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How long does a full hydroponic crop cycle take?


It's one of those big million-dollar question for growers -- how long am I going to have to wait for my plans to become mature?

It's also one of those questions that might make an expert slam his or her head against the table. It's difficult to really explain to beginners that some questions just don't have cookie-cutter answers, that growth cycles have to do with a lot of factors including the specific type of crop or variety you're growing. You can't just expect to turn out plants in a certain number of days -- you have to learn more about the complexities of the process.

In some ways, hydroponics can provide growers with a little bit of an edge. For instance, hydroponics growers have been able to induce early flowering in plants by changing the light cycles in a grow area. You can't do this out in Mother Nature, so hydroponics growers have a marginal advantage. But aside from that, you need to respect the time that it takes for a seed to grow naturally into a plant. Hydroponics can change a lot of things including the taste of plants, the mix of carbon dioxide and oxygen, and much more, but it can't really change the plant’s internal processes or the time that it takes for photosynthesis to develop a plant.

Quick Growth Strategies

One of the best things that hydroponics offers in terms of time management is the ability to set up a ‘multistage system.’

Think of it this way: with soil-based growing, growers grow from seeds, they have to have that plant in the same patch of soil for its entire life cycle. That means they have to dedicate the whole maturity cycle for that area. So let's say for example that a tomato plant takes 85 days to mature. You're going to have a harvest 85 days after you put that seed in place.

Take that same 85 day plan, and a hydroponics multistage cycle. You start germinating the seed in some small container or other area. That might take something like 10 to 15 days. Then you transplant the seed to your main garden. So in your main garden, you have another 70 days to harvest. But what you're doing is, you’re refilling the germination stage trays while the other plants are growing. So you just cut 15 days off your cycle.

Multiply this process by another couple of stages, and you could see how growers can be generally harvesting every 30 or 40 days. That's really the magic bullet when it comes to growing quicker -- it's not about speeding up plant development, it's about handling multiple stages of plants in a grow area.

For more, check out what Dealzer offers growers. Happy gardening!

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