Growing marijuana with hydroponics is the practice of growing plants in either a bath or flow of highly oxygenated, nutrient enriched water. Growing marijuana hydroponically simply means that you grow the plants in an inert, sterile growing medium instead of in soil. All of the plants’ nutrient requirements are supplied when you mix water with the nutrient solution. Hydroponics introduces the water, nutrients and air to the roots through the growing mediums and since using hydroponics bypasses the web of roots and the energy required for the plant to acquire the nutrients you get faster growing plants.
There are many different hydro system, each with it’s own advantages and disadvantages. The more advanced the growing technique is the higher the possible yield. The top 5 common forms are aeroponics, deep water culture, drip irrigation, nutrient film technique, and ebb-and-flow. With hydro, you get to determine pretty much everything that happens from start to finish – which also means you get to control the outcome.
You should grow with hydroponics if:
- You want a faster harvest
- Getting the highest yields possible is most important to you
- You desire the convenience of soil without the pests (hand-water grow in soilless potting mix)
- You’d like the convenience of a close-to-fully automated system (DWC, bubbleponics, etc)
- You are willing to become the sole provider of nutrients throughout the grow
- You love experimenting with different methods and want to tune into the perfect grow method
Here’s a overview of top reasons why it’s worth considering a hydroponics setup if you are looking to grow weed at home.
Faster & Bigger Yields
In terms of what you can expect to get out of the deal, the vast majority of growers choose to work with hydroponics to both speed up production rates and harvest bigger yields. Once again, this all comes down to the way in which you technically take the place of Mother Nature, who’d normally provide the plants with what they’d need in their native habitat. The only difference being that you can do a better job – offering the kind of consistency and generosity that nature never could. You can’t force-feed cannabis plants or make them do things they don’t want to, but you can certainly give them everything they need to become all they can be.
The hydro method essentially sees plants suspended in a manner where their roots are exposed to whatever you decide to expose them to. This means being able to provide them with a rich, targeted dose of the precise nutrients they need at all times, with so much greater accuracy than would be possible with soil growing. As you’re growing indoors, you also get to watch over temperatures, humidity, lighting, air quality and so on – everything a cannabis plant needs to reach its full potential. There are countless common pests that count on soil to do their bidding. Remove the soil, remove the threat of soil-loving pests doing a number on your plants. Of course, no type of crop cultivation offers 100% immunity to pests across the board, but growing indoors using a hydro setup is just about the best way of keeping threats to a minimum.
Neat and Tidy
Something else to bear in mind is the way in which removing soil from the equation also removes most of the mess from the equation too. Try as you might, growing indoors with soil is inevitably messy. With hydroponics on the other hand, keeping the whole growing area immaculately clean is exponentially easier. You may also find it much easier and convenient to work with hydroponics as there’s considerably less maintenance required in general.
Another quite enormous benefit of hydro growing is the way in which as much of the cultivation process as you like can be automated. There are intelligent devices up for grabs that can keep an eye on things like temperatures, humidity, lighting and so on – all of which can be programmed to turn things on and off automatically, as and when required. In terms of simplicity, there really is nothing quite like hydro growing – a setup that can pretty much take care of itself.
Because of the open nature of the root system in hydroponics, nutrients and oxygen also circulate easily, which further improves the efficiency of the plant. In reality, this means that certain aspects of hydroponics cultivation are easier than growing a plant in soil. It’s easier to check on nutrient levels and the hydration of the plant too. When weighing up what you get out in accordance with what you put in – hydro stands heads and shoulders above all traditional approaches to growing.
Rinse and Repeat
High-end hydro hardware is built to last and can help you produce any number of incredible crops over the long-term. While a lot of generic soil growing hardware is viewed and treated as disposable, an investment in decent hydro gear is an investment that keeps on giving in return.
You can save time and money growing marijuana at home, and indoor hydroponic systems are likely the best way to go, but simply don’t cut corners. Like making a gourmet meal at home, you still need to use the best ingredients, time, care and effort to make the meal taste great. Make sure the plants have ample light, and that your grow lights emit heat, and pay attention to the plant, too much liquid or too much light can ruin a great crop as well.