Hydroponics for Beginners Complete Guide: Everything You Need To Know
If you are thinking of growing cannabis with hydroponics is a delicate process that requires special knowledge to grow cannabis properly. First, you should know the basics of this technique.
Growing cannabis with hydroponics is all about growing your plants faster and healthier and requires almost no work. This article will come in handy if you want to learn how to do it right! Let us start with the first thing!
- What is hydroponics and how does it work?
- Different factors that affect plant growth?
- What are the best Hydroponics systems?
- What is the best growing medium to use?
- Selecting the right hydroponic nutrients
- Choosing the right lighting
- The importance of environmental control systems
- What are the benefits of growing cannabis hydroponically?
- How to build your cheap hydroponic system with less than $100
- 9 Tips for Grow Cannabis Hydroponically
- Best Cannabis Seeds for Hydroponics. Genetics makes the difference!
- To wrap things up
What is hydroponics And How It Works?
The first step to starting your hydroponic garden is to understand what makes it different from other forms of growing. Hydroponics is simply the practice to grow food or plants in water with added nutrients, without the use of soil.
This method is less complicated than traditional gardening and allows you to grow more produce per square foot than with soil-based techniques. Growing hydroponics has several advantages over traditional gardening, which will be in discussion in the latter part of this article.
Different Factors That Affect Plant Growth?
There are three of them: temperature, light, and water. Hydroponics uses water instead of soil to support the roots of growing plants. This method gives you more control over the nutrient levels in the water, which is necessary because too many nutrients can kill your cannabis plants. You can use hydroponics to get your cannabis ready for harvest anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks after planting, depending on how much light you are giving them.
Grow experts believe that growing hydroponically (without soil) is the best way to cultivate cannabis. However, it may seem like a daunting task for those who are new to growing weed. This guide will cover everything you need to know about growing your cannabis plants on a hydroponic system, from start to finish.
What Are The Best Hydroponics Growing Systems?
A dripper system is a method of irrigation that uses small, low-volume emitters spacing between at regular intervals along a drip line. These emitters deliver water to the soil near plant root zones. It helps reduce waste by applying just enough water for plant uptake and reduces runoff, soil erosion, and nutrient loss.
The Deep Water Culture (DWC) system is an efficient, very easy-to-use way of growing cannabis. It’s also a lot less intimidating than other systems because there are no bulbs or electricity required. A DWC grow uses about one-tenth the amount of water as the popular NFT method and creates bigger yields with smaller plants. Not only that but it can be done inside even if you live in a cold climate. I’ll explain exactly how to set up your DWC system so you can get started growing right away!
Aeroponics is a type of hydroponics where plants grow in an air or mist environment. In aeroponics systems, I sprayed the roots of plants with a nutrient solution. The major difference between hydro and aeroponics is that hydro requires a growing medium, while the aeroponics system does not.
Aquaponics is a method that combines hydroponics, or growing plants in water, with aquaculture, raising aquatic animals like fish and crustaceans in tanks. It is often used to raise edible fish and crayfish for consumption by humans.
The ebb and flow system is a type of hydroponics that relies on a water pump to constantly cycle water from a reservoir to a plant bed, and back again. The process allows the grower to increase its growing capacity while using less water. This method is especially useful in an aquaponics system as it provides the fish with nutrient-rich water as well as allows for year-round production.
A growing number of hydroponic farmers are turning to alternative forms of nutrient film technique (NFT)and its variations, such as the Deep Flow Technique (DFT). These alternative hydroponic techniques use water and air to provide nutrients directly to plant roots. The system works by flooding a growing medium with a fine stream of water. They pumped air into the water; this creates small bubbles that rise through the solution. The bubbles bring oxygen to the roots, which they depend on for survival in low-oxygen environments like the root zone.
How To Choose The Best Growing Medium To Use With A Cannabis Hydroponics System?
So you’re thinking about getting into this growing system, but you aren’t sure what growing medium is best for your situation? Well, that depends on multiple factors. What are the conditions of your space? Are there any particular restrictions or limits that may apply to your growing environment? Are you using a certain type of plant with specific needs? Is it indoors or outdoors?
These are all questions you should ask yourself before deciding on a growing medium. Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start looking at different growing media. There are six main types of growing mediums: rockwool, perlite, vermiculite, volcanic rock, Clay Pebbles, and peat moss.
- Rockwool cubes are made of basalt fiber, which is a natural resource mined right out of the earth. It’s completely safe for plants and provides excellent drainage because of its air holes and permeable nature. The cubes keep moisture well and have the perfect amount of air spaces for growth without letting excess water get into the root.
- Perlite is a type of volcanic rock that contains a lot of air pockets. When you apply perlite to your growing medium, it absorbs water and expands up to 10 times its original size. It also creates an environment that keeps moisture and nutrients for longer periods of time. All you have to do is add a little more water to maintain the right level of humidity and nutrient uptake in your plants. As you can see, there are many advantages to it, but it doesn’t hold much plant food.
- Vermiculite is a mineral that is used in the manufacturing of many handy materials. It is also used as a growing medium for plants. There are many advantages to using vermiculite for growing cannabis. The most important advantage is that it helps the plant keep moisture, and this results in higher yields. Vermiculite also keeps the plant warm, which increases the photosynthesis process, and this leads to faster growth than with other growing mediums. Vermiculite can be used on its own or mixed with other products.
