Hydroponic Cannabis Growing Made Easy
With so many discussions centered around marijuana, it is no surprise that more people across the world are excited to experience this miracle plant. The scope for Cannabis in the field of medicine is rapidly expanding, and more cannabis-infused product ranges will hit the market soon. Also, legalization has laid hands on the regulations surrounding cannabis growth, production, and sale, which is the first ray of clarity over this ingredient entering our mainstream life.
While the laws around cannabis growth are yet to become completely clear, more people want to try growing their own cannabis plants. With such huge health benefits and business potential, the interest in the field of cannabis farming is justifiable. And just like various other crops, alternative farming technologies are about to influence the area of cannabis cultivation too. And here we dig deeper into hydroponic Cannabis growing methods, tips, and tricks you should know.
Understanding Hydroponic Cultivation
The word hydroponics means water working. This type of cultivation refers to methods where plants grow in the absence of soil. The hydroponic system works certainly differently from your regular farming or gardening practices. The system provides the plant will all the nutrients required for growth in the absence of soil. Hence, there is a medium that is in place of it in some cases to provide the necessary minerals.
There are different systems available to try, which include, coconut fiber, vermiculite, rock wool, clay pellets, passive system, perlite, open circuit systems, aeroponic systems, ebb, and flow systems. Although the process of hydroponic farming sounds difficult, the trade-off with an alternate medium shows a positive outcome.
More about Hydroponic Cannabis
In today's times, various crops are being grown using the hydroponic system. Cannabis can also benefit from this improved farming method, which could lead to great quality and high yield. These aspects will make it relevant to the medical industry. Hydroponic cannabis refers to growing your budget buds in a nutrient water solution which becomes its inert medium. There are various systems with improved functionalities available to create a perfect setting for hydroponic farms. But you can also try this at home with simple equipment such as hand-watering pots.
Cannabis growers spread across various parts of the world have experimented with different systems to enhance yield and speed of growth and make the best out of this soil-less growing practice. Hydroponic farming makes the best sense for indoor farming choices as you eliminate the hassle of using soil. It also eliminates problems such as soil recycling, pest control, maintenance, and soil pH monitoring and enables good growth without having to stress over these factors. Whether or not you have tried growing cannabis before, hydroponic cannabis growing can be a fun experiment.
Hydroponic Cannabis Cultivation 101
Although there is various plug-and-play type of systems, as a beginner trying to build your own hydroponic system can be fun.
Step 1: The first step for hydroponic farming is choosing the type of system. There are various options available without the use of a medium, although for beginners a medium based would be a better choice. This step ensures your roots are well supported.
Step 2: Gather the supplies needed to begin
You will need:
- Grow table
- Buckets to place each plant
- Clay pellets – enough for the buckets.
- Rock wool cubes – take about 1.5 inches per plant
- Water pump
- Reservoir tank
- Plastic tubing
- Air pump
- Dripline emitters
Step 3: The first step to set up your system is to get your nutrient reservoir in place. You can choose the right one based on your space and size requirements for the plant. The reservoir must contain the water pump as well as the air stone in place. The reservoir will have one line connecting from the air pump to the air stone and a drainage pipe from the grow table entering and the line between the water pump to the drip line and the power cord of the water pump leaving.
Step 4: Prepare your grow table. The purpose is to redirect excess water to the reservoir. Hence make sure you have a dip or a low point in the surface where the excess water will collect and drain. Attach the plastic tube to this drain and connect it to the reservoir.
Step 5: Add the clay pellets which will serve as the medium in this case to the buckets. Make sure to soak the pellets overnight before you place them to saturate it with water. Also, drill small holes in the bottom of the buckets for draining. Connect the water line from the pump to the grow table. You can punch small holes in the buckets to connect a drip line from the tube here. Place the drip line emitters at the end of the drip line.
Step 6: Test run your system to look for any defects and cover them up. Make sure the air pump is always on, the water drains properly from the bucket to the grow table to the reservoir.
Step 7: After a successful test run, it is time to prepare the nutrient water. The water needs to contain all the basic necessary nutrients for plant growth which include Potassium, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus, along with micronutrients copper, boron, sulfur, zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium. Pre-mix solutions for the systems are available on the market in varying levels of nutrients which are relevant at different stages of growth. Keep in mind the electrical conductivity reading, and pH reading is compatible with your plants before you add the solution to the reservoir.
Step 8: Once the solution is placed, get ready to plant. Pay attention while buying marijuana seeds to ensure you choose good quality and healthy seeds. You can use starts or clones growing in the Rockwool and place them in the clay pellet. Make sure you insert the drip line close to the Rockwool and the roots to ensure there is enough moisture. Your hydroponic setup for Cannabis is ready to grow from here.
How to care for your system?
Caring for hydroponic plants is a lot different from your regular plant care. Your plants should receive enough support to grow. Hence ensure the medium is of good quality and does not crack or break. The next important thing to look at is pruning. Removing the bottom foliage and topping your plant before the flowering cycle ensures your plant receives enough nutrients and energy. Be diligent in the practice to ensure good quality yield.
The system mentioned here is simple but highly efficient, and hence, gives you good yield even with less investment and care. As a novice, this type of system will help you get a grip of this farming technique. You can explore complex and ready-made systems available on the market in the future to expand your farm from here.
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