There are a lot of different ways to grow cannabis, and one of the most popular is indoor hydroponic growing. The basic idea of this grows method is that it uses water to circulate around the roots carrying the necessary nutrients. This, in turn, means that the roots have more room to breath, that the nutrients can be carefully monitored by the grower and that the overall result will be much more impressive than that of soil growing. However, there are also issues that come with hydro growing. It is a bit more fiddly and certainly less forgiving of mistakes. The set up can be quite expensive and a grower will need to have the right kind of space to set up in. Also if the power goes out on a hydro crop the plants will die pretty quickly. There are a few different types of hydroponic growing, so let’s go through the options available.
Ebb and Flow (Flood and Drain)
This is probably the most popular system and is found in home and commercial grow sites. This is the easier of the systems to set up and still gives amazing results. For this system, the plants will sit in their growing medium inside a bed. The system then floods the plant roots with a water-based nutrient solution. This solution will completely drown the roots for an amount of time which allows them to absorb the nutrients.
This system works well because it is easy to monitor and maintain, it doesn’t take up much space, it can be automated and it doesn’t require pumps.
However, growers need to clean it frequently keep the roots healthy and if the system fails the plants will likely die.
Deep Water Culture (DWC)
This is another relatively easy and very popular hydroponic grow method. This method requires a plastic basket sitting above a reservoir. There will be holes in the container to ensure the roots can get through to the reservoir below. Unlike the last system, the water will remain stationary in the reservoir but will have airstones which supply the roots with oxygen. This allows the roots to bathe in the nutrients without drowning. It also stops the roots from rotting or becoming diseased.
This method is easy to set up, it’s cheap, it’s easy to automate and the plants will grow quickly and healthily.
However, growers need to keep a close eye on the PH levels of the nutrient solution, and if the pumps fail the roots may suffocate and the plants will die.
Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)
NFT is quite similar to Ebb and Flow, except the roots are constantly submerged in water. Unlike DWC this water is always in motion, the roots are kept in running water that is filled with the necessary nutrients. By putting the tray at a slight angle we let gravity move the water from the top to the bottom in a constant stream with the aid of pumps. This allows the roots to simultaneously receive oxygen and nutrients making sure they don’t drown.
This one is easy to set up and doesn’t use a huge amount of water which is always nice.
However, as with most of these setups, if the system breaks down the plants will be in serious trouble.
This one is considered to be the most simple method of hydro growing. This one relies entirely on gravity to do the work, meaning growers don’t have to mess around with pumps etc. With this system, the plants sit above the nutrient solution in their little basket, but the roots are not submerged. Instead, we use a wick made out of a nylon rope or something similar. This runs between the plant and the solution allowing the plant access to the solution when it requires it.
This system is great for beginners due to the lack of complex set up. It is also much harder to make mistakes with and a power cut won’t kill the plants. It also still allows the roots to breathe while giving them as much nutrient solution as they like.
The only real issue with this system is the fact that the roots are more likely to develop mould. It is also not great for larger plants who may not be able to get all of the nutrient solution they need for healthy growth.
Aeroponics uses a misting technique rather than submerging the roots in the solution. Basically, the plant sits in its little basket above a planter. This planter is covered in tubes that spray the roots with a mist from an external tank of nutrient solution. Any solution that isn’t sipped up by the plants will drip back into the nutrient reserve.
This system is good for those who don’t want to waste water. It also lets the roots breath and ensures they get plenty of nutrients.
On the other hand, it is prone to mould and definitely shouldn’t be attempted by beginners. In order to run well, it will need to be automated, which can be expensive, and it needs to be watched closely to ensure it doesn’t malfunction.
This final set up is very green, appropriately, and doesn’t waste water. The plants sit in the selected medium suspended in a tray. Below them is a nutrient solution tank containing air stones to supply oxygen to the still water. A pump is used to push the solution through a drip system which gives a slow and steady supply of nutrient solution to the roots. Essentially the solution is pumped into the medium which then drips through onto the roots and down into an external water tank.
This is a beginner-friendly system that is eco friendly and easy to automate. It is also perfect for warmer and dryer climates as it keeps the roots constantly moisturised without causing mould.
Unfortunately, because it requires pumps and air stones it can be a bit loud. It is also easy for the system to clog so growers need to keep an eye out.
Remember: It is illegal to germinate cannabis seeds in many countries including the UK. It is our duty to inform you of this fact and to urge you to obey all of your local laws to the letter. The Vault only ever sells or sends out seeds for souvenir, collection or novelty purposes.
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