While modern hydroponic systems have been developed since the experiments of William Frederick Gericke at University of California at Berkeley, examples of historical hydroponics application can be found in the marvelous Gardens of Babylon and the Aztec Floating Gardens - which existed over a thousand of years ago.
However, since then, the techniques and solutions used to enhance the efficiency and versatility of hydroponic crops have been developing. And, it is undeniable that modern technology has revolutionized the whole industry.
Today, using grow meters, dosers, soil pH meters, water timers, light controllers, and humidity meters means automating the grow room. And, in turn, grow room automation equals healthier, richer, and higher-quality crops.
Here is all you need to know about automating your grow room - find all the controls, meters, and dosers you need at GrowGeneration.
Grow Room Automation: An Overview
Just like any digital transformation, automating your grow room will require a precise strategy to deploy, as well as a substantial initial investment. However, to expand your crop, increase production, and grow your business, you need to know your plants, put a consistent routine in place, and create an environment that is easily scalable. All of this can be extremely hard without the right technology in place. Here’s why automating your grow room can be a smart move for both large commercial growers and smaller cultivators:
- No need for trial and error - whether you are growing hemp or tomatoes through your hydroponic systems, you need to have a substantial knowledge of the field. Yet, to gain the necessary experience and skills to grow your hydroponic farm, you might need to undergo a few failed crops and wasted harvest. Technology can help you kickstart your project without wasting time and resources.
- Find the time to work on the strategy - at first, manually caring for your crops might have been a core task for you and your collaborators. However, as your hydroponic farms expand, you should rearrange your priorities. Now, it is time to create a long term strategy and enjoy your harvest, not spending all of your day adjusting lighting and temperature in your grow room!
- Promote plant growth - most plants, even the most versatile ones, prefer a consistent and precise routine, as well as a familiar and stable environment. Through automated controls, you keep stable vital factors such as lighting, temperature, and humidity.
- More consistent harvests - once you have found the perfect combination to grow juicy vegetables, appealing buds, or beautiful flowers, it is time to keep replicating the best results. Technology can help you do just so.
Automated Grow Room: Meters and Systems
Each grow room is unique, and so should be the meters and systems you have in place to automate. However, it is easy to identify the factors that need to be more precisely controlled just by looking at what elements influence your plants’ lives and development most.
For example, lighting, humidity, and soil pH are all aspects that can be automated. Here are some of the best grow meters and dosers you should introduce in your hydroponic grow room today.
Soil pH Meters
pH is a standard measure that indicates how acid or basic a substrate is. In turn, maintaining the soil pH at a balanced and suitable level can make a difference in how healthy your plants are. However, in a hydroponic crop, you will be feeding your plants a nutrient-rich solution that should support growth and development.
If unchecked, this solution can alter the soil pH, thus inhibiting the plant from absorbing the nutrients delivered and affecting the plant’s health and growth rate. The best pH rate of your solution and of the plant’s soil depends on the plant’s unique needs. However, most hydroponic plants thrive at a pH of 5.8-6.5.
Checking the acidity level of the soil is not something you can do just by looking at it. This is where precise instruments such as Bluelab Ph Pen can help you streamline the process and prevent future issues. You can find the Bluelab Ph Pen at GrowGeneration - online or at one of our over 60 stores across the nation.
Water Timers and Automated Irrigation
Most aspects of growing your hydroponic crop revolve around water, water pressure, water temperature, and flow. While you might be able to keep all of these elements in check when your crop is still small, it becomes increasingly more difficult to provide a constant watering routine to your plants.
Many cultivators automate watering and feeding schedules by using water timers and automated irrigation systems. This strategy creates more constant and predictable results, and it also allows you to move from a basic hydroponic wick system to one of the following ones:
- Deep Water Culture (DWC)
- Nutrient film technique (NFT)
- Ebb and flow
- Drip systems
Light Meters and Light Controllers
Light exposure is one of the main factors influencing plant growth. Natural light exposure is undoubtedly the best source of light for plants. However, during the winter times, the average Daily Light Integral (DLI) of 10 to 20 is not enough for optimal growth.
That is where artificial light comes in. Depending on the type of plant you are growing, you will need to provide between 8 and 12 hours of light exposure. For this, hydroponic light control systems can help you regulate light exposure and ensure that the plant receives the nutrients needed for flower development, stem growth, and chlorophyll content leaf count increase.
Temperature, Vapor, and Humidity Meters
Temperature, vapor, and humidity levels are influential factors for in-soil and hydroponic crops alike.
However, these are even more important when the substrate is absent and the plant fully relies on irrigation and oxygen. When humidity levels and temperature are out of balance, the plant can suffer from a variety of issues, including common diseases, dehydration, mold, lower quality of produce, and inhibited yield.
Bear in mind that each crop that you are cultivating might have different temperature and humidity requirements.
Discover More Light Controls and Environmental Meters At GrowGeneration
At GrowGeneration, we believe that, while hydroponic principles can be traced back thousands of years, technology is key to improving their quality and efficiency.
That is why cultivators can today find over 10,000 products to automate their grow room within our online collection - or, you could head to one of our 60 retail points to explore and test the various meters and dosers. Whether you have a small hydroponic farm that you are trying to grow further or you wish to explore the untapped potential of your commercial crop, grow room automation can help you reach your goals.