Hydroponics is a method of growing cannabis by using water as the primary medium. This is where you grow cannabis plants in buckets or baskets filled with an inert growing medium and suspended over a tank full of water. Provide all the nutrients needed for the plant to survive and thrive in this setup. Use air stones to aerate the tank.
There are several advantages to hydroponic cultivation. Before choosing a hydro store, it is prudent that one understands the history, the materials needed to create a DIY hydroponic system, the cost thereof, among other dynamics.
Plants were first grown in water in the infamous Hanging Gardens of Babylon in 600 BC. Because the surrounding area was dry, the garden’s crops were nurtured using a trickle system beginning at the Euphrates.
The Aztec civilization used hydroponics to sustain itself. They built soil-topped floating rafts, allowing crops to grow through the tap layer and spread their roots into the waters below. Later on, farmers began cultivating spearmint plants in water and discovered that the plant species grew faster in water mixed with soil.
Here are the five things you need to know before you choose a hydro store:
Hydroponic plants grow 30–50% faster than soil plants and often produce higher yields because nutrients in a hydroponic system are more readily available to plants. Since there is no soil to navigate through, the nutrients are suspended in water and directly absorbed into the root. This is different with plants that grow in soil, which must navigate through it to absorb nutrients. Plants benefit from easy access to nutrients because it allows them to conserve energy for faster growth.
2. Materials needed
Embracing hydroponic growing through DIY is one method. This section of the article has highlighted some of the necessary equipment needed to construct a basic indoor setup.
The first and most crucial step is to find the product that best fits you for each item on the list. Purchase your equipment separately to save money while investing in lighting. You need a hygrometer for measuring humidity, A LED or HPS lighting system, lighting hangers, a grow tent, a hydroponic reservoir and tray, and an air stone and pump.
A growing medium (e.g., coco coir), net mesh planting pots, seeds, and soil are also necessary components for establishing a vital hydro store. With all the equipment in place, follow the following guides:
3. Select a growing medium
A growing medium is a material that holds the stem and roots together, allowing the roots to grow into the water in search of nutrients. The medium should allow for adequate air circulation at the roots’ tops. Among the various media are clay pebbles, rock-wool, coco coir, and perlite.
Place the clay pebbles in a plastic hydroponic basket with holes for roots to grow through. They aerate root systems, but you must occasionally adjust the pH to provide an optimal growing environment. Pre-altered pebbles are available for purchase. Volcanic rocks with a wool texture are used to make Rockwool.
You can also use Rockwool with a hydroponic basket or simply insert it into the top of a bucket or tank. It has a high water-retention capacity, which allows for adequate hydration of the upper root system. Another growing medium is perlite, made of volcanic glass that expands when exposed to high temperatures. Perlite is widely used in garden soils to provide aeration. This feature makes it a popular medium for the hydroponic growing of cannabis.
4. Choose an optimum hydroponic setup.
The setups include deep water culture, aeroponics, ebb and flow, drip system, nutrient film technique, and the wick system.
Deep Water culture entails growing plants in buckets with nutrients and an air pump to ensure a constant oxygen supply. It is a low-cost option that is popular among beginners. Deep Water culture is analogous to growing cannabis in a pond. In that case, the nutrient film technique is like cultivating weed over a river.
You place the plants in an angled tube so that water can enter from one side and exit from the other under gravity.
Aeroponics maximizes aeration and hydration by dispersing misted water through the air. You place the plants on top of a large water tank, with the bottom 25% filled with water. Under the water is a pump that tends to send water into misters beneath the root systems. In this futuristic version, plants receive massive amounts of air and water at the same time.
5. Prepare the system for success to grow.
To provide an optimal growing environment and avoid negative situations, you must maintain the system regularly by monitoring pH (keeping it between 5.5 and 5.8. Also, provide the required amount of nutrients and maintain water temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius. Ensure you maintain high standards of hygiene always.
While the hydroponic system appears to be very complex on the surface, the key is to begin simply by selecting an appropriate strain and monitoring your plants’ environmental needs regularly. The work pays off in the long run through rapid growth rates and subsequent large yields.
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