Cannabis Hydroponics

Cannabis hydroponics is a method of growing pot indoors using a soilless plant growing medium. The advantage of growing hydroponic weed is it grows faster than traditional methods. Because there is no soil, nutrient uptake and oxygen content can be controlled with precision. Hydroponic marijuana growing takes dedication, often requires more attention than soil growing and can be less forgiving.

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Because the growing medium for hydroponic weed is inert, it contains no nutrients. Therefore all the nutrients are supplied by the fertilizer solution diluted in water. The roots of the cannabis plant are flooded and drained at regular intervals. Hydroponic weed grows quickly because it is able to take in nutrients as fast as it can be used (like an intravenous) and the higher levels of oxygen in the soilless medium increase the roots' nutrient uptake.

Passive vs. Active

The two basic categories of cannabis hydroponics, passive and active, refer to the method in which the nutrient solution is administered.

Passive Hydroponics: use a wicking system to draw nutrients from the solution reservoir to the growing medium to be absorbed by the roots.

Absorbent growing mediums such as vermiculite or peat moss can be ideal for passive cannabis hydroponics because they can retain much of the nutrient-rich solution. However, if you have too soggy of a growing medium, the oxygen content is decreased and inhibits quick nutrient uptake. Sawdust is too acidic to be a good plant growing medium.

Passive cannabis hydroponics

Perlite was originally used as an additive soil to improve aeration and soil drainage. But it has since become a very popular hydroponic growing mediums in on its own. Its commonly mixed 50/50 with vermiculite. Perlite is generally inexpensive and because of its aerate nature makes it ideal for passive cannabis hydroponics.

The appeal of a passive hydroponic growing systems is its simplicity. No electric pumps are needed to deliver the nutrient system to the plant roots. The wick can be any absorbent material like cotton.

Active Hydroponics: refers to "actively" moving the nutrients to the roots. Cannabis growers who, recover, recycle and reuse nutrient solution is using a recovery method of active hydroponics. This is the preferred method as it doesn't require cannabis growers to dispose nutrients into the sewer system.

Three popular methods of active cannabis hydroponics include ebb and flow, top feed, and nutrient film technique (NFT).

Know Hydro Like A Pro

Growing Elite Marijuana

Hydroponics can produce clean, potent crops. Pests and disease are easily removed, and crop growth is fast. But it's a lot more expensive than soil growing. If you aren't careful, your money could literally get flushed down the drain.

If you plan to grow hydro or just want to learn more to decide if its right for you, do yourself a huge favor and check out Growing Elite Marijuana.

Chapter 7 of this 736-page e-book provides excellent detail about cannabis hydroponics systems and everything else you need to know about growing.

If you fail to plan, then plan to fail. Its really that simple. This e-book can be your hydroponics Sensei. Know what your nutrient mix should be? See pg. 295. Want a recipe for a flowering solution? See pg. 313. Want to know how to prevent green algae funk in your tank? See pg. 317.

Ebb And Flow

The ebb and flow method of cannabis hydroponics is very popular for its lower maintenance, versatility, efficiency and simple design.

Individual plants started in pots or Rockwool cubes are placed on a growing bed that can hold one to four inches of nutrient solution. This could be as elaborate as a growing table or as simple as a rectangular Rubbermaid (or similar) plastic storage container. If you don't want to make your own ebb and flow system, you can purchase an all-in-one growing kits from most fine garden centers or online.

passive hydroponics

Cannabis nutrient solution is pumped into the growing bed and floods the plants' roots from the bottom, up. In addition to getting the solution to the roots, this also pushes oxygen-poor air out of the growing medium. As the nutrient level rises, it reaches a set level and drains into an overflow pipe. When the pump stops the growing medium is drained back to the catchment or reservoir. This brings oxygen-rich air in contact with the roots. This cycle is repeated several times per day and can be easily managed by setting a light timer to run the pump.

Growing Marijuana Tip: Make sure your reservoir is large enough to maintain the necessary one to four inches of nutrient solution plus at least an additional 25% of solution to allow for daily evaporation. More if you live in a dry climate.

Top Feed

Another popular method of cannabis hydroponics is the top feed system. Top feed hydroponics deliver aerated nutrient solution in precise, metered doses via tubing above the grow medium but near the base of the plant. Nutrients flow through the growing medium and to the plants' roots. The runoff solution is directed back to the reservoir as it drains from the growing medium.

Top feed system

The grow medium can be placed directly into the tray. However, using individual pots filled with the grow medium and placed in the tray uses less medium. Individual pots also allow for individual attention to each plant.

Nutrient Film Technique

The nutrient film technique (NFT) is extremely efficient when fine tuned. NFT provides a continuous flow of the nutrient solution. Seedlings or cuttings are placed on absorbent growing mats placed in a covered growing channel.

Nutrient film technique

The roots of the plants are partially suspended airborne in the channel and partially submerged in a thin "film" of mobile nutrient which allows constantly aerated nutrient solution to flow over and around the roots. The nutrient solution is maintained by a pump that circulates the water up to the plant at a slow speed to avoid damaging the young roots and then back down to the reservoir.

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