I'm a Newbie—What Should I Look Out For?
So you're a new grower with your very own BC Northern Lights grow box—congratulations!
We're very excited for you; soon, you'll be amongst some of the stickiest of icky. And of course, we'll be with you, every single step of the way.
But, sometimes you might encounter some difficulties. That's cool. It happens. That's life. You gotta roll with the punches.
In an effort to get you on the right path, we've listed some newbie mistakes that you should avoid, and why.
Hey, congratulations again. We're glad you're growing for us.
DO choose a strain that is suitable for your growing environment
This is a pretty obvious one, right? If you're growing a strain in an unsuitable environment, guess what happens?
Not a lot of growing, that's for sure. Before you figure out what to grow and where you're growing it, do some research; even a quick Google search would probably help.
DON'T mix pH down and pH up together...
pH up and down adjusters are great. It's the "I'm gonna add a whole bunch until I get the right pH" bit that can be troublesome.
If you pour too much pH up into your water, then compensating with pH down to balance it, it can affect the nutrient ration in the solution.
This is because the combination of an acid (pH down) and a base (pH up) creates a salt, meaning you're adding unnecessary salt to your solution.
pH fluctuations can also result in nutrient lockout, which means your plant can't access nutrients in the growing medium because of something in it (e.g. salt!).
And you know what that means—dead plants.
Plus, pH up/down is actually corrosive. Overdoing it may actually kill your plants. If you do OD on that, though, add fresh water to your solution to balance it out a bit.
For more on pH, check out this article.
... but also DON'T obsess too much over pH
While keeping track of your pH is necessary, there is no reason to obsess over pH levels. It'll straight up take years off your life in stressing over this.
All plants require a specific range, and don't actually do very well at one specific pH. This is because your plants don't need just only type of nutrient or mineral, but rather, a variety of them.
When you give your plants a pH range, it allows nutrients to be more readily available for your plants.
DO follow the nutrient guide if you're new
Nutrients don't have to be tricky, but BCNL worked hard to create the most accurate and efficient hydroponics nutrient guide so that you can grow the best stuff you've ever had properly. It's easy to follow, listing out exactly what you need, and when you need it.
Don't ignore it, especially if you're new—we made it for you.
DON'T forget to check that all the appropriate switches are on
Not knowing your growing equipment can lead to trouble—or worse, dead plants.
Make sure that everything that should be switched on, is on, like the fan or the air-pump. And, to be sure, follow any instructional guides that comes with your growing environment.
DO visit our BCNL forum
A lot of these tips were actually gathered from our official BCNL forum.
There are threads that have solved growing problems, and if you don't have any issues, then guaranteed, you'll make some new friends.
Go ahead and join the fam: http://www.bcnorthernlights.com/forums/
Got any more ideas on what newbies should avoid? Holler at us on the forum.