Hydroponic Seeding Techniques

Hydroponic Seeding Techniques

Many people skip starting their own seeds for their Hydroponic kits in Chennai because of the time and effort to get them started, but there are some great reasons to start your growing own seeds hydroponically. For Hydroponic technology in India, It’s so much easier to just go to the store to pick up some seedlings to pop into your system and get growing, right?

The reason that we find nursery or store-bought saplings lacking for Hydroponic technology in India is that: you’re limited to what you can grow in your system. You have to choose from the options available at the store. However, if you start your own seeds, you can grow anything. This means you can grow your favorite heirlooms or even rare plants that aren’t found at many nurseries.

Adding seeding to your overall hydroponic system design means that your plants won’t go through any trauma or root damage from being transplanted into your system. This process may also introduce diseases or bugs into your hydroponic system, from the store.

The first time you start your own seeds for your hydroponic system may be a bit more expensive in the beginning because you need to buy more materials. Seeds need water, light, oxygen, and heat to grow. You really don’t need anything too special to grow your own seeds for your Hydroponic kit.

Inside of your grow tray, it can be beneficial to use a pot that works for your Seeds and their future as seedlings in your hydroponic set-up. You’ll want to use starter cubes, cocopeat or something like an Oasis plug. The key here for the seeding in your hydroponic system design is to use something that can withstand being immersed in water without dissolving, as it could clog up your system after transplanting.

Step by Step Instructions for Sprouting Seeds in a Hydroponic System

  • The first thing that you’ll want to do is to soak your starter cubes in clean water for about an hour. After they’ve been given a chance to soak, put a few seeds into the cube’s hole. You’ll want to add several just in case you have some seeds that don’t germinate. Once they sprout, you can thin out the weaker plants to allow the strongest to grow.

  • Prepare your grow tray with about an inch of clean water or nutrient solution that is at half strength. Arrange the light source and heating mat as needed. You can keep the lid on to keep the heat and moisture in the tray.

  • Put these planted cubes into the grow tray and add water or the half strength nutrient solution as the level goes down in the grow tray.

  • After about four days, you’ll start to see some sprouts emerging.

Hydroponics and Grow Lights

Hydroponics and Grow Lights

Artificial lighting for plant growth has been one of the best additions to the agriculture-technology marriage. Replacing the sun as the light source has been a long and hard journey, juggling efficiency and power consumption v/s cost. In the current scenario, lights exist in adjustable and plant-specific spectrums with customizations available in all aspects. The current research into lighting technologies has brought forth more regulation and better standards to look for when discussing the right lights for a setup. We will discuss these specifications and the power that hydroponics and lighting offer growers in this post.

Lighting for indoor growing has 3 main bulb types:

1.Metal Halide or High-Pressure Sodium bulbs

2.CFL and T5 fluorescents.


Light from the spectrum which consists of IR-VIBGYOR-UV is emitted in grow lights. These are emitted in various ratios usually 60:40 Blue to red or 80:20 red to blue, the former is used for leafy growth and the latter for flowering growth.

The general rule for lights being put in a hydroponic System design is that leafy plants get about 30W per sqft and flowering plants get 50W per square feet. This is a very rough figure and even the actual wattage output from a LED light is hard to monitor. The accuracy of these values is overstated by manufacturers. The important values to note are the Photosynthetic active radiation that plants can take in which is measured in Micromoles per cm.

Hydroponics Technology in India can greatly benefit from the introduction of artificial lighting to enable year-round growing in indoor farms. For example, someone doing Hydroponics farming in Hyderabad or places with extreme climates would be best placed to use indoor growing with lights to reduce the dependence on seasons for rain and a good crop. They could use these advanced lighting systems coupled with climate control and hydroponics can help hyper localize produce sourcing and bring clean, traceable food sources right to the doorstep of consumers.

Production with lights would ensue much lower turnaround times, 24X7 growing ability, ability to grow without any constraints of climate and cyclic seasons. It would also be able to provide the ultimate in protected environment to grow plants without the use of any kind of pesticide or insecticide.

Indoor lighting systems are the future of food production with more research going into bringing out better and more efficient lighting systems that are cost effective and have the right kind of PAR and ppfd values.

The current problem with the industry inhibiting the uptake of LED or other light-based growing systems is the high price off-of the hardware and electricity. There is also no standardization in the ratings given to the light systems and their specs, for example, some manufacturers claim’s of a 2000W output could mean an actual output of 465W but another player could claim and actually deliver an output of 600W.

It is important for more research to go into the efficacy of lighting systems and more manufacturers would need to come together to standardize and bring normalcy to the LED industry.

pH Levels and your Hydroponic System

pH Levels and your Hydroponic System

The two most important factors in water and nutrient management are pH and conductivity, and a good understanding and command of these variables is essential for successful hydroponic gardening.

The pH levels in hydroponic systems can often be overlooked if a grower is focusing more on monitoring a solution’s electrical conductivity or TDS level, balancing nutrients, providing beneficial additives and avoiding algae and plant pathogen problems.

Today, we’re going to be focusing primarily on pH.

pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous solution. If a solution is acidic then it has a pH in the range of 0 to 6.9. If a solution is alkaline then it has a pH in the range of 7.1 to 14. Pure water or deionized water is neutral at pH 7.0. The ideal pH for most hydroponic systems application is between 5.8 and 6.2, except for Rockwool cultivation, which likes a slightly lower pH of about 5.5.

