<b>Hydroponics Growing</b> Terms for Beginners | Organic Plant Nutrients


Hydroponics gardening terminology can be confusing and even off-putting to novice hydroponics growers, but with a little bit of time and experience hydroponics gardening lingo becomes part of every grower’s vocabulary.

A few of the most common hydroponics gardening terms refer to the growth cycle of the plant. Pre-veg, veg, and the bloom phase describe each period of a plant’s life. It is important that hydroponics growers understand each phase and adjust plant care accordingly.

The pre-veg stage refers to the initial growth stage when a grower has planted a clone or sprouted a seedling. The main goal in this beginning stage is to develop a strong and healthy root system. During this phase hydroponics gardeners usually begin to apply the first regimen of basic nutrients, typically in amounts adjusted to the plant’s size. Young roots are prone to shock if overfed, but without a strong, healthy root system the plant cannot uptake and process further nutrients.

The pre-veg phase should last 7-10 days. After transplanting seedlings and clones it is best to use a T-5 fluorescent bulb fixture on a light cycle of 18 to 24 hours for at least a week heading into the veg phase, as very young plants cannot make use of high intensity hydroponics lighting. The ideal temperature for new plants is around 72 degrees with a relative humidity level between 55 and 60 percent. Transplanted seedlings and clones are ready to begin a growth nutrient regimen, marking the beginning of the veg stage. Nutrients high in nitrogen are the best for promoting vegetative growth, while bacteria such as mycorrhizae encourage strong roots. Hydroponics growers who have a comfortable nutrient regimen may also want to take advantage of organic teas to supplement their garden’s diet.

During the veg phase hydroponics growers use the same light cycle, temperature and nutrients (although the feeding regimen is typically adjusted to match the plant’s size and needs). The goal of the veg phase is to grow strong, healthy root and branch systems. Strong branches support big flowers and healthy roots allow plants to grow to their maximum potential. During the veg phase most hydroponics growers will exchange T-5 fluorescent bulbs for high intensity hydroponics lighting in order to provide plants with as much light as possible.

Every plant grows at a different rate so veg time typically varies for each variety. Plants are ready to switch into the bloom cycle when they have reached between 12” and 24” measured from the plant base to the top of the plant. Bloom phase is marked by a change in light cycle in which plants receive 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Plants grown strong during the veg phase are sturdy enough to support large flowers.

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