Are you interested in taking homegrown cannabis to the next level? Welcome to the wonderful world of hydroponics. If you have ever bitten into hydroponic marijuana, you can’t help but be curious as to how it’s done. This is a quick guide to getting you started in growing cannabis hydroponically.
There are four popular hydroponic systems:
- Water Culture Hydroponics.
This system consists of reservoirs that hold the cultivators’ desired water plant solution. In the tank, there are floating plants in planters, which the roots are always submerged.
- Drip and Ebb Flow system.
The ebb flow system is like the water culture, but instead of the roots being submerged, they are dropped on by a steady drip through a hose.
Aeroponics is a system that, instead of using predominantly water, uses a system that mist water into an airtight enclosure. The roots are suspended in the air, so the roots get high levels of oxygen.
Focus on Drip System
The drip system is easy to maintain. You will need a decent size tote that is plastic. Pick one that is black if possible because we don’t want to let any light get into the bin, which could cause root rot. Make sure also that the container has a lid that can stay on tight. Next, you will need to go to a hydro store and purchase unique net pots that have a mesh-like bottom and sides. Also, we will need a fish pump an air stone/pump and some tubing that fits the desired pump.
First, we will cut holes in the top of the bin so that the net pots fit snug but no fall-through. After that, we will want to cut a hole in the side of the net pots so that the tubing fits through to get to the roots. Hook up and connect with connecters the tubes to the one pump. Hosing and conductors can be purchased at your local hardware store. After that, throw in the air stone in the bottom with the pump being outside of the bin. Fill the container with 4-8 gallons of water depending on the size of your bin. Should be about 6 inches deep of water.
There are many different types of medians to fill the net pots with. Most are pretty much all the same, but we are going to use hydroton as it seems to disperse the water to the roots evenly and is cheap.
There are two ways of creating a pleasant atmosphere. One you can buy plastic and create a room or two you can purchase online grow tents. These tents are perfect as they consist of poles to hang lights and holes for installing ventilation.
Generally speaking, you are going to want to keep the room at a consistent 65 to 75 degrees. This varies from strain to strain. You need fresh air to blow in and fresh air to blow out. A fan is also required to push the air around inside the grow tent. Humidity can also be an issue depending on where you live in the world. A dehumidifier may be needed to be purchased depending on how your type of cannabis responds to humidity.
To make cannabis grow, you will need to pick up an HID light. These can range from 80 to 1200 watts. The more watts, the bigger and better the plant will grow. Keep in mind that the higher the wattage means more heat. If you have the money for a 1000-watt light and need to maintain 75 degrees, you will want to hook up a fan to the light, as it got the growing environment super hot.
You are going to want to keep the light on for 18 hours and six off. This will save on power and still maintain enough light to keep the cannabis grow at an optimal level. If your cannabis is starting to produce small buds, you will need to trigger the flowering stage by setting a timer to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. In 3-7 days, you will start seeing the flowers begin to develop. Be careful not to interrupt the plants with light when the light cycle is supposed to be dark as this will cause the plant to do bad things, including reducing how big the flower is.
Once you have your room all set up, you are going to feed your cannabis a specific formula of nutrients which suit your plants’ particular needs. Pick a line of nutrients that are ideal for your type strain of cannabis. Make sure to test your water for its PPM (parts per million) and PH. An Ideal PPM is anywhere from 1000 to 2000PPM and a PH of 6.5. A PPM meter and PH meter can be purchased at a hydroponic store or online. It is essential to keep an eye out for PPM and PH levels, as this is crucial in the deployment of your precious cannabis.