You may have cultivated marijuana before or you’ve never planted marijuana at all. Hydroponics, in any case, may be a fantastic technique to grow cannabis in any size of the area. It might be puzzling and stressful at first.
However, after you master the fundamentals, you’ll see that it’s not as complex as you thought. This article will give you comprehensive guidance on how to grow hydroponic cannabis. Let’s dive in!
What Is Hydroponic Cannabis?
The term “hydroponic cannabis” originates from the plant’s ability to develop virtually everywhere, in a variety of climates and conditions.
Plants cultivated hydroponically can grow in nutrient-water solution with an inert growth medium rather than in soil with nutrients.
This technique might be as simple as hand-watering inert media pots with the fertilizer solution. Complex setups with numerous pumps, reservoirs, and timers can help planters save effort and time regularly.
However, they necessitate additional upkeep and preparation time, as well as a higher initial expense.
For many years, marijuana farmers have used various hydroponic techniques to increase yields and speed up development.
Some hydroponic systems allow you to employ only a few materials. You can even reuse them for the next crop. However, you must carefully manage the pH levels and nutrients given to the plants. Farmers report that their buds are larger, stronger, and more powerful when they can control the conditions that much.
Benefits And Drawbacks Of Hydroponic Growing
The easier fertilizer supply and quicker growth rate are two of the most obvious advantages of a hydroponic garden. There are also other advantages of hydroponic growing to consider.
- Hydroponics may save up to 20 times the amount of water used in regular soil cultivation. This type of growth media allows planters to reuse the water.
- A hydroponics system is a significant space-saving. It uses 20% less space than cultivation in soil.
- Pesticides are unnecessary for a hydroponic garden. As a result, you may raise marijuana plants in an environmentally friendly and organic way.
- Hydroponics systems may thrive in different conditions. An indoor garden is particularly convincing since you can have all-year-round cultivation.
- The buds can be more potent than if you planted them in soil.
The benefits are impressive. However, hydroponic crops also have some drawbacks:
- Planters have to spend lots of time monitoring the garden. This observation is to maintain the wellness of the plants. In a hydroponics crop, if one marijuana plant becomes sick, the entire harvest may collapse and die.
- Wet conditions are also conducive to harmful bacteria. They might harm the safety of the plants before harvest.
- For those who are new to hydroponic systems, it could be time-consuming and pricey.
Necessary Nutrients For Hydroponic Growing
Nutrients play a core part in all plant development. They are unquestionably one of the most significant aspects of effective Marijuana production.
Crops in a hydroponics system acquire all of their nutrition from water. You’ll need to maintain the nutrition solution filled with all of the necessary components, including oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
You’ll also need a consistent temperature of about 68°F.
Ensure the fertilizer you buy is suitable for the hydroponics system. All of the major elements should be present. Chelate fertilizers are an excellent option.
As a general rule, you should keep track of the nutritional balance and fix any imbalances, based on your plant’s growth:
- Seedlings phase – 100 to 250 ppm
- Early vegetative phase – 300 to 400 ppm
- Full vegetative phase – 450 to 700 ppm
- Early blooming phase – 750 to 950 ppm
- Full ripening phase – 1,000 to 1,600 ppm
The pH should remain constant throughout the cycle. Meanwhile, the PPM levels fluctuate as your plant grows.
A pH of 6.0 is sufficient for most hydroponic cultivars. The maximum deviation permitted is +/- 0.2. If you move too far down or up, the nutrient absorption will be slow. The development may stop as well.
PPM allows you to estimate the quantity of nutrition in the water for your plant.
If you feed your plant too much, it will die. Otherwise, your plant will expand slowly with a small amount of food.
Necessary Tools To Make a DIY Hydroponic System
This list covers all of the equipment needed to install your hydroponic system:
|a. Lighting (HPS, LED, HID)||k. Net pots|
|b. Lighting hangers||l. Grow tables or Tray|
|c. Hydroponic reservoir or Gallon bucket||m. Grow tent|
|d. Air pump||n. Carbon filter|
|e. Air stone||p. Drip line|
|f. Water pump||q. Drip line emitters|
|g. Growing medium(clay, perlite, coco coir, e.g.)||r. pH and PPM meter|
|h. Oscillating fan||s. Exhaust fan and ducting tubes|
|i. Seeds||t. Hygrometer|
|j. Hydroponic nutrients|
Passive Hydroponic Systems For Weed
The passive systems come with simple yet effective designs. They feed nutrients and water to cannabis roots in low-tech ways. As a result, they don’t require the usage of extra energy.
