Advantages of Hydroponic Cannabis Growing
If you cultivate cannabis on a piece of land, the soil is the growing medium. However, if you grow cannabis in an indoor grow tent, you might use different growing mediums including soilless mixes and hydroponics. Hydroponics refers to a growing system that utilizes a nutrient-rich water solution. In a hydroponic system, cannabis plants are propped in growing pots, and the water solution is supplied through varied mechanisms. Hydroponics allows the grower to be in full control of the nutrients that their plants receive. This growing system is ideal for experienced growers, considering that certain mistakes can cause massive losses. Some cannabis growers prefer hydroponics for a range of reasons.
1. Complete Nutrient Management
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, are some of the major nutrients required in cannabis growing. However, to improve plant health, and boost the yield, other nutrients may be added. In outdoor growing, you have less control of the nutrients that your plants receive, because there are even natural acts that might pollute your cannabis plants. However, in hydroponics, you have the chance to fully control the growing environment and the nutrients that your plants will receive. You can create a schedule, or even better, you can automate the processes for monitoring and performing maintenance of the hydroponics.
2. Larger Yields
When growing cannabis in an outdoor setting, you can only do so much, as many factors out of your control typically influence plant yield. For instance, if the environment becomes polluted, it may result in plants absorbing harmful chemicals, which would affect the yields. However, in a hydroponics system, you have full control of the environment. It allows you to supply all the essential ingredients, and make all the factors perfect, so that your cannabis plants become healthy, and achieve a great yield. If you’re growing cannabis for domestic use, a large yield means you have a great stock. And, if you’re growing cannabis for business reasons, a larger yield helps you increase your ROI.
3. Improved Potency
In the past decades, cannabis strains weren’t diverse, and cannabis buds were not as potent as what we have at present. Today, we have an extensive range of cannabis strains, and the potency has been improved by a huge margin. It is suggested that the growing medium can have an impact on the potency of cannabis buds. When growing cannabis in soil, various chemical elements might exert a damaging impact on cannabis compounds, and thus potentially lower its potency. However, when growing cannabis in hydroponics, there aren’t any unwanted chemicals, and this preserves cannabis integrity and allows you to harvest cannabis buds with excellent potency.
4. Faster Growth Rate
Various factors determine the rate of growth of plants. In outdoor settings, the sun and environment cannot be manipulated. However, in an indoor grow setting with hydroponics, the light can be intensified, and certain gases can be increased or decreased, thus boosting the growth rate of the plant. With faster growth rates, it helps you achieve your goals sooner. This quality is also advantageous to people that practice perpetual growing and harvest.
5. Fewer Pest and Disease Cases
When growing cannabis in an outdoor grow environment, the plants are usually susceptible to pest activity. Numerous pests are adapted to living in soil and can damage cannabis plants within a short frame of time. However, when growing cannabis in hydroponics, the environment is fully controlled, and there are fewer chances for pests to prosper. Various soil diseases can harm cannabis plants, but hydroponics systems are less likely to breed disease, thus enabling your plants to stay disease-free.
6. Higher Practicality
When it comes to growing plants, space is a valuable resource. With soil-based growing systems, the preparations are tedious, and the space allocations are generally large. However, hydroponic systems are more practical in terms of preparation and space. The roots absorb nutrients directly, thus requiring less space. In hydroponics, plants might appear positioned a bit too close, and yet there wouldn’t be any impairment. Hydroponic systems are also more favorable when cleaning, moving, and replanting.
7. Clean Growing Space
Soil is the messiest growing medium out there. Once soil and water are mixed, it can mess up a grow room like nothing else. But, when it comes to hydroponics, you never have a muddy growing space. The environment consists mainly of water and other solutions, and in case of a spill or an accident, the place doesn’t become messy.
8. Easy Administration of Nutrients
In outdoor grow setups, all the essential nutrients may be available, but still, the plant’s ability to absorb these nutrients might be minimized by certain environmental factors. However, when using hydroponics, you typically customize all the factors, and your plants are fed directly with water and nutrients. Hydroponics makes for easy administration of nutrients, which spars fast plant development, and improves plant yield.
