David Stevens August 13, 2019
Growing, harvesting and indulging in the food we grow ourselves feels great. But, many of us have limitations when it comes to gardening. We may live in apartments, condos or homes that don’t have the outdoor space to garden. Others live in climates that are not hospital to gardening for large portions of the year. That’s when growing indoors can be a great solution. And growing with hydroponics may be the smartest solution considering plants can grow twice as fast when you do! Whether you’re using an iHarvest indoor garden or not, here are 5 great tips for using hydroponics to grow food indoors, anytime of year.
Tip #1: Give Your Plants a Head Start in Life
You will want to start seeds in your seed pods, or rock wool if you prefer. The seed pods provided with the iHarvest solution contain nutrients that will allow your seeds to take root and grow right away.
Placing your pods or rock wool in a humidity dome with seedling heat mat (available with our Seedling Starter Kit add-on) will increase the number of seeds that sprout, and speed up the process as well. For those that prefer the DIY approach, you can create your own humidity dome with Tupperware covered with plastic wrap. Poke a few holes in the plastic wrap to let some air flow. You can even place your Tupperware over a warm surface (like a TV cable box), to replace a seedling heat mat.
Alternatively, you can grow your seedlings well with a plastic zipper bag, paper towels and a little bit of water. Dampen the paper tower slightly and place it in the plastic zipper bag. place your seeds on the damp paper towel, and seal the bag. Your seedlings will do best in a warm environment (like on your TV cable box( away from the sun. When they sprout, you can add place them in your growing medium.
As soon as your seedlings have sprung, make sure they’re placed in your hydroponic garden, or at least in front of a strong light source. Without a strong light source, seedlings will begin to elongate to reach higher for the sun. When they elongate like this, it wastes energy that could otherwise be used to support leaf growth. Additionally, long, stringy plants can get unwieldy or have trouble supporting themselves as they grow.