If you are new to growing weed and want to grow the same hydroponically, then you would definitely want to read this beginners guide.
Growing cannabis is not all that hard you just need to take care of a few things to ensure that you do get a good crop out of it. And if you are still confused by the term hydroponics, don’t be – for growing a plant hydroponically basically means that you would not be using any soil or fertilizer but would opt to use nutrient rich solution in lieu.
The roots of your plant would come into contact with this nutrient rich solution which can enable them to grow faster.
- What is hydroponics?
- What are the different types of hydroponic systems?
- How to grow weed hydroponically
- How to germinate the seeds
What is hydroponics?
Hydroponics is basically a system by which you enable your plants and in this case to come into contact with a nutrient rich water body. You do not use any soil in such a set up but instead you can opt for materials such as perlite, rockwood, clay pellets and other similar materials to both support and provide nutrients to the plant as it grows.
The basic premise is that by enabling the roots of the plants to come into direct contact with a nutrient rich solution, you are able to facilitate better and faster yields.
Advantages for growing weeds hydroponically
It’s time to check out and see if it is worthwhile growing weeds hydroponically.
- Faster growth: By growing weed hydroponically than by traditional methods of planting it in the soil, you can ensure faster growth. Recent studies have shown that plants that grow hydroponically do so at 25% faster rate than the soil based plants. And if that was not all, these plants are bound to produce better yields than the soil based plants and that’s just for starters. Simply put, as the roots come into direct contact with the nutrients, they are able to absorb the same faster and this speed up their growth rate.
- Large quantity: And since your plants grow faster when growing them hydroponically, it only stands to reason that your yield would be much better as well. The yields would be 20 -30% times more than the weeds that are soil based and since the roots come into direct contact with the nutrients, your plants should grow and mature faster.
- No weeds: This may sound like a cheap pun but weeds often turn out to be most gardeners’ nightmare. The advantage of growing your weed (cannabis), hydroponically is that you do not have to worry about common garden weed making its foray among your plants. Since there is no sol involved, you do not have to worry about the common garden weeds as well as any other plants and that’s why it is more of an advantage to grow weeds hydroponically.
- Less disease and pests: One of the other advantages to growing your weed hydroponically is that it is grown in a closed system with the help of nutrient rich solution. And as it is grown in a closed system, pests cannot get to the plants and additionally, plants grown in this manner are less exposed to diseases and pathogens when compared with those grown in soil.
Disadvantages to growing weed hydroponically
When it comes to hydroponic methods over traditional methods of growing plants or weeds, in this case, it comes with a few disadvantages. Do check below,
- Expense: When it comes to the overall cost, setting up a hydroponic system for growing weeds can prove to be quite expensive. Given that any hydroponic set up will require some investment on your part, it may be time to point out that soil grown plants require well prepped soil with enough nutrients and fertilizers in the soil, which should work out cheaper.
- Time management: When it comes to hydroponics, you may find that managing your system, regulating the temperature, humidity and temperature may consume a lot of your time. Whereas when growing weeds organically or otherwise, you would not have to spend a lot of time checking on temperature, water moisture, humidity and other factors.
- Ph Levels: When you are growing your weeds hydroponically, you will find that you would be required to balance and adjust the Ph levels of the nutrient rich solution often. You would not have to do so with soil grown cannabis.
- Pump failure: One of the things that you need to keep an eye out on, when growing weeds hydroponically is your pump. Hydroponic systems require regular and large supplies of water and should the pump fail, this can lead to the death of the whole crop. This happens for the simple reason that hydroponic systems cannot retain moisture. So if you are planning to grow weeds hydroponically, then these are some of the disadvantages to doing so.
What are the different types of hydroponic systems?
If you are contemplating hydroponic water systems for growing your weed, then you need to know that there are various types of hydroponic systems that you can opt for. Some of the best hydroponic systems consist of hybrid models which is a combination of two or more such systems. Just check out the few different types of hydroponic systems that is often used by many today.
- Deep water culture: This also happens to be one of the popular hydroponic systems especially if you are into cultivating indoor plants or exotic plants. One of the reasons that DWC methods happen to be popular than most is that the conditions from the nutrient rich solution, to maintaining all the ambient conditions are controlled by you. The DWC does not consist of drip or spray emitters, which can clog.
- Nutrient film technique: In the nutrient film technique, a nutrient rich solution is made to run over the roots of the plants. And this enables in the form of a nutrient layer which the plants can use for energy. This form of a system is tilted slightly so that the nutrient rich solution can run over the roots. This helps the roots to quickly absorb the nutrients as well as oxygen from the air. This should enable your weeds to grow at a faster rate.
- Aeroponics: With this method, the plant in question is suspended from the air while a nutrient rich solution is misted onto them. You can use a fine spray nozzle to spray the nutrients onto the roots directly, or you can use something called the pond fogger. The only issue with this type of system is that it requires a lot of maintenance.
- Wicking: When it comes to hydroponics, this is one of the few methods of hydroponics that cis cheaper than most. This is a low cost method where a cotton wick is used; one end of the cotton is placed in the nutrient rich solution with the other being wicked to all the plants. So essentially by using this method, you are wicking nutrients to the plants directly, and this can help facilitate faster growth as well.
