Hydroponics is the art of growing plants without soil. This technique is catching up quite fast with horticulture enthusiasts all over the world because plants are believed to get more nutrients this way. Also, it is quite easy to set up a full-fledged hydroponics system right in the comfort of your home. You can set it up on a small or large scale based on your budget constraints. Owing to the popularity of this technique, there are lots of online hydro store selling basic and sophisticated hydroponics essentials that you need. However, there is a perennial doubt among plant users about the authenticity of these online stores. Here are some important points that you have to note while buying these essentials.
- Are you a starter in hydroponics?
This is one of the first questions that you have to ask yourself when thinking of buying hydroponic supplies online. If you are just starting out to try this technique, it is highly recommended that you visit retail stores because you will get personalised suggestions and a variety of systems to pick from. You can explain your requirements to the store person and he will guide you exactly on the size and type of hydroponics kit that you need to buy, based on your space and budget constraints. Online stores are recommended only for professional or experienced hydroponic experts.
- Is the site reliable and legal?
While hydroponics is an excellent and easy system to grow plants of your choice at home without the need of any soil, there are also lots of legal issues surrounding this technique. This is because some youngsters misuse this technique to grow dangerous and illegal plants like marijuana at their homes. Therefore, when you are buying essentials from an online hydroponics grow shop ensure that it is a legal site and one that has been in the business for a long time. Read through reviews to understand the authenticity of the site, so that you don’t have to witness any murky incidents later on.
- Used or fresh products?
This is yet another important factor to consider when you are buying equipment and other materials from an online hydroponic grow store. Do they sell fresh products or are they passing off used products to you, by charging a huge sum? You can easily find it out, thanks to the quality to the quality of the materials. Due to your budget constraints, you might want to purchase second-hand lights, filtering equipment, air pumps, etc. However, there are certain things like growing medium, wires, nutrient solution and the like that you can never compromise on. You have to use fresh products for better quality of yield and quick growth of plants.
- Confidentiality issues
Are you at a locality where marijuana is not legalised officially? If yes, you are at a high risk of exposing yourself when you are shopping from online stores, provided you are careless when furnishing personal information. When you are making the payment or furnishing the address of delivery, you should be clever enough to give the address of a neutral location (not your home or office), so that it is difficult to trace out the package when there is an issue later on. It is always recommended to pay cash when the order is delivered because credit card and internet banking details can give away your details when you input their details into the system.
- Cost factor
Online stores charge lower rates for the same hydroponics supplies than what you have to pay for at the brick and mortar stores. This doesn’t mean that online stores are cheap. Once you have chosen all the supplies of your choice and proceed to check out of the site, you may be surprised to see the whopping shipping charges that are quoted by the site to deliver the package at your location. Most of the times, when you add the original cost (claimed to be sold at a huge discount) and these shipping charges, the cost of a hydroponics kit would be almost equal to the price charged at the retail stores. Therefore, it is very important to do a comparative & logical analysis of the cost factor at both the online and retail stores, before taking the final decision.