Using Hydroponics to Grow Cannabis Indoors
Using Hydroponics to Grow Cannabis Indoors:
Not all growers have the amenity of time and effort to attend to their plants, especially, if the goal is to generate an abundant yield. Additionally, not all can eliminate extra cost as well as deal with potential problems that may occur. A quick solution is to use a system of cultivating cannabis plants indoor using hydroponics.
In the early says, hydroponics was mainly used outdoors for growing crops especially in arid areas. Nowadays, growers use this system anywhere including indoors. One of its most notable benefits is explosive growth with high yields.
How Hydroponics Works
As implied by its name, Hydroponics is the method of using water in nurturing plants. Instead of using soil, this system uses other mediums such as coconut coir, clay pellets, oasis cubes, perlite, and rice hulls.
The whole system infuses water, nutrients, and air to the roots through the medium. In essence, plants get nutrition directly from the solution where its roots are exposed to. Whether one chooses to cultivate indoors or outdoors, the process remains the same.
Hydroponics has been around since the ancient times. Most people, however, do not grow plants. Hence, its benefits are often underestimated. Using it to cultivate cannabis helps the plants achieve their full potential. All one needs to do is to have a basic understanding of how it works to get started.
Cannabis Plants Needs
For growers, it is necessary to understand the nature of cannabis plants. It needs nutrients such as nitrogen, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, and magnesium. These plants also pine for oxygen, especially its roots. With sufficient knowledge of the nutritional requirements, cannabis growers can adjust the nutrients given in a hydroponics system.
Plants absorb these essential nutrients through its roots. A shortage or excess of these minerals may pose threats to the growth of the plants, during the vegetative stage or the flowering stage. Because there are different types of hydroponics systems, growers must ensure choosing the right nutrients for feeding.
By nature, cannabis plants crave for a slightly acidic environment. In soil, the correct pH level is in the range of 6 to 7. However, in hydroponics, it is usually around 5.5 to 6.5.
Types of Hydroponics Systems
There are several kinds of hydroponics systems suitable for growing cannabis plants indoors.
Deep Water Culture
As the name implies, the water level is quite deep and could go as low as 8 to 10 inches with roots suspended above it. An oxygenated-nutrient solution is then fed into the system. In a Deep Water Culture system, the use of air pump, reservoir, connecting pipes, and screen are usually included.
Ebb and Flow
This system also consists of a reservoir. Apart from that, tools such as fill tray, drain tube, and a submersible pump are also needed. In this arrangement, the plants are placed in the fill tray filled with water coming from a reservoir. Commonly called Ebb and Flow, others have taken to referring to it as Flood and Drain because of the filling and draining cycle.
This set-up makes use of a bucket of reservoir, plant container, cotton or sponge as a wick. Nutrients are released through the presence of the cotton wick to the tray where the plants are placed. An air pump and diffusers are, sometimes, used for a more efficient water movement.
Nutrient Film Technique
A reservoir, plant gully, pond pump, and tube system are required in this arrangement. The plants are lounged in a tray in a gulley positioned above a water tank. With dissolved nutrients in the solution, it is pumped up to the gulley.
The Environment Set-up
Besides having a fundamental understanding of the nature of cannabis, as well as the different types of hydroponics systems, growers also need to know the ideal environment.
Indoor growing means the plants won’t have a decent exposure to natural light. The beauty of this is that growers have complete control and supervision of the length of time plants are exposed. Furthermore, there are a plethora of choices of grow light system. Among the things considered is the wattage, color intensity, luminosity, angle, and height of placement.
For growers, it is vital to fix the lighting system according to an apt distance for every stage of development. There is an option to choose High-Intensity Discharge (HID) grow lights, but growers must consider a light distribution of 40 watts per square foot. With the alternative of a Light-Emitting Diode (LED), the distribution should be at 32 watts per square foot.
Temperature, humidity, and ventilation also come into play. Growers need to keep an eye on the maximum temperature that the plants can take as they progress in the development stages.
Cultivating Cannabis plants hydroponically would bring about a different way of caring. The practice or raising the plants or suspending them necessitates plant support. These growing plants are prone to breakage. Treating them with a trellis would help put them in order.
Additionally, the treatment of pruning needs to be carried out, too. Plants that were grown hydroponically grow at a faster rate compared to those grown outdoors in soil. Growers have to urgently keep the leaves tidy for the plants to get ample exposure to light and air.
Cannabis and Hydroponics
The allure of growing cannabis is something that many users have thought of at some point. Unfortunately, only a few do manage to plant some. Even if one were willing to, not everyone has space. Not to mention, there might be legal issues involved especially when cultivating outdoors.
Hydroponics may be used in either environment. For most growers though, this is the preferred method if planting inside the house. One of its most significant advantages is not only to allow the plants to reach its optimal growth and yield. It also shortens the time which results in lower expenses on electricity. As one knows, grow light systems can crank up the electric meter.
Getting into hydroponics is not difficult at all. While it may be confusing at the beginning as there are different types, the best way is to take the habitat into consideration. Is it a grow room or a cabinet? Perhaps a grow tent? Regardless, there is one or two that is most ideal.