We are going to be focusing on the importance of pH in NFT Hydroponic systems. If the pH of a solution is not within the correct range the plant will not have the ability to absorb some of the essential elements required for proper plant growth. There are a few ways to check the pH of your nutrient solution, such as paper test strips, liquid pH test kits, and digital pH meters. We would highly recommend Bluelab if you were looking for digital pH instruments. We prioritize Hydroponic technology in India and the various Hydroponic kits that we sell in Chennai, where we’re based, and all over India have pH testing solutions included.

Automatic pH pens and meters are the most accurate for your hydroponic system, when calibrated correctly and offer continuous monitoring often with the possibility of data logging and taking into account temperature fluctuations, which can affect the calculation of pH levels.

Using a pH up and down the solution in small quantities allows for the control of the pH in your reservoir. Levels should always be checked after nutrient solutions have been added to the reservoir as they contribute to changes in the pH levels

Growing plants without soil

Growing plants without soil

Growing plants in water is a relatively new trend. Though the technique is as old as agriculture itself, this new trend has recently emerged and enamored people both young and old. Hydroponics technology in India is a very new affair and still enjoys a warm glow of novelty. Commercial farming is just catching up in India and is emerging as a viable entrepreneurial option among many of the youth that has come to realize that the rat race is not for them.

Agriculture is some sense has now become a reprieve from the modern world, but given how society and our media skews our view towards getting our hands dirty the old soil and cattle method of agriculture doesn’t help uplift the image or provide for a better social standing. Hydroponics, on the other hand, seems to be a unique intersection of the old and the new. It still deals with growing plants but using technology and data to do so. This type of farming often referred to as smart farming has really opened up the floodgates for agri entrepreneurs and their myriad of ideas. From the DIY garage junkie to the multinational corporates everyone has their own ideas of hydroponic systems design. This is true because hydroponics technology is, in essence, is nothing but using water to deliver all the nutrients that the plants require directly to the root system, instead of waiting for the plant to absorb the same via the soil. Once the basics are clear, one can use everyday household materials to design hydroponics systems. The most basic technique known as DWC also known as deep water culture requires one to just have a reservoir and a styrofoam float to hold the plant above the surface of the water.

Given India’s propensity to jugaad their way through any situation many fly by night operators have started developing their own hydroponics systems designs both for hobby purposes as well as for commercial farming needs. There are many legitimate issues that can arise from cutting corners when it comes to food production, for example, many hydroponics equipment suppliers use PVC pipes to build the channels, little that they know that the grade of PVC that is used in India releases harmful fumes when used in conjunction with the nutrients. These materials are not food grade materials and thereby presents a legitimate threat to the end consumers. Hydroponics systems design for commercial farming might seem simple as it appears to be plastic gullies and pumps. But it is very complex and requires in-depth knowledge in order to ensure safety protocols.

Hydroponic technology in India is under threat because of these errant players who try to use their jugaad principles to cut costs and undercut others this combined with the love of low cost that the typical Indian businessman cherishes leads to a compromised situation that sets up the individual farmer/business owner for failure. The inability of the failed business owner to connect their cost-cutting activities to their failure eventually leads to an erosion of confidence in the technology as they come to a common conclusion that hydroponics does not work In India.

Hydroponic Guidelines for Hydroponic Growers

Hydroponic Guidelines for Hydroponic Growers

We have barely scratched the surface of hydroponic technology in India. With just about 30 hydroponics companies in India, there’s an enormous need for education in the space that needs to be addressed. We at FutureFarms are trying to service this need with our hydroponic kits, in Chennai. If you haven’t already picked up a hydroponic kit from us, get one here! Now that you’ve got your very own home Hydroponic system, here are some guidelines to help you ensure your success as a hydroponic farmer!

There are two main factors to growing in hydroponics; plant care and water care. Each is equally important and can have a tangible impact on your success as a grower using hydroponic technology in India. We’re one of the only hydroponic companies in India which provide our clients with extensive support post-sale to ensure growers success!

The life cycle of a hydroponic plant is split into two parts; germination and growing. Before you can grow your plants in your hydroponic system, you will need to germinate your seeds and then transplant them into your system. At FutureFarms, we use a mixture of coco peat and perlite for our seeding mix since this is a light, inert medium that can be reused with each cycle. Pick up your FutureFarms Seeding Mix and Seedling Tray now! While transplanting your seedlings, ensure that you don’t damage the roots of your plant and don’t leave them open to air without hydration for more than 20 minutes! While putting your plants in your system, keep in mind that they will only survive if their roots are touching the water in the growing channel. After germination comes growing; keep your plants in a space where they get at least 6-8 hours of sunlight in a day and protect them from rain and pest attacks!

Water care in hydroponics is as important, if not more so than, plant care. You must regulate the pH of your water to stay between 5.5 and 6.5 because this is the ideal range in which plants are able to absorb maximum nutrients from the water. The pH of your water is liable to change due to various conditions such as nutrient dosage, climate, and rainfall. Hence use our Bluelab pH pen or GHE pH test kit to check the pH of your water with ease every 3 days!

Another important parameter of water care in Hydroponics is electrical conductivity (EC) or total dissolved salts (TDS). At FutureFarms, we use Bluelab EC pens to check the EC of our water! What does EC or TDS tell you about your water? It tells you the components of your water. When choosing water to put in your hydroponic system, ensure that the EC is less than 0.3, we recommend RO or drinking water since most tap or bore water in India doesn’t meet this criterion. After adding your GHE nutrients to the reservoir check the EC every 3 days to see how much your plants are eating and thereby deduce how much more you need to add.

With these simple hydroponic growing hacks, anyone can become a successful hydroponic grower! So head over to the futurefarms online store and pick up your hydroponic kit from the best hydroponic company in India!