers at the best possible prices. This philosophy is simple but not so straightforward to achieve. Our experts are constantly searching for the best new products, and once they have tracked them down they test them to make sure they actually do what the manufacturers say they do. We probably reject far more products that we accept as we insist on only stocking the best products for our valued customers. Selling an over-priced product that has no benefit for your plants would do our reputation no good at all, and we pride ourselves on being superior to the snake oil salesmen masquerading as hydroponics companies of which there are far too many out there. When shopping at 3CH, you can be sure the product you are buying has been stringently tested as fit-for-purpose before it has been put on our shelves. The second part of the 3CH philosophy is easier to achieve, in that we bulk-buy from our suppliers to ensure the very best prices, and then pass on the savings made directly to our customers. With fifteen shops and an expanding international online operation, our buying power means that the opposition simply cannot compete with our prices. So, the secret of our success is out: 3CH equals the best products and the best prices. Amen to that.
Excellent Seller and Fast Delivery. Thankyou.
As described, delivered on time, great starter kit....Thank you
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Great value & fast delivery. Thanks
Excellent value!! Posted arrived next day before Xmas, recommended seller!! A***