Make sure that you are growing your vegetables in a squeaky clean environment.
It is quite apparent why cleanliness is essential in your hydroponic system. You wouldn’t want to be harvesting produce that isn’t clean. Having a dirty and clogged hydroponic system will also affect the health and growth of your plants. If you do not sanitize and sterilize, the chances of your plants getting fungal and disease pathogens rise. Having that said, here are some easy and straightforward cleaning tips for the beginner hydroponic grower.
Set aside the plants.
Before you sterilize your hydroponic system, make sure the remove your plants first. Place them in separate pots in the meantime, preferably with the same medium, nutrients, and PH levels. Otherwise, your plants might go into shock when taken out of their current growing environment. Do remove dead leaves or plants if there are any.
Next is to clean the reservoir and parts of your hydroponic system. You will need a cleaning agent to flush the system to kill all microbial life which may include fungi or bacteria that can cause disease in your crops. There are many cleaning solutions available online or at your local shop. You can go with food grade bleach and food-grade hydrogen peroxide to flush your system. However, if you are hesitant about these solutions, you can go organic and opt to use vinegar. Afterward, rinse the system out with water by circulating filtered water through it for at least two 15-minute cycles to thoroughly wash away the vinegar or cleaning agent.
Now that you’ve finished sterilizing, it’s now time to bring your plants back to their home. Make sure to prepare the right grow medium, nutrients, and PH levels like it has been before the cleaning. Regularly check the plants for about a couple days in case some of them show signs of stress.
Once you’re done replanting and activating your system, check your grow area for spills and trash. Look out for dust on the surface of your LED grow lights. Sweep away all the dead plant material you removed from the systems, as well as all the other messes and dirt on the floor. Make sure the surrounding environment is squeaky clean.
As for the cleaning frequency, a monthly routine will do. Although, this still depends on your plant’s growth cycles. Need a new hydroponic system for your urban garden? Check out ChampionLED.com and pick out the system with the perfect features that work for you!