As a cannabis cultivator, you have an array of choices when it comes to growing your own herb at home — outdoor, indoor, and greenhouse cultivation, to name a few. But what about hydroponic growing mediums? Could this futuristic-sounding, soil-free method be the right solution for you? In this beginner’s guide to weed hydroponics, you’ll learn everything you need to know to start your own hydroponic garden at home.
What is hydroponic growing?
Hydroponic growing is a horticultural method for growing crops, including cannabis, without the use of soil. In place of soil, growers use a mineral nutrient solution in a water-based solvent. Occasionally, growers may also use clay pebbles and sand.
How does hydroponic growing work?
A good water-based nutrient solution forms the basis of all hydroponic systems. Like other growing mediums, hydroponics requires the other building blocks of ample light, air, and space.
Is growing hydroponic easy?
While a soil-based garden may be easier to start, hydroponics facilitate easier nourishing of cannabis plants over time. Nutrient solutions allow for more precise dosing and direct feeding of the plants in a hydroponic grow system. The roots of the plant directly absorb the administered nutrients, often making growth an easier and more efficient process. Plus, once you’ve set up the hydro system reservoir, there’s not much maintenance to worry about.
Do hydroponic plants grow faster than soil-based plants?
A hydroponic garden may exhibit a growth rate that is between 30% and 50% faster than that of a soil plant. The combination of nutrients, water, and oxygen in the roots are responsible for this faster rate of growth in hydroponic systems.
What are the benefits of hydroponic growing?
Besides the two most obvious benefits of a hydroponic garden (easier nutrient delivery and faster growth rate), there are several other advantages for cannabis cultivators to consider.
Water conservation: In rain-deprived places like California, water conservation is crucial. A hydroponics system may use 20 times less water than traditional soil cultivation. Water in this type of growing medium can be reused, meaning that none goes to waste.
Space saving: A hydroponics system is a major space saver that may require 20% less room than soil cultivation.
Clean and green: There’s no need for pesticides in the sterile environment of a hydroponic garden, so you can go green and organic when raising cannabis plants.
Year-round growing: Hydroponics systems can thrive in a variety of environments, but an indoor garden is especially desirable as you can grow your cannabis plants year round.
Potency: Once you harvest the buds, there’s a good chance they’ll be more potent than if you had grown them in soil. Some dispensaries even charge a premium for buds grown in hydroponic systems.
As many benefits as hydroponic systems offer, the growing medium also comes with some potential disadvantages.
To be continued…