Growing your garden from home is a dream for some; growing cannabis is another. But what if you have restrictions and want to learn alternatives for how to grow your cannabis?
Growing plants using hydroponic means cutting out the messy soil process, and it's all water-based—not to mention increasing cultivation and overall quality of your plants. By learning what you need to know about growing cannabis hydroponically, you'll not only come out wiser but can incorporate it into your other growing methods.
What Is Hydroponics?
To use hydroponics, you must understand what it is. Simply put, hydroponics is the growing of plants, cutting out the use of soil. Soil use provides vitamins and minerals, but hydroponics allows the grower to obtain the same said nutrients. Plants require the following:
- Carbon Dioxide
Plant growth is possible by placing your plant in either rocks or coco coir fiber while being fed primary, secondary, and micro-nutrients. With hydroponics, plants can be grown closer together without the roots having to reach for nutrients. Thus, more plant yielding and water conservation.
How Does It Work?
Growing cannabis hydroponically can be done in multiple ways to maximize yields and growth speeds. The most popular method—the Nutrient-Film Technique—is standing your plants in a plastic trough and letting a nutrient solution trickle down their exposed roots.
Thanks to gravity and an air pump, hydroponics is done with ease. By continuously sliding through the roots, it provides essential nutrients.
However, if time isn’t in your favor, consider using roots supported by nutrient-rich mediums like rock wool, vermiculite, or sand; they offer an excellent substitute for soil. So, check with your budget and your given space.
Hydroponics for cannabis provide easier nutrient delivery and a quicker growth rate, but there are also several more advantages.
Space Saving and Water Conservation
Setting up a hydroponic system doesn't require too much space. Hydroponic stations need only 20% less room than the use of soil cultivation. Because of the reduced space, water conservation is also a perk.
By using hydroponics, it may use up 20 times less water than traditional soil cultivation. Because of the repeated water use, it never goes to waste or spoils.
A Year-Round Clean
Hydroponics is versatile, translating to thriving in many environments. The most popular location for hydroponics for cannabis is indoors for year-round production.
What’s even better is that hydroponics doesn't require pesticides, either. Because the environment is sterile, raising cannabis plants results in being organic and green.
With the proper environment, cannabis will have a higher chance of being more potent than when grown in soil. More potency means higher quality and longevity.
The only restriction with growing cannabis hydroponically is having to monitor the plants and ensuring you have the right technology to sustain the growth.
Monitoring the Growth
To compare, growing cannabis outdoors with a soil medium can produce higher yields. There are no restrictions on how tall the plant can be, and the plants can offer more than 400 grams of quality produce per plant.
Meanwhile, indoor hydroponics can be restrictive on growth and quality results. Investing time in monitoring unsatisfying growth can result in waste.
When it comes to what you need to know about growing cannabis hydroponically, it’s wise to understand the technology that goes into it. It’s beneficial for the technologically advanced cultivator that can handle any mishaps that may happen. Power outages can result in a disaster when it comes to seeing the results you desire.
Passive hydroponics for cannabis growth relies on a wick or the anchor of the growing media. The nutrients are pumped from the air pump reservoir up to the growing tray and delivered to the plant roots by creating a wick system.
It can be easy to set up and an excellent start for beginners, but the downsides can be unsuitable for larger plants and lack efficient nutrient use. Since the wick system is passive, it requires no pumps or moving parts. It is the most basic hydroponic system to begin with.
On the other hand, active hydroponics are nutrients solutions that travel by using a pump. Using the Deep Water Culture (DWC) System, plants are inserted into a net pot supported by floating platforms above a container of water and plant nutrients. Meanwhile, the roots are suspended and stretched into the oxygenated, nutrient-rich solution.
Perks of the DWC include being inexpensive, easy to build, and water-saving. However, be cautious as it may not be suited for larger plants or long growing periods. Because it is an active recovery system, there are moving parts. So, be sure to monitor your plants closely.
How To Get Started
Creating your hydroponic space all comes down to your budget, space, and ability to stay consistent. A simple hydroponic growing supplies kit is easily accessible to the average planter and can be used in your own home. Other supplies include:
- Carbon filters
- Grow lights and hangers
- Cannabis seeds
- Oscillating fans
- Growing tent
Depending on what size you wish to grow for your cannabis, we here at FloraFlex can help you get started on your starter kit. Based out of Southern California, we will gladly assist in forming the foundation you want to build and offer any advice you may need.
Do Your Research
Stay informed about cannabis with the latest articles and outlets from trustworthy sources. Hydroponics is especially beneficial for growth, but don't think you've learned everything!
Keep up with laws, requirements, and the latest news. You’ll thank yourself later if cannabis laws or rules change. Staying up-to-date and informed is important for your cannabis growth and efficient hydroponic usage.
Incorporating hydroponics into the growth of your plants is beneficial—it isn’t complicated and can be as flexible as you want it to be. So, be mindful and cautious when pursuing a new hobby. Take it slowly, keep up with your studies, and be considerate of your time.