- Ebb and flow: as the name suggests, ebb and flow is a hydroponics system where you systematically flood the targeted plants with nutrient rich water and allow it to ebb out after a specific period. You primarily use a timer and set up a sequence by which the nutrient rich waters are released to flood your cannabis plants. And after a specified time, the water is allowed to ebb right back out. This type of system is particularly suitable for plants that need a certain amount of dryness as well, to flourish. The advantage of such a system is that the roots are able to absorb the nutrients faster and grow fast as well.
- Drip system: This system is quite simple; it works by providing a slow nutrient feed by which your plants are given a slow but steady supply of nutrients. You can also provide a slow draining system by which the excess nutrients are removed. It is recommended that you use a slow draining system as opposed to a fast draining one for obvious reasons. This can help your plants grow faster but the only disadvantage is that particulates in the nutrient rich water can clog up the system.
How to grow weed hydroponically
When it comes to the question of growing your weeds, the easiest system that you can opt for is the deep water culture since you can set up the same inside your residence and grow your weeds with ease.
Other than the basic set up, the DWC does not use any excess materials other than what you need and to that end, it is quite effective in enabling your cannabis plants to grow faster. The first thing that you need to do is to fill up the reservoir with the nutrient rich solution, after which you can suspend your waters in the same.
Make sure that you suspend the waters in such a way that their roots are completely covered by the same, with a little bit left out on top. By doing so, you can ensure that your plants get the nutrient it needs along with the required oxygen. You can also add oxygen directly to the nutrient rich solution by using an air pump. This should help the plant to grow at a fast speed.
How to germinate the seeds
Since you are planning to grow your cannabis plants in your home, it goes without saying that you would be better off opting for setting up a DWC system for growing your plants. And you can always purchase your seeds online. However, once you get the seeds, you would still need to germinate the same.
The trick is to use rockwool, to germinate the seeds. Just place the seed in rockwool as well as other mediums and then submerge it to 70% in the nutrient rich solution. Once the seeds start germinating, you can wait for a few more days and once the germination process is complete, you can then suspend the new plant in the nutrient rich solution.
Once your seeds have germinated, these seedlings have now entered into a vegetative phase. Essentially, this is a phase where you would be required to provide light and make sure that the same reaches the plants for durations ranging from 18 to 24 hours.
It is during this stage that the plant grows bigger roots as well as shoots. It is important that you pay attention to things such as humidity and moisture control which is why it is essential that you use a grow tent for the same.
This particular phase can last anywhere from two to four weeks but it depends more on the stain of weed that you are growing at the moment.
It is important that you realize that most plants grow 6 inches per day and the same holds true for cannabis plants as well. It is important that you maintain optimal conditions, all through during this phase.
During this phase, you get to use blue light on the plants. Basically by using blue light, you can prevent stretching, that is ensure that there is less gap between the various branches on the plant. You can use CFL plant for optimal results.
It is important that you use the right sort of light and with the help of a timer; you can regulate its use. There are several factors that can help promote growth and the blue light happens to be one of them.
Temperature: If you are using a grow tent for growing your cannabis plants, make sure that it comes with the right temperature sensor. The optimal temperature ranges between 70-83 Fahrenheit.
You may want to modify your nutrient fluid slightly as these plants have started to become larger. You also need to make sure that your grow room is well ventilated and meet the required conditions that can help facilitate faster growth for your plants.
When to switch to flowering?
This depends more on the individual than anyone else or any book. Generally, as a rule of thumb, you can make the switch to flowing after a period of 4 years.
What is the best time for harvesting the plant?
It depends on the strain of cannabis that you are currently growing and to be more specific, if you have good quality buds. Let’s assume that you do so in which case, you need to make sure that you harvest your buds at the right time. A good quality bud would contain THC as well as CBD.
And if you harvest the buds too early, you would end up with low quality buds, with lower concentrations of THC and CBD. And if you leave the buds too long on the plant, it can lead to damage. So primarily, you need to determine the harvest time by assessing the buds, whether they are of the right size etc.
How to dry marijuana?
Once you have harvested the plant, then the next question would be how to dry the same. Marijuana comes with various flavors and comes loaded with over 100 flavonoids. You need to first cure your weeds for over a period of 4 weeks by which time, they would have become dry.
Curing your marijuana
Well, the first step towards curing your marijuana is to trim the buds. You can remove the excess leaves but make sure that you keep these leaves safe since you can use the same for rolling. Now, you need to separate your buds from your stems and dry out your stems and buds in an airtight container, for a period of 16 weeks.
But during this time, keep the container opened for over 15 minutes each day as this can help with the drying process. You can also try smoking it but it depends more on the strain that you are cultivating at the moment.
With the step by step process and information detailed here, you should be able to grow your weed (cannabis) effectively without any hassle. Just make sure that you follow the information listed here and do some additional research on your part. Do note that most of the grow tents as well as hydroponics that you use, do come with warranty coverage.
Growing weed is never easy, and it would take some time and effort on your part. But it is important that you set up your hydroponics property and ensure that the plant is grown under optimal conditions.
Do note that weed is susceptible to temperature changes, so make sure that you maintain the grow tent at optimal temperatures, all round the clock. You may also want to do additional research on growing cannabis plants and make sure that you follow all the steps listed here.
And remember to check your pump regularly, since a pump failure can put your entire crop at risk. Once you have grown and cultivated your crop, you can start the curing process and that’s it.