If do-it-yourself projects aren’t your bag, there are other ways to grow hydroponic cannabis. Just like grow tents and cabinets made for growing cannabis in soil, there are all-in-one self-contained systems for hydroponic cultivation. For people just starting out with hydroponic cannabis cultivation, these systems make a lot of sense and are a great introduction to the hydronic-growing process.
If you’re a beginner and decide to assemble a hydroponic setup, some pieces of equipment are absolutely necessary, and others are less essential. Fortunately, hydroponic equipment dealers will sell you everything you need for success. Let’s discuss the essential items for setting up a basic hydroponic grow.
Indeed, when it comes to indoor growing, some people believe that superior yield in a shorter amount of time is one of the advantages of growing hydroponically. Soil growers, on the other hand, will argue the opposite and claim their method is superior, and when grown organically, the final product tastes better and has just as much or more potency (higher potency is another common claim of hydroponic growers as well). No doubt this debate will continue to rage on well into the future. The objective truth of the matter is that both growing methods have their pros and cons.
If you’ve been intrigued by hydroponic cultivation and always wanted to give it a try, by all means do so. The practice is not as difficult as it may seem, and most likely you will be a pioneer among your circle of cannabis friends. Before you know it, you will be sampling high-quality cannabis grown with the hydroponic method!
Setting Up the System
Although the plants are fed directly from the circulating water, a medium is necessary to provide mechanical support of the plants. A variety of substances are commonly used, including coco coir, gravel, and clay pellets. Rock wool cubes make a good starting foundation for young plants when they first go into the system.
Once you establish where you’ll be growing hydroponic cannabis, there is quite a bit of equipment to purchase and assemble. Have no fear, though, because there are a variety of retailers who are there to help with your purchases and questions.
Growing cannabis in soil is the preferred method for many, but there is an entirely separate class of growers: the hydroponic cannabis grower. Some people seem to shy away from hydroponic growing because of the unknowns and the unconventional nature of this endeavor, but it’s really not that difficult. While you may benefit from prior experience growing cannabis in soil, even a beginner can grow good hydroponic cannabis.
This important and large piece of equipment will take up much of your growing space. The function of the table and its tray is to contain and return excess water to the reservoir. The table will have a low point where water collects and travels back to the reservoir before circulating back to the plants again.
You will want at least one drip-line emitter per plant.
Technology: Hydroponics is a good method for the tech-savvy cultivator who understands that a power outage can spell disaster. Even if the system runs on a back-up generator, an extended outage could leave you watering your garden and administering plant food by hand.
If the pros of hydroponics outweigh the cons, you may be ready to try your hand at employing this growing medium in your home.
Year-round growing: Hydroponics systems can thrive in a variety of environments, but an indoor garden is especially desirable as you can grow your cannabis plants year round.
Hydroponic growing is a horticultural method for growing crops, including cannabis, without the use of soil. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Some benefits of hydroponic growing are easier nutrient delivery, faster growth rate, water conservation, space saving, and year-round growing. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Space saving: A hydroponics system is a major space saver that may require 20% less room than soil cultivation.
A dedicated space indoors is the best location to grow hydroponics at home. In addition to the hydroponics system, you can furnish your garden with supplemental grow lights to maximize the health and volume of the cannabis harvest.
What are the drawbacks of hydroponic systems?
For outdoor growing at home, a sunlit patio or deck make ideal locations. But if you live in a cold climate, it would be better to keep your hydroponic cannabis garden inside. Otherwise, the plants will be subjected to the elements and vital water could evaporate if you do not consistently monitor nutrient solution levels.
It can be time-consuming and expensive for those setting up hydroponic systems for the first time. There are two other main drawbacks to consider before trying this growing medium.