7 Common Mistakes Growers Make
That Suck The Life and Profits Right
Out Of Their Garden and What You
Can Do To Avoid Them!
7 Common Mistakes Growers Make That Suck The
Life and Profits Right Out Of Their Garden and
What You Can Do To Avoid Them.
Hydroponics growing can be very productive and profitable. Lots of growers make
money and enjoy their work.
But it’s easy to make mistakes that cost time and money. No matter how hard
growers try, they can mess up and create problems.
Advanced Nutrients is dedicated to making products and providing information
that eliminate problems in hydroponics gardening.
In this article, we’re going to tell you about some of the biggest mistakes growers
make. We’ll give you basic advice on how to avoid these mistakes.
In our electronic newsletter that you will receive on a regular basis, we will provide
even more in-depth information about the topics discussed in this article.
1. RESEARCH FIRST, THEN GROW
One of the biggest mistakes growers make is to start growing plants before they know how to
They haven’t done their homework. They assume that growing hydroponically is as easy as it
was to grow bean sprouts by putting a bean in a cup of soil in elementary school.
It’s definitely not that easy. Growing hydroponically means growing without soil. That’s why
fertilizers are so important. And why it’s not easy to grow without doing research first.
If you don’t have all the information you need, it might be best to grow in soil. Growing
hydroponically means using a sterile root zone media. Growing in soil is easier than growing
hydroponically but soil gardens indoors can still give you strong growth and impressive yield.
Your yields won’t suffer.
If you decide to grow in soil until you are more informed about growing in sterile media, we
recommend using Sunshine Mix #4. This soil blend is standardized, porous, well-aerated and
easy to use indoors, especially when using five to seven gallon buckets.
We recommend that growers purchase a couple of books on indoor hydroponics growing and
study them thoroughly before they even start purchasing hydroponics equipment.
Growers can also gain lots of useful information from the Advanced Nutrients forums. In our
forums, beginning growers and very successful veteran growers share information. You can be
a spectator, or you can ask questions and get answers to specific questions.
The Advanced Nutrients website also contains detailed information about hydroponics
Another way to get the information you need is to read our electronic newsletter, which
contains exclusive information that makes plants grow better.
2. HOW MUCH SPACE DO YOU NEED?
Growers often make the mistake of miscalculating how much space they’ll need.
Mature plants might be a few inches to six feet high when harvested (some people harvest
fast-matured clones when they are less than a foot tall). Plants that have been allowed to grow
to a normal size might be as much as three feet in diameter when they are ready for harvest.
The space you grow in must have room for a high intensity light, electrical hardware, water
reservoir, fans, aisles and other infrastructure.
As you can see, a hydroponics garden won’t fit under your sink.
The smallest practical garden size is a clothes closet. Those small closet gardens are usually
only big enough for a maximum of five small plants. That number of plants could produce a
decent-sized harvest, but many growers feel it’s not worth the trouble and expense of setting
up such a small garden.
You need at least 30 square feet of garden space per each light so you have adequate space
for your plants, equipment, aisles and other logistics.
The actual amount of that space that will be devoted to plants is 16-20 square feet. You need
to have 50 to 62.5 watts per square foot of grow area if you want to have adequate lighting. A
fully-charged thousand-watt light will intensely cover a plant growth area that is four by four
feet (16 square feet).
You can stretch coverage to 20 square feet, but you would want to rotate plants so that none
of them are always on the periphery of the light zone. Make sure that all plants spend equal
time in the center of the most intense zone of light cast by the bulb.
In many gardens run by serious growers, there are 5-6 foot wide grow surfaces, trays or
shelving. In such cases, growers need to have a center-placed 1000-watt light every three feet
along the growing area. With this kind of spacing, plants get enough light to grow fast, strong
and produce larger harvests.
A closet garden won’t support itself, although it will generate a decent amount of yield. If you
want a garden that will pay for itself or even generate income, you need a garden that is at
least big enough for one 1000-watt light, if not more. This size garden, if carefully managed,
can generate enough harvest to pay for itself.
So if you were planning to grow a hydroponics garden under you’re sink, you’re out of luck.
Hydroponics gardens need adequate space vertically and horizontally. If you crowd plants,
they won’t produce harvests that make your effort and expense worthwhile.
There are other reasons to have the proper amount of space and the right types of equipment
for your indoor hydroponics garden.
