guide to growing weed hydroponically

Guide to growing weed hydroponically

Growing in coco coir can be considered a type of hydroponics since it naturally contains no nutrients and you must provide all the nutrients in the water. However, when you say “hydroponics” most people think of this:

Is Hydroponics Good for Growing Cannabis?

So there are five major parts to getting set up. You need….

Guide to growing weed hydroponically

Clean and green: There’s no need for pesticides in the sterile environment of a hydroponic garden, so you can go green and organic when raising cannabis plants.

Hydroponic growing is a horticultural method for growing crops, including cannabis, without the use of soil. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Do hydroponic plants grow faster than soil-based plants?

A good water-based nutrient solution forms the basis of all hydroponic systems. Like other growing mediums, hydroponics requires the other building blocks of ample light, air, and space.

As many benefits as hydroponic systems offer, the growing medium also comes with some potential disadvantages.

What is hydroponic growing?

While a soil-based garden may be easier to start, hydroponics facilitate easier nourishing of cannabis plants over time. Nutrient solutions allow for more precise dosing and direct feeding of the plants in a hydroponic grow system. The roots of the plant directly absorb the administered nutrients, often making growth an easier and more efficient process. Plus, once you’ve set up the hydro system reservoir, there’s not much maintenance to worry about.

Guide to growing weed hydroponically

As seedlings or clones are first put into a system, the EC levels should be less than 1.3 and can be as low as .5 for clones. When they start to grow however, expect to maintain an EC level that continually climbs toward 2.0. When your plants finally reach the flowering phase, they may need an EC up to almost 2.5 depending on the strain grown. Check your EC levels often. The closer you can maintain proper EC, the more productive your cannabis plants will be.

Fortunately this is not difficult and there are meters that can take pH readings. This is important because if the pH of your water is not in the proper range, your plants will not grow well or may even die. For hydroponic cannabis, aim for a pH of about 6.0, but allow for a range between high 5s and low 6s.

If you can afford to buy all new equipment to start your growing operations, this step may not be necessary at first, but eventually all tanks, reservoirs, pipes, filters and any other physical part of your hydro system will need to be sanitized to prevent the development and spread of pathogens, especially root rots. Plan on having several bottles of isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide on hand to disinfect your equipment on a regular basis.

All of the planning, preparation and procuring of necessary products can’t make cannabis of poor genetics into a robust strain. A cannabis plant can only produce what it is genetically predisposed to produce. Improving its growing environment and attending to its needs ensures that it will come as close to this potential as possible.

8. Understand EC Readings

Ideally the water circulating through your hydroponic system is at a pH of 7. If not, a reverse osmosis (RO) system will create and provide neutral water. Distilled water can be used as well until an RO system can be obtained.

The cliché “an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure” may well be overused, but it is still a good measure to use when growing cannabis. If enough attention to detail is taken during the setup phase of a hydroponic grow operation, then the chances for a successful crop are greatly increased.

Getting started using hydroponics to grow cannabis can be tricky. Here are ten tips to make it a little bit easier.

7. Understand pH

Keeping the air moving around is critical for plant health and aids in even temperature distribution. Fans should be mounted or placed so that they can cover the most area unobstructed. Proper ventilation will help to maintain appropriate air temperatures if it gets too hot, but will also help with air exchange.

Cannabis plants do best in varying levels of humidity based on their stage of development. When your “girls” are young, they need to have humidity levels in the 60-70 percent range. As they develop and move into the blooming phase, they only need about 40 percent humidity. This can be best achieved with a humidifier and dehumidifier used accordingly.