I’m a hydroponics store manager and the editor of this magazine told me people wanted to know more after I wrote an article about what nutrients are best for marijuana.
I said pretty much all I had to say about hydroponics nutrients and organic fertilizers in that article.
Now it’s good for me to tell you what to look for when you’re looking for a hydroponics store that’s really loyal to you as a marijuana grower.
The first thing is you want the store staff to be totally familiar with marijuana growing if not actually marijuana growers.
Just like a staffer at an auto parts store who never fixed a car in his life is going to give you bad advice about a complicated brake or engine repair, so too is a hydro store employee who doesn’t know how to grow marijuana.
There are some things you can’t learn from just book knowledge. Repairing cars and growing marijuana are two of them.
Of course other than in Colorado and Washington (and even in those states not all the time) you can’t expect a hydro store person to straight up tell you that he or she knows how to grow marijuana.
That can get the store in trouble.
But when you ask questions about pH, grow lights, hydroponics nutrients, rockwool, C02 and other common grow supplies, you’ll be able to tell if you’re getting advice for marijuana, or cucumbers.
If they seem to be guessing, or have very lame answers and information, they’re not good enough for you.
They’re probably only newbie marijuana growers, or they’re not marijuana growers at all. Most info they give you is likely to be wrong.
As I mentioned in the previous article, some hydroponics store people automatically steer you towards products that make their store lots of money, even if the products aren’t very good.
Another thing to look for in a hydroponics store is do they have in stock or are eagerly willing to quickly get a full range of marijuana growing supplies.
For example my store carries the full line of Canna, House & Garden, General Hydroponics, and Advanced Nutrients, even though each of those manufacturers have items that sell more than others and it takes a lot of shelf space.
We want you to have the exact product you need for your particular grow so we stock specialty fertilizers, bloom boosters, and adjustors for coco, rockwool, soil, and for different systems like aeroponics versus drip irrigation.
You want to see the same thing in grow light inventories.
Our store carries only the most reliable equipment (and it’s hard to find because the grow light industry has a lot of scammers in it) so you can start your clones or seedling with T-5, LED, or induction lighting, then move on to MH and HPS with digital ballasts.
As I just mentioned, you want a hydro store that carries equipment that the store has tested, worked with the manufacturers, and totally backs.
A lot of hydro stores just carry the latest popular shit that has the biggest ads in High Times or Maximum Yield, such as Rock Nutrients and similar products.
But a good hydro store is cautious about what it sells because we know cannabis is a valuable cash crop and in many situations you the grower are living with quite a bit of risk and hassle to run your grow op.
Like when you see auto parts stores selling cheap spark plugs, distributor caps, and rotors made poorly in China, and you use those parts and they fail so your car runs bad if it runs at all…
The same thing happens a lot in the hydroponics industry with little parts such as drip emitters, as well as more expensive merchandise like LED lights, fans, hydroponics nutrients, air conditioners, scrubbers, and even DWC units.
A lot of hydro stores just stock the cheapest things with no regard to quality and then you use them and experience cannabis grow room failures and losses.
This leads me to another point which is that a good hydroponics store is going to honor product warranties, go the extra mile for special orders, provide accurate education so you know for sure why you’re buying specific products, and work to build a relationship of trust and mutual benefit with you.
The store has to be flexible and innovative to solve grower’s problems.
Like, we had this grower who kept coming in with bad pH meters and problems because of pH.
Instead of just comping him the meters over and over again, we sold him the Advanced Nutrients Sensi “pH Perfect” hydroponics base nutrients that automatically balance pH so now he doesn’t worry about pH anymore.
And yeah we benefit too because now we don’t have to hassle with BlueLab, the pH meter company that was letting him down.
Our philosophy at our grow store is we’re not trying to sell you a few things one time and then say thanks for your cash, bye-bye.
Instead, we want to be a partner in your growing success so you see us as more than just a place to spend money at, but part of your support team in a long-term beneficial relationship for both of us.
Finally, and I know it’s unpleasant to say this, but hydroponics stores have to protect their customers from police surveillance.
At our store, we’ve physically and verbally confronted police undercovers in the store and when uniforms were trying to rig up some kind of surveillance bullshit outside the store.
Don’t be afraid to ask the hydro store if they’re under surveillance.
If they give you some bullshit answer that makes it seem like they really don’t care if you get busted or not, they don’t deserve your money.
Our store even offers a private, secure, untraceable delivery and shopping service so if a cannabis grower feels nervous about visiting our store in person, we’ve got it taken care of.
Only when a hydroponics store recognizes that marijuana growers are what keeps us in business and provides you the information, honesty, equipment, and friendship you need does that store deserve your business.