If you’re new to hydroponic gardening, you’re probably wondering, “How often should you change the water in a hydroponic system?” Generally, you should change the water in your hydroponic system every two weeks. However, this depends on your system. Some may require more frequent or lesser changes to maintain pH level, nutrients, and cleanliness.
For your plants to grow healthy, you need to make sure that they’re getting the appropriate nutrients. While it may seem that draining and replacing the solution cost time and money, it’s necessary to ensure that your system maintains the right nutrient balance for your plants to thrive.
If you don’t change the water as often as you should, the nutrients, pH levels, and other ratios will be thrown out of balance. An imbalanced ratio can impede the growth of your plants and encourage the development of harmful organisms, creating an environment that could end up killing your plants.
How to Top Off Your Solution
As your plants grow in the hydroponic system, you’ll notice that the water slowly depletes every day, thanks to vaporisation and transpiration. To prevent total loss of water, you can top it off so the volume remains consistent. You can add a little water to your solution intermittently to keep the volume up.
This process is more commonly known as “topping off,” where UK gardeners gradually add water to the hydroponic solution to maintain water volume. Nutrients like zinc, copper, and nitrogen don’t quickly evaporate as water does. If these nutrients are too concentrated, they can harm your plants.
The top off frequency depends on you, but every two to three days is a suitable measurement. You can do it every day if you want to. Remember that it’s essential to measure how much water you top off; otherwise, you risk changing the solution. For example, if you have a 10L reservoir and add a litre per day, you can do a complete change after ten days.
How to Change the Water in Your Hydroponic System
You can’t top off your hydroponic system forever. Over time, you’ll need to make a complete change to ensure that your plants stay healthy. To ensure that your plants are getting the right amount of nutrients, you need to regularly change the nutrient solution instead of just topping it off. Here’s how you can do it:
Remove the growing tray from your hydroponic garden in the UK.
Drain the previous nutrient solution into the waste bin.
Clean the empty container with a scrubber to remove any remaining nutrient deposits.
Wash the container with water to further remove the nutrient deposits that may have been dislodged as you were scrubbing.
Refill the container with the nutrient solution.
Place your plants and growing trays back into the system.
Reasons Why You Should Change Your Hydroponic Solution
If you’ve made significant changes to the nutrient ratio, you’ll need to thoroughly flush out your tank and start with a new solution. Another reason why you should change your hydroponic solution is when you see visible signs of unhealthy plants or bacterial growth.
Be sure to keep an eye out for chlorosis or when the leaves of your plants turn yellow. It would help if you also watched out for necrosis or the wilting and death of certain sections of leaves and roots, and purpling happens when you see a purple-like tint all over your plants. Furthermore, it would help if you also observed stunting or when some parts of your plant grow slower than the others or when the entire plant exhibits delayed growth.
Why Should You Place Your Hydroponic System Inside a Greenhouse?
If you’ve done a little research about hydroponic gardening, you’ll find out that most British gardeners use polytunnel for it. Here are some of the reasons why:
Protect your plants from harmful pests
With a hydroponic garden in the UK, the risk of attracting harmful insects is much lower. However, insects can still infest your British garden, and once they’re in, it can be pretty challenging to remedy the situation. Placing your hydroponic garden inside a polytunnel provides an added protection that keeps those pesky critters away.
Control the growing environment
A polytunnel allows you to control the climate inside. You’ll be able to create your microclimate and grow different types of plants regardless of where you live. Maintenance will also be more comfortable because you won’t have to till the soil, pull weeds, or pushing wheelbarrows.
Hydroponic gardens in the UK in a mini polytunnel maximise space, and it even increases the yield of your plants. This gardening system uses less space than soil-based gardens in the United Kingdom because you can plant your crops close together.
Additionally, the standard size of a mini polytunnels around six feet. You can even opt for smaller ones if you want to save more space. You’ll be able to place your mini polytunnel anywhere you like – balconies, patios, desks, or even on tables.
Conclusion: How Often Should You Change the Water in A Hydroponic System?
So, how often should you change the water in a hydroponic system? Every two to three weeks is a good rule of thumb, but this depends on several factors, including how often you top off and how much water you put in.