Frequently Asked Questions
Are a PH and EC meter essential for successful hydroponic plant growth?
The PH of the water can affect how the plant absorbs nutrients from the water. The ideal is usually between 5 and 7, which slightly acidic. Incorrect PH can lead to nutrient lockout in the roots, and the plant may not grow as expected. A PH meter is the easiest way of checking, but PH dip strips can also be used for this purpose.
An EC meter measures the Electric Conductivity of the water, in other words, the amount of salts present. This gives an indication of the nutrient levels present. Too much could cause the roots to burn, and the plant will die. Too little, and the plant may grow slower than expected. Although this is not an essential item, and can be costly to attain, this is a very handy instrument to have when using a hydroponic system.
There are many online resources available on this subject, and we encourage growers to do more research.
Where is the best position to place my Plantpod system?
Plantpod placement depends on the type of plant you are planning to grow. Most vegetable require full sun. The Plantpod is made from UV stabilised materials, so a sunny porch is the ideal place to put it. The floor should be stable and level to prevent toppling. A nearby power source will be required if not using a solar pump. The plants should also be sheltered from strong wind and rain.
How should I maintain my Plantpod system?
Check the water levels regularly, and check PH and EC levels weekly. Plants tend to grow very fast in summer months, and so will use a lot of water and nutrients. Inspect the pods for blockages or damage monthly. Check the inside of the reservoir for algae growth and sediment build up, and drain the water completely if any sign of these is present. Diseased plants should be removed from the system immediately, as it will spread to the other plants easily due to the common water reservoir.
Which nutrients should I use?
There are many powdered and liquid nutrient solutions available commercially. Plantpod supplies a powdered version which is part of the startup kit. We can supply more on request. Be wary of nutrients which cause the inside of the system to become slimy, or may block the drainage holes.