How to Grow Hydroponic Marijuana
A hydroponic setup has many advantages over the traditional soil medium when it comes to cultivating cannabis plants. A soilless medium allows for accurate control of your plant’s nutrition, which translates to better yields. It also gives you a clean surrounding for the plants, which means fewer chances of pests or plant diseases from occurring.
If this is your first time hearing about a soilless medium, you might be asking what it takes to have this setup in your home. Let us show you with our guide on how to grow hydroponic marijuana.
Initial Equipment for Hydroponic Setup
To create your hydroponic setup within your indoor home, you will need three basic equipment. The first is the medium holder where your plants will take roots in. Because we are taking away soil from the equation, your medium will be an inert one. These mediums include gravel or sand.
Another equipment is the reservoir tank or container. This is where the plants will get their water and nutrients throughout their growth cycle. You will also need a pump that will deliver the nutrient-rich water to the feeding tray below the plants. This equipment will also drain the tray and bring back the water to the reservoir. Some breeders install a timer on their hydroponic pump to feed the plants on a specific time of day.
You will need to be suspended the holder in the air with steel wires or a plastic holder. Below the plants are the feeding tray where the water from your reservoir flows in to feed them. This setup exposes the roots to open air and allows them easy access to a food source. The overall effect allows the plants to use less energy in searching for food, water, and air. Most of the freed-up energy will go towards the production of their buds.
Video By: GrowAce
Video Source: Youtube.com
Lighting Fixtures for Hydroponic Gardens
When you have the essential equipment ready, the next ones to plan on are the lighting fixtures for your grow room. Lighting is an important key to getting the most yields out of your plants. On the other hand, this is one of the flexible choices to make with many different fixtures available in the market.
This is a good choice for beginners or if you have a tight budget for your grow room. Fluorescent emits a light with a sufficient spectrum range that is healthy for cannabis plants with a 6500k bulb. In addition, these fixtures use less energy than other grow lights. This equipment also does not require a cooling system because fluorescent bulbs do not produce as much heat as other fixtures.
On the other hand, fluorescent bulbs do not have a long lifespan and require regular replacement if they are emitting less light than normal. Another problem is the lack of light penetration from the fixture. Tall plants may not get enough lighting from a fluorescent bulb as the top part of the plant is covering the bottom half. Fortunately, this shortcoming is fixable with the use of reflectors.
High-intensity discharge (HID) lights are the closest you can get from having natural light in your grow room. The fixture emits a much wide spectrum range than fluorescent. Your plants can make full use of the lights throughout their vegetative stage in terms of growth development and bud production.
The main problem of HID lights is the intense heat they produce. You will need a system to cool the lamps while they are in operation. This translates to more energy usage and higher costs on the initial setup. In addition, plants need plenty of space away from the HID bulbs. The heat can damage the plants that are close to the bulbs.
Light Emitting Diode bulbs are the top range fixtures that most hydroponic users love because of its efficiency. LED lamps to emit less heat and use less energy than HID fixtures. This translates to low monthly costs when raising your cannabis plants. LED bulbs also have a long lifespan than fluorescent bulbs, which means less expenditure for regularly replacing them. The lighting fixture also allows you to save money and time buying a cooling system for the light.
The only issue with LED lights is the initial cost. These lamps are more expensive than HID or fluorescent fixtures. LED grow lights may not be suitable for casual growers or anyone with a tight budget. However, they are ideal for serious breeders looking to get the most out of their hydroponic setup.
Nutrient for Hydroponic Feeding
Without any soil, your cannabis plants depend on you to provide them with the necessary nutrients for a healthy growth development. Fortunately, you can find many plant formulas that are suitable for a hydroponic setup. The one you want should have nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, zinc, and other necessary nutrients in one bottle.
You can further boost the development of your plants with some additives. Silica additives can bolster the strength of your plant’s structure. Another is a special enzyme material that turns any old plant matters within the roots into sugar. This allows for healthier roots and more nutrients for your cannabis plants.
Humidity Controller for Growing Environment
Cannabis plants require various humidity percentage during specific phases. They require high humidity during the seedling stage but need much less moisture in the air during the flowering period.
To make sure your grow room has the right humidity for your plants, you will need a humidifier and dehumidifier for the room. It helps to have a hygrometer to get an accurate measurement of the room’s moisture content.
Another way to control the humidity of your hydroponic garden is to provide a good ventilation system. This can be as simple as the use of oscillating fans or installing an air extractor system to your garden.
Going through our guide on how to grow hydroponic marijuana will help you set up an effective indoor garden that will lead to large yields of quality buds.