One reason is to control temperature and humidity in a controlled grow environment using
Advanced Nutrients scientists introduced the concept of the sealed grow environment several
years ago. Instead of venting and using exhaust technology to shift air in and out of grow
rooms, we taught people how to maintain ideal temperature, humidity and C02 levels so they’d
get maximum growth and the most cost effective use of electricity and equipment.
Our research shows that a temperature of 76 Fahrenheit and humidity of 40% in a C02 room is
the perfect environment for maximum plant growth, energy efficiency, and harvest production.
Give your garden some space, the right light, and the right climate conditions, and it will give
you some gold.
3. LET THE (ELECTRONIC) SUN SHINE IN
Even growers who do research and who give ample space to their hydro garden often get the
wrong kind of lights for their plants. Or they may get the right kind of lights, but the lights they
get are too weak to provide adequate light to the garden space. Hydroponics plants need
special high intensity lights, and they need high enough wattage to do the job. They also need
lights that have the right color spectrum.
The kind of plants you grow thrive only if they are given a specific spectrum of light. Not just
any light, but only certain types, sizes and colors of lights will make your plants grow rapidly
and produce large, juicy harvests.
These lights are called Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium. The Halide is a blue color light
useful during the early weeks of a plant’s life. The Sodium is a more orange colored light, and
is useful during bloom phase.
Think of hydroponics lights the same way you think of water or food. Your plants eat light. It’s
an essential nutrient. Without it, they can’t grow.
Expert growers say that the EYE Hortilux Bulbs are the best glass bulbs for indoor gardeners.
These special bulbs are engineered to give massive light output and to last hundreds of hours
longer than bulbs made by other companies. They are not streetlights. They are made
specifically for gardeners.
Two types of Hortilux bulbs are combined to give the most comprehensive light spectrum for
grow and bloom phases. The autumn light spectrum necessary for bloom cycle is created by
the Hortilux Super HPS EN. The blue spectrum light necessary for strong vegetative phase
growth is provided by Hortilux Metal Halide.
Hortilux Super HPS bulbs are designed specifically for plants and their flowering cycle. These
bulbs have extremely high quality construction, reliability and spectral/lumen output. This clear
bulb offers enhanced red, orange, yellow and blue spectrums for increased photosynthetic
activity and a higher lumen output.
Some growers use conversion bulbs, but such bulbs have inefficient light output that makes
The minimum wattage of a useful high intensity grow light is 250, and that wattage is only
strong enough for a few plants.
The next biggest wattage is 400 watts, and then 600. With a 600, a grower could provide
enough light for approximately eight plants.
Most serious hydroponics growers use at least one 1000-watt light. This provides enough light
for 9-20 plants. The number of plants in this range depends on the size of the plants and the
bucket they are growing in.
Serious growers avoid fluorescent lights, even if they are high intensity. Those lights do not
generate enough light for most hydroponics plants to grow properly, and they cost more to use.
4. WHY PAYING ATTENTION CAN PAY OFF
People want instant gratification. They want big harvests without doing any work to get them.
A lot of gardeners think a hydroponics garden can practically run itself.
It’s true that automation, timers and other technology can make some garden functions self-
regulating and automatic, but there’s plenty of little glitches that can turn into big disasters.
The only way to ensure that the garden is running smoothly is to visit it every other day, if not
The visit has to be more than a walk in and walk out. The grower has to examine pump
systems, reservoirs, water levels, pH, nutrients potency, lights, timers, climate details, and
This examination takes time. But it’s worth it. The careful grower can head off problems and
maximize plant performance.
During the garden examination, the grower should examine leaves to see if they are a lime
green color, which is ideal, or if they are yellow or spotted, which indicates growth problems.
Growers should bring a magnifying glass or photographer’s loupe into the garden. Examine
closely the topside and underside of leaves from several plants, and from different parts of the
plants. This examination can reveal the existence of small pests, such as thrips or whiteflies.
Finding these pests early is crucial to stopping them before they ruin your harvest.
Growers must use the proper tools so they can gauge the health of their garden. These tools
include high quality pH and parts per million (ppm) meters. These meters test nutrient water to
determine the concentration of nutrients as well as the chemical properties of the water as
relates to ideal balance between acidity and alkalinity.
Early, persistent and thorough grower attention can readily find insects, diseases, water
problems, electrical short circuits and other mishaps waiting to happen.
One of the best investments a grower can make is to spend attentive time in the grow room.
5. THE CLEANER IT IS THE MORE YOU GET
You’d be surprised at how good your plants can grow when they have the proper environment.
The opposite is true. If your plants have a trashy environment, they suffer.
