Hydroponics for Weed

Learn about the benefits of the hydroponic cannabis growing system and why it produces the best crop.

Now that growing cannabis plants is legal (with restrictions) in many states, the field of hydroponics is skyrocketing.

Sure, it’s a great method to use for any plant, and having a hydroponic system has benefits beyond weed. But when it comes to finding a primary medium for pot, cannabis growers everywhere are turning to the hydroponic cannabis growing system.

Why is it such a popular thing to grow marijuana in a hydroponic garden? This article explains the benefits, so you, too, can grow hydroponic cannabis in your home.

What On Earth (Or in Water) Is Hydroponic Cannabis?       

When a grower talks about hydroponic cannabis, they are referring to any weed plant that uses hydroponic nutrient solutions in water instead of soil to grow.

This type of system can use multiple mediums and water containers to turn seeds into healthy cannabis plants. While the growing medium you choose depends on your preferences, the one thing that remains the same is that no soil is involved.

Soil Plants Versus Hydroponic Weed

The reason soil is used so frequently in gardening is that it’s naturally found in the ground. Nature knows best, but we can always give it a helping hand.

Soil uses organic materials like decaying leaves and dead insects and animals to absorb nutrients. These nutrients are then passed into living plants through the root system.

Keeping Control of the Variables in Your Hydroponic System

The major issue with this when you’re growing cannabis is that you can’t always control the kinds of nutrients involved. So, your plant’s roots may absorb diseases and unwanted chemicals, too. Not so true in hydroponics. In Hydroponics you have 100% control over the input in your systems and what your plants are consuming.

Hydroponic Systems Take Away the Variables

Cannabis plants grow in the environment naturally, getting their essential nutrients from the soil.

In a soil system, transferring plants in the vegetative stage is traumatic. The plant’s roots have already grown connected to the environment. When you try to move them, the shock is enough to damage or kill smaller plants.

Less Trauma Equals Happier Plants

These pitfalls disappear when you use a growing tray and hydroponic methods. Rather than embedding into the soil, the hydroponic systems provide a nutrient reservoir that the roots absorb directly.

When it’s time to transfer the plant from the growing tray, indoor growers can simply move it to an external water tank. There, the roots are constantly submerged in nutrient-enriched water and creating very little stress on the plants.

Why the Cannabis Industry Is Going Hydro   

If you talk to a serious cannabis grower, you’ll find that they use a hydroponic growing medium as often as possible.

Experienced growers have found that if they want to maximize their yields, a hydroponics setup is the way to go. Hydroponic plants tend to grow taller and quicker because the roots absorb the nutrient solution faster.

Increasing Benefits and Reducing Problems

Excess nutrients that aren’t optimal for cannabis growing can be eliminated. Without these distractions, the pH levels are easier to maintain, and the overall hydroponic systems are consistently producing better and healthier crops.

Starting Your Own Hydroponic Setup

Indoor hydroponic systems are a wise way to get started if you plan on growing your own cannabis plants. They require an initial upfront investment in time and money, but with a working hydroponics system, you’ll never have to pay for your weed again.

Hydroponic cannabis refers to any plant that uses water and an inert growing medium to thrive. However, you’ll also need equipment to monitor and control the temperature and humidity, as well as a light source.

Putting It All Together In Your Hydroponic System

If you’re just getting started, you’ll want to use a beginner’s hydroponic growing technique, like a wick system such as Autopots. This comes in a kit that includes everything you need to get started and grow a few plants, like your reservoir, pots, valves, and necessary parts of the hydroponic system.

Multiple Plants? No Problem

For those looking to grow more plants at one time, the ebb and flow system is preferred. This, too, can come in a kit, or you can create your own. The ebb and flow system (also called an ebb and flood) uses enough space to house around a dozen plants and requires the release of timer-controlled nutrients to grow plants with an air pump for oxygen in the reservoir.

Going Shopping for Your Hydroponic Systems

Ready to get started? First, you must decide which system you want for your hydroponic setup. You can choose from one of the multiple techniques, such as the ebb and flow we discussed earlier, a wick system, a drip system, or deep water culture.

All of these techniques work well for growing hydroponic weed. They also all have their advantages and disadvantages.

Just the Basics: Materials You’ll Need for Your Hydropic Cannabis

Some basic materials and equipment to add to your cart, no matter which system you choose, include:

  • Your preferred cannabis seeds
  • A grow tent
  • The growing tray and hydroponic reservoir
  • Proper lighting, such as an LED lighting system
  • A growing medium
  • An air pump and air stone
  • A ventilation fan and duct for the air to flow through
  • Your preferred hydroponic nutrients
  • pH and PPM meter
  • A carbon filter
  • Planting pots or Rockwool cubes

The list might seem lengthy, but remember that you’ll only need to invest in most of this equipment once. You may change your mind on the kind of growing medium that you prefer, or change nutrients, depending on your hydroponic system and how involved you want to be.

Types of Growing Mediums

The growing medium you use will vary as you get to know the results of the hydroponic weed and the kind of technique you’re using. Here are some of the most common options:

  • The simplest inert medium is air. Plants don’t need soil to grow; they simply need nutrients, light, and water. So, you mist the roots with a mister, also known as Aeroponics. This works well with an automated system as long as you don’t have a power outage.
  • In a wick system or other methods, clay pellets are used along with coco coir. Also called clay pebbles, these deliver oxygen and nutrients to the roots and allow water to flow in and out.
  • Perlite is found in the soil of many marijuana plants. When you use it in your wick system to grow hydroponic weed, it increases the aeration. The drawback here is that perlite doesn’t retain water, so your plants can dry out quickly.
  • Found in many starter cubes, Rockwool is a fast and easy hydroponic weed grower. Your plants will get the nutrients they need to grow, and not become oversaturated even with a constant water flow. This medium also has natural Ph neutrality allowing you to set the mediums pH to whatever you want it to be.
  • Coco coir is used in hydro grows. It combines husks of coconuts, ground up into tiny pieces. The husk of the coco coir protects the roots of the plant and allows it to absorb nutrients, even in the midst of power outages.
  • The preferred medium for many vegetable growers is vermiculate. Vermiculate looks like a pebble, but it can draw water and nutrients. To counter some of the cost of the hydro grows, consider using this medium to supplement clay pellets and boost the effectiveness of an air stone.

There’s a reason places like the Famous Hanging Gardens used hydroponic systems so often. While they may not have had clay pebbles and coco coir, it wasn’t too much of a stretch to plant their greenery around air and water.

Get Growing Hydroponic Cannabis

Once you know where you’re going to put the plant roots as they start growing and how you’ll nourish them, you’re ready to start the process of growing hydroponic marijuana.

The cost of your system is minimal compared to the expenses you can save growing plants for your own use. And who knows? You might get so good at it that you’ll be able to become a licensed, experienced cannabis grower down the road.

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