Hydroponics Made Easy: Get Started with a Recirculating Grow System

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Start a hydroponic garden ll The Home Depot Garden Club

Presented by Black Magic

Hydroponics is a great way to grow edibles because you can grow your plants faster, get higher yields and under the right circumstances, use less water than traditional gardening. This growing technique avoids having to wait for traditional growing seasons, as you can use it year-round. All of this while shrinking the distance between you and your food.

There are a lot of different ways to grow using hydroponics systems, but one of the most popular methods is with a recirculating system.

A recirculating hydroponic system focuses on reducing waste by recovering excess nutrient solution and recycling it over and over again to nourish the plant. Anyone can grow hydroponically and the Black Magic Grow Pail makes it easy to get started.

6 Steps to Growing a Hydroponic Garden

 

Hydroponics makes indoor gardening a snap ll The Home Depot Garden Club

1. GET STARTED

First, choose the plant or plants you want to grow. The number of plants you can grow depends on the type and size of plant you’re growing. Grow four small plants like lettuce or kale, two medium plants like small peppers, or one large plant like tomatoes.

 

Start a hydroponic garden under grow lights ll The Home Depot Garden Club

Once you have your edibles selected, start them from seeds or cuttings in a seed starting tray under a grow light.

Try the Black Magic Seed Starter Tray with the Black Magic 45W LED Grow Light. These seed starting plugs are specially designed for recirculating hydroponics because they are made of a spongy peat-based material that doesn’t break apart, so loose particles won’t clog the pump.

 

Hydroponics is an easy way to grow a garden all year long ll The Home Depot Garden Club

2. TRANSPLANT

Once they’re big enough and you can see the roots growing on the outside of the plug, it’s time to transplant them into the Black Magic Grow Pail. Lift the plug from the tray and place it in one of the four net cups.

 

Fill your hydroponics system with water for a healthy garden ll The Home Depot Garden Club

3. ADD WATER AND NUTRIENTS

Once you’ve transplanted your plugs, fill the reservoir with water until it reaches the bottom of your net cups (six gallons) then add your nutrients.

Add nutrients to the water in your hydroponic garden ll The Home Depot Garden Club

Start with a nutrient program – such as Black Magic’s two-part Base Nutrient Part A and Part B – following the feed chart found here. When combined, these two provide a blend of macro and micro nutrients that are essential for your hydroponic plants.

If you’re looking to boost your plants’ performance, check out Black Magic’s line of high performance supplements: All-Purpose, Bloom Boost, and CalMag.

 

Use a PH balance system for your hydroponic garden ll The Home Depot Garden Club

4. BALANCE pH

Once you’ve added the appropriate nutrients, you must make sure your pH is balanced. For most plants, a pH somewhere between 5.5 and 6.5 is recommended. You can measure pH using testing strips, a pH meter or a pH test solution. If it needs to be adjusted, use Black Magic pH UP or pH DOWN in small increments as needed.

 

Get growing with hydroponics ll The Home Depot Garden Club

5. ADD GROW LIGHTS

Use the hanging system included with the Black Magic 45W LED Grow Light to hang the light over your Grow Pail. A mixture of white, red and blue diodes on the light will grow the plant from seed all the way through harvest.

 

Add nutrients to your hydroponic garden ll The Home Depot Garden Club

6. MAINTAIN

For best results, change out your nutrient solution by reversing the pump, emptying the system and adding fresh water and nutrients every seven to 10 days.

Got questions about this article or any other garden topic? Go here now to post your gardening ideas, questions, kudos or complaints. We have gardening experts standing by to help you!