Outdoor Hydroponics in Hot Weather: All You Need To Know
Outdoor hydroponics in hot weather could be challenging. Mainly because growing hydroponics requires the best care and maintenance for maximum yields.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Outdoor Hydroponics?
Hydroponics could also be implemented outdoors, utilizing readily available resources such as the sun and wind. This means outdoor hydroponics could be much cheaper to set up, operate, and maintain.
In addition, you can now utilize sunlight which could result in better yields. Natural airflow is a massive bonus for outdoor hydroponics because it could stimulate plant growth and development.
And outdoor setup could also mean that you don’t need as many electrical components as you would for an indoor setup because you can harness nature. It also includes natural pollination rather than doing it manually. However, with all the pros of outdoor hydroponics, there are also many cons, such as losing control over the entire system. You won’t be able to control its exposure to extreme heat, strong winds, and rain anymore, which could upset the whole setup.
The probability of pest infestation is another undesirable consequence of setting up your hydroponics outdoors. For outdoor hydroponics, there must be an excellent balance of all the relevant nutrients, air, water, and sunlight.
Unfortunately, when there is too much heat, it can easily affect your plants.
How To Maintain Your Outdoor Hydroponics in Hot Weather
1. The Water Reservoir
Too much heat outside can easily affect your plants. You need a proper hydroponics water reservoir to keep the plants hydrated. Also, ensure it is in a shady spot away from sunlight. In extreme situations, you may bury the reservoir a bit to help insulate it.
You can also add frozen water bottles to keep them cool or a water chiller for the hydroponics.
2. Reduce Electrical Conductivity
It is essential to lower the EC of your nutrient solution. This will help sustain the plants, as they need more water when it is too hot. Also, water absorption will be easier if you lower the supply of nutrients. When the plants are growing, ensure the EC ranges between low to medium, which will help boost its growth. However, if the leaves start browning, you need to lower the electrical conductivity.
3. Help the Plants To Adjust
You can also improve the plants’ tolerance to heat by adding humic acid and liquid kelp to the nutrient solution. This will help stimulate the growth of the roots, water absorption, and strengthen your plants.
Your plants won’t easily suffer from cell damage due to stress from too much heat. Stress can easily affect plants, and you need to solve it early enough. Thus, always provide the right conditions for your plants to help boost their growth.
4. Proper Air Movement
Outside, there is proper air aeration. This will help increase the amount of absorbed air, oxygen, and evaporating water released at the right time. If there is a nice breeze, it will ensure vapor from the plant leaves is released timely to keep the plant cool. However, ensure it is not too much wind, just enough.
This will help in the proper growth of the plants.
5. Shade Cloth
If your plants are affected by heat, you can decide to acquire a shade cloth for them. This is a simple and cost-effective solution. You can erect the shade cloths using gum poles or wire. It is a proven method for young sensitive plants. The shade cloth amount depends on the position of your hydroponics and the plant variety.
6. Nutrient and Oxygen Percentage
Ensure the nutrient solution remains between 18 and 21 degrees to keep your plants growing well. This will guarantee that the dissolved oxygen levels are high. However, due to the heat, the dissolved oxygen can also reduce. As a result, nutrient intake is slower and makes the plant vulnerable to root diseases.
This is disastrous when the nutrient solution is exposed to heat, as algae can easily pop up. Thus, providing proper shade can be essential. However, be careful because the plants can easily leave the nutrients when you provide enough water during summer.
This can even lead to nutrient burn. Thus, be keen on what you provide your plant and its well-being.
7. Prevent the Occurrence of Pythium
Whenever there is hot weather, pythium can easily take hold of the plant. It is mainly favored when there is too much soil moisture. Due to the unfavorable weather, you may feel it is right to keep watering your young plants, which can cause pythium growth.
Always be observant of your plants to ensure they grow well. The pythium mainly affects the roots and makes them malfunction, causing overall damage to the plant.
8. Light Variations
Certain tanks easily absorb heat and warm the solutions. Thus, ensure you cover your tanks with a reflective sheet. This will help prevent affect the growth of the plants. You can also paint the tanks white to reflect as much heat as possible.
If you have a smaller garden, you can put icepacks into the reservoir timely until the right temperature is met. Also, opting for a water chiller is a great option! This will help reduce excess heat from the system, and the temperature will remain cool.
You can also bury the reservoir in the soil.
10. Have a Timer for Your Water Cycle
You need to track how you water your plants in hot weather. This can be in regular cycles or continuously; this will help keep them hydrated for a longer time. Also, you can add calcium nitrate to help the plant recover from drying. It strongly depends on the region you are in. If there are extreme temperatures, it can affect growth.
Whether you decide to grow hydroponic plants inside or outside, you need to make some considerations. While the plants are indoors, they require more care than outdoors. Also, you have to realize that other external factors can affect plant growth. Thus, you always need to be cautious to ensure they can survive in hot weather and provide maximum yields due to their effective growth.
Take all the necessary measures to ensure your plants thrive well. If your plants start dying and you don’t know why, and you may consult a professional to guide you.