9. Automation Features
Outdoor grow setups usually require in-person monitoring and maintenance. However, when it comes to hydroponics, you can automate various processes to ensure that every critical requirement is fulfilled. For instance, automation that supports the constant suspension of roots in nutrient-rich, highly oxidized water protects your plants from lacking nutrients and becoming damaged. Incorporating automation into your hydroponic grow system might be expensive, but it frees up your time, boosts plant growth rate, and maximizes yield.
Some cannabis growers wish to maintain a low profile. As long as your indoor grow room is full-featured, hydroponic grow systems typically make for discreet growing. There are many advantages to growing cannabis in a discreet fashion. For one, there won’t be vandals that would target your grow room and bring you losses. Also, you protect yourself from being the target of politics. There are many politics surrounding cannabis. The players in the cannabis industry are the usual targets, but it’s best to avoid being the topic of discussion.
Tips for Hydroponics Cannabis Growing
Hydroponics allows for the direct feeding of nutrients to cannabis plants. The following are some tips to improve your results:
Use clean and neutral water: in cannabis growing, not all water is considered perfect. If the water contains toxic elements or is the wrong pH, it can slow down the growth rate, and reduce cannabis yields. And so, always use clean and neutral water in your hydroponics.
Monitor temperatures: temperature plays an important role in plant health. If the temperature is high, it can exert damage on plant structure, or even damage the cannabinoid profiles, thus minimizing cannabis potency. One of the devices that cause high temperatures in a grow room are grow lights. Monitor the temperatures, and leverage the ventilation system to ensure that your plants are not affected by high temperatures.
Monitor humidity: high humidity levels in a grow room can limit the absorption of nutrients. One of the tips of minimizing humidity is avoiding overwatering your plants. You may also install a dehumidifier within your grow tent to lower humidity. Never allow stagnant water to pool on the floor of your grow room; apart from increasing humidity, stagnant water would encourage bacterial activity. Additionally, ensure that your grow tent is properly sealed.
Use quality grow lights: there are different types of grow lights; fluorescent grow lights, HID grow lights, and LED grow lights. Depending on grow room size, and the phase of plants in the growth cycle, you may choose the best grow lights that won’t heat the grow room. Using the wrong grow lights can contribute to high humidity and high-temperature levels.
Use proper ventilation: proper ventilation helps with controlling humidity and temperature levels. Install fans within your grow room and ensure that your ventilation system is optimized and highly efficient.
Quality seeds: even if you provide all the essential factors of a grow room, there’s no remedy for cannabis seeds with poor genetics. And so, make sure that you buy cannabis seeds from a reputable seed bank.
Disadvantages of Hydroponics Cannabis Growing
Although hydroponics grants you complete control of the growing room factors, it has a few shortcomings:
High power expenditure: to set up a hydroponic system, you require a large investment as far as electricity. There are different hardware that needs to be plugged. And so, if you’re growing cannabis for business reasons, such expenditure can eat into your profits.
Vulnerability: the hydroponic growing system is characterized by the constant feeding of cannabis plants with water and nutrients. If the plants stay for long without receiving the nutrients, the plant can experience drastic negative changes that undermine plant health and yield. Also, mistakes are harder to rectify.
High initial cost: when establishing a hydroponics system for cannabis growing, you’ll have to spend on pumps, tubes, and other hardware. The initial cost is usually high. If you have a small budget, you may not afford hydroponics.
The Takeaway: Pros of Hydroponic Cannabis Growing
Hydroponic cannabis growing refers to a growing system that relies on nutrient-rich water solutions. The nutrients are directly supplied to the plants, thus boosting the rate of plant growth, and improving yield. Hydroponic cannabis growing has numerous advantages including boosting cannabis potency, deterring pests and diseases, and cleanliness.