Your gardening environment should be as clean as possible. Organic debris such as fallen
leaves, stems, dirt, and other materials attract and breed diseases and can also be a breeding
ground for pests.
The air in your grow room should contain oxygen, C02 and other healthy vapors, but it should
not contain molecules of industrial cleaners, pollutants, particulates and other airborne debris.
We’re surprised when we see people smoking tobacco in their gardens. Tobacco smoke clogs
up leaf surfaces so plants can’t breathe. It’s as bad for plants as it is for your lungs. There’s
also a virus called tobacco mosaic that can enter your grow room vectored by some types of
Another no-no in the grow room and the entire area from which the grow room draws its air are
dogs and other pets. Dogs are an especially wicked vector for many harmful diseases as well
as for disease organisms such as parasitic worms. Dog fur and of course dog defecation are
sickening materials to have in or near a grow room.
You can use Advanced Nutrients Wipe Out to clean your grow room walls, floors, equipment
and other materials. It’s safe and non-toxic.
The main thing to remember is that hydroponics plants like a clean, well-maintained
environment. Give them that, combined with proper nutrition and climate, and they are very
likely to give you big yields.
6. TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING CAN BE A PROBLEM
We hear from lots of growers who call our technical support staff complaining that their plants
are doing poorly.
A lot of the time, it’s because the grower is drowning the plants.
They figure that plants need water so you can’t give too much of a good thing.
You can give too much of a good thing. Plants need water, but plant roots drown and rot if they
stand in water.
The root zone in a hydroponics garden usually contains materials like rockwool or coco coir
designed to hold water.
When ignorant growers overwater their plants, they rot the roots and pretty soon the plants die.
All things in moderation, including water. Unless you’re growing aquarium plants, don’t drown
your plants. Give them adequate water and let the root area dry out a little between each
If plant leaves are well-formed and horizontal or upright to the main stalk, the plants have
adequate water. If the leaves are drooping and wilted, this is an obvious sign of water
Some growers buy watering meters that indicate the water content of the root zone. These
meters are generally accurate but should be the ones designed for hydroponics, not for soil.
There is a type of hydroponics growing called aeroponics that immerses plants in sprayed
water. The reason plants survive in aeroponics is because the water is infused with nutrients
and because the spraying of water creates oxygen which plant roots need in order to survive.
7. IF THEY EAT JUNK FOOD, THEY’LL GET DIABETES
Many North Americans are obese, or diabetic, or anorexic, or just plain weak due to poor diet.
They eat the wrong foods at the wrong time, and they make themselves sick.
The same thing can happen with the plants in your garden.
Most hydroponics fertilizers are junk foods. They’re manufactured with cheap, artificial
materials that are improperly combined.
These fertilizers have the wrong amounts of key elements. Growers often dump huge amounts
of inferior fertilizers on their crops. The crops get sick, they turn brown, their leaves curl up,
they give poor yield and they die.
It’s sad when a grower does everything else right (they research gardening before they start
gardening, allow adequate garden space, get the best lighting, water properly, inspect the
garden daily and keep it secure) and then they ruin the garden using junk fertilizers.
Fact is, the only way to be smart about feeding your plants is to use Advanced Nutrients.
Advanced Nutrients fertilizers and harvest stimulators are the only fertilizers tested, designed
and manufactured for the hydroponics plants you grow.
Because the plants you grow have way different nutritional needs than cucumbers and other
plants do, it’s a big mistake to feed your plants fertilizers designed for cucumbers and other
Other companies make fertilizer for cucumbers and other plants. We make fertilizers for
hydroponics plants. If you use Advanced Nutrients, your plants get exactly what they need
when they need it so they grow fast and produce larger harvests.
Our fertilizers are the most economical, potent and appropriate for the plants you grow.
STOP MAKING GARDENING MISTAKES AND SEE WHAT
When you avoid time-wasting, money-losing mistakes that suck the life and profits right out of
their gardens, you are on your way to running a successful hydroponics venture that’s fun and
If you want to avoid mistakes growers make, and learn the best ways to make your garden
produce huge harvests, study our free e-newsletter whenever we send it.
It gives you insider tips from wealthy, wise hydroponics growers who’ve made it big in the
In our free electronic newsletters, we’ll discuss hydroponics lighting, security, space planning,
pest control, water and watering, fertilizing, air exchange and other crucial issues that can
make or break gardening success.
We hope this information will help you avoid typical grower mistakes so you have a healthier
and more productive hydroponics garden.