Short on space and still want to grow high quality cannabis?
Often, cannalovers don’t have an outdoor space available for growing. Hydroponics offers a space-saving, indoor solution for growing quality crops. The best part? No soil. And if you’re worried your plants won’t be able to compete with their soil-rooted kin, you need not fear. Hydroponic marijuana tends to grow bigger and faster than their siblings who are produced in the soil.
Since ancient times, civilizations have been growing in soilless farms. Some famous examples include the beautiful hanging gardens of Babylon and the floating gardens of China. In more recent times, scientists have experimented with soilless gardening since about the 1950s.
What is hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture–the method of growing plants without soil. Usually, plants draw their nutrients from the soil. However, hydroponics uses mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. This way, the crops never miss the dirt. Terrestrial plants grow with only their roots exposed to the mineral solution. Sometimes, an inert medium like perlite or gravel may support the roots. To their benefit, these plants get a continuous supply of fresh water and nutrients.
Perks of a hydroponic grow system
- Faster growth: The plant will show a 20% increase in growth rate when compared with the ones grown in the soil.
- Complete control: Keeping the plant off the ground has tons of benefits. Not all soil is good for plants. The soil content of the land may lack nutritional content or contain harmful ingredients. However, we can control every inch of water in hydroponics. The plant does not have to search for nutrients unlike in soil. Instead, nutrients are available in the water and easy to absorb.
- Space saving: Because plants have ready access to circulating nutrients, they do not have to compete with one another. Hydroponics save space because many plants can be grown side by side without any nutrient loss. This method is ideal for urban dwellers.
- High yields: Plants grown with the help of hydroponics show a 20% to 25% higher yield rate.
- No pests: In general, the number of pests and diseases which are soil borne are also reduced. Hydro systems just simply not exposed to other plants and pests. Earlier in traditional outdoor planting, these conditions used to cause massive damages to the plant.
- Save water: Just because hydroponics is without soil, it doesn’t mean that it uses an excessive quantity of water. Drip irrigation, Ebb and flow systems, and wick systems, all ensure you use water more efficiently. Over the life cycle of the plant, you’ll actually use less water than traditional growing. Actually, around 90% of the water is retained by the hydroponic plantation and reused.
Where to start?
First, there are the two most important things that you should remember before starting, no matter the method you use.
Since the plant is submerged in water and not soil, the water needs to be well oxygenated. You can achieve this with the help of an air pump or an airstone. If we skip this part, the plants will drown.
Since these plants are grown in water and not soil, remember that you’ll have an air stone or an air purifier, to provide a regular intake of nutrients to the plant.
Next, we are going to explain few a tried and tested methods which will help us to grow the marijuana plant based on hydroponics. The Deep Water Culture (DWC), and Ebb and Flow (Flood and Drain) are two techniques for beginners.
Deep water culture (DWC) Hydroponics
Yes! The name sounds way too complicated and right out of a science book. However, it is far from complicated. The plant’s roots suspend in a well-oxygenated solution composed of water and nutrients. When done correctly, the plant always has sufficient nutrients. Also, DWC keeps the roots of the plant submerged in water 24/7, so you never have to worry about watering them.
We recommend starting with a deep water, single-shot hydroponic basket like the Bubble Boy. It For just $30.00, it is an easy investment for beginners. For one, it already comes with everything you need. It has a space-saving capacity of a 3.5-gallon low-profile bucket. It also comes with a 6″ net-pot lid with a powerful 7.8 liter-per-minute (123 GPH) adjustable dual-outlet air pump. Finally, it includes a sizeable 4″ premium air stone and a high-quality hydrostone grow medium accompanied by an air tubing & 1/4″ connector. Once you have the hang of it, you can buy more baskets or a bigger tank.
Ebb and flow (Flood and Drain)
This is one of the most economical methods of growing marijuana plants. For this one, plants grow in a small pot suspended in floating tubes. A small tank which contains all the nutrient solutions rests below the plants. In this setup, the roots grow through the pots and into the nutrient solution. In order to keep the water rich in nutrients, you’ll need an air pump. The pump provides fresh air to the roots of the plants by forming bubbles in the solution.
We find one of the best starter kits is the Hydroponic Site Grow Kit 36 Ebb and Flow Deep Water Culture Garden System. This system produces high-quality herbs within 45 days. At just $99.00, this system is amazingly easy to assemble and use. The hydroponic indoor or outdoor grow system is designed for fast and maximum-convenience for vegetable gardening. It is a perfect product for beginners because you only need to buy a water bucket for underneath. Almost anything will do.
Once you get into hydroponics, you’ll be setting up self-sustaining systems in no time. It’s addicting watching your little roots grow uninhibited by soil. Let us know what you use on your system you use for hydroponics in the comment below!