There are many different types of these hydroponic systems. Two of the most common are the Kratky and the wick.
The Kratky System
Regarding the Kratky technique, your plants must search for nutrients and water.
Plants are suspended from a floating platform in a net pot. The roots stay in the water. Meanwhile, the rest of the plant is still in the air. As plants thrive, the water level drops, letting air reach the roots.
The Wick System
This is the most fundamental form of the hydroponic system. The wick system works by pulling nutrient solutions from the reservoirs to your plants.
It employs the capillary action for the process. Coconut fiber, perlite, or vermiculite are all good medium options.
Active Hydroponic Systems For Weed
The active systems make use of cutting-edge technology to keep plants well-fed and aerated.
They employ air stones and electric air pumps to supply cannabis roots with all of the necessary nutrients. As a result, gardeners have the option of controlling these systems to decrease their labor.
There are various choices when it comes to active hydroponic systems:
Deep Water Culture (DWC)
An air pump serves to oxygenate the water while also enabling the roots to breathe. In other words, this method works by submerging plant roots straight into the highly oxygenated nutritional mix of the reservoir.
Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)
This system does not feature a timer. The fertilizer solution continually moves onto the grow tray, pouring over the plants with a pump. The water then flows back into the reservoir through a channel that goes downhill.
Ebb And Flow
Some growers call this method “flood and drain.” Before draining back, a device pours the nutrient solution on the grow tray to cover the plant roots. A pump attached to the timer powers that device.
The drip system transfers the nutrient mixture through a tube. The mixture then flows to the roots via a web of drip lines. This automated process often features a timer.
Plant roots are in the air. The mist comes with a nutritional solution and then goes to the roots. The pump and a timer assist the misting phase although the phase is quite short.
Growing Medium To Get Things Started
You won’t need soil for a hydroponics system. You can utilize a different type of substrate. They may keep water and nutrients while also allowing a root system to expand.
Rockwool is good at retaining water. You don’t have to water your plants so often. As a result, it’s critical to keep track of how much water the plant is receiving. You may face fungus and loss of oxygen in the roots if you water too much.
Experts often use Rockwool because of its cost and efficiency. However, it may have some flaws, particularly for beginners.
Rockwool is alkaline by nature. Before employing it as a foundation for your plants, you need to make sure to neutralize it in a pH 4-5 mixture. The procedure of neutralizing might last for a day.
Clay pellets are perhaps the easiest of the substrate solutions. Even beginners can handle them.
Clay pellets do not retain lots of water. As a result, planters can easily circulate nutrients and water through them without worrying about plants drowning.
The spaces between the spheres are ideal channels for nutrients and oxygen. As a result, the roots will thrive.
Perlite is a kind of volcanic stone used as a fertilizer in agriculture. It looks like disintegrating white stones. You can utilize it as a stand-alone media for hydroponics.
Perlite is extremely porous. Yet, it doesn’t hold a lot of water, perlite is an ideal hydroponics substrate. It will assist to decrease compaction. It also allows for the circulation of water and nutrients. All of them are essential for healthy plant development.
Coconut fiber is an excellent natural substrate alternative. It comes from coconut husks. Coconut seeds form on this substrate. As a result, instead of sand, they can sprout in material that holds minerals and water.
Coco is highly immune to fungal and bacteria development. However, you should keep it clean before using it.
Coco is not dissimilar to Rockwool in terms of water storage. It has a large water capacity. On the other hand, you may reuse it. You don’t have to worry about it harming your skin or lungs.
Hydroponic systems are possibly the greatest indoor cannabis growing methods. They are not difficult to operate. Some of the systems are even simple to use.
Some of the solutions are more expensive. However, the ultimate result is well worth it. The most crucial factor here is consistency. You must visit the grow chamber regularly. At all times, you must offer ideal circumstances.