- Hydroponic peat moss is a recent development in this field and has been successful in the cultivation of indoor plants using hydroponics. They manufacture it from 100% natural materials and comprise long fibers, derived from sphagnum peat moss, which are bound with an adhesive polymer.
- Clay Pebbles is a highly porous and absorbent soil media, which enhances the root zone’s ability to hold water. It provides excellent drainage and aeration for roots, increasing the speed at which cannabis plants become established. This combination of attributes allows clay pebbles to support rapid growth and produce high yields. Clay pebbles can be used in hydroponic systems, as well as in growing mediums for soil-based grows.
- Volcanic rock is a great product for indoor gardening. It’s easy to use, highly porous volcanic rock that helps increase your yield by providing your plants with water and nutrients. The unique texture of Volcanic Rock allows plants to grow faster and healthier than plants grown in traditional mediums.
- The plant roots are free to grow into the porous structure of the rock, giving them more access to nutrients and water.
- The surface area of each piece of Volcanic Rock can be as much as 30 times greater than other substrates used for hydroponics. This means your plants can absorb more oxygen, resulting in stronger volume.
Selecting The Right Hydroponic Nutrients
Hydroponic nutrients are the most important part of a hydroponic system. They are used to feeding the plants and helping them grow.
There are many types of hydroponic nutrients that can be used in a hydroponic system, but not all of them are right for cannabis plants. Marijuana is a very sensitive plant and needs specific conditions in order to thrive.
To find the best hydroponic nutrients for growing cannabis, you need to know what your goal is. Are you looking to grow cannabis for personal use? Or do you want to produce it commercially? The answer will determine which type of nutrient you should use.
Understanding your plants’ nutrient needs is crucial because if they don’t get enough, they will not grow properly and might die off completely. If you give them too much, they may not absorb all of them or may even get sick from toxic build-ups.
A nutrient solution will have an N-P-K ratio, which represents the percentage of nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium in the formula. If a label reads 8-4-4, this means that there is 8% nitrogen, 4% phosphorus, and 4% potassium in the solution. Nitrogen encourages plant growth. Phosphorus encourages root growth and flower growth. Potassium encourages root growth and photosynthesis.
When your plant is in the vegetative stage of growth, use a “grow” hydroponic fertilizer. When flowering starts, switch to a “bloom” mix that has low nitrogen. Start using it when buds form. Excessive nitrogen will decrease bud development as well as add an unpleasant taste.
Be sure to add a secondary nutrient, such as calcium, sulfur, magnesium, or any trace minerals. These nutrients would normally be provided by the soil.
Choosing The Right Lighting For Your Hydroponics System
Many cannabis growers find it difficult to choose the right lighting for their hydroponics growth. With so many options available in the market, it is hard to determine which one will fit your specific needs and budget.
A majority of cannabis growers go for LEDs as we know them for their efficiency and low energy consumption. With their high efficiency and low temperature, they have become a favorite among cannabis cultivators. However, there are a lot of other things that you must consider when choosing the right lighting for your plants.
We once thought LEDs to be inefficient, but now we know that’s not true. Even those who don’t accept the use of LEDs as an alternative will admit it offers some advantages over HID lamps. The problem is that growing with LEDs is still more expensive than growing with HID lamps. LEDs cost 2-3x more.
LED grow lights are ideal for growing cannabis indoors. The pros of using LED lights over the older style, high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs are that they run cooler and create much less heat. This is a tremendous benefit because you don’t need a built-in cooling system to keep your plants from getting burned by an HID bulb.
Led lights also have a much longer lifespan than HIDs, which means saving money on replacements and repairs. You can also expect up to 50% energy savings as compared to other lighting options such as fluorescent or HID.
The Importance Of Environmental Control Systems
Cannabis is a very adaptable plant, but it still needs environmental control systems to thrive. A well-managed greenhouse environment can produce outstanding yields of cannabis that are high in quality, potency, and consistency.
However, if you are managing the growing area poorly, you could have problems with pests, product damage due to mold or mildew growth, and yields that are inconsistent. Cannabis plants prefer temperatures between 21 and 26 degrees Celsius.
That is just right in the middle of the typical temperature range for a standard house. Simply means that hydroponics at home is possible, but you will need to regulate your temperature and humidity levels to ensure that your plants grow properly.
During summer, when temperatures are high, it is crucial to have proper ventilation and good air circulation in your indoor grow room. Under these optimal growing conditions, the plants will produce more flowers and buds with higher THC content than before. Combine this with plenty of fresh CO2-enriched air, and you will be well on your way to harvesting bigger yields than ever before!
What Are The Benefits Of Growing Cannabis Hydroponically?
Cannabis hydroponics has seen a boom in use over the past few years. We can use it both indoors and outdoors, and it offers many benefits that you won’t find with other growing methods.
- The first benefit is that cannabis grows faster than it would without hydroponics. They keep the roots healthy and alive, so they grow much faster than they would if left to their own devices.
- Cannabis is grown using hydroponics and also has bigger yields than cannabis is grown using other methods.
- With hydroponics, you can achieve much higher levels of THC content, as well as better taste and odor.
So If you want to grow high-quality cannabis, pay attention to such details as temperature, humidity, light, ph, and water right from the very beginning of your adventure with this technology.
Cannabis hydroponics is an amazing way to grow weed, but it isn’t easy. Before you jump headlong into the world of cannabis hydroponics, make sure you know what you are doing.
DIY Hydroponics: How to build your cheap Hydroponic System with less than $100
After you understand how hydroponics works you can, you can start thinking of building your own hydroponic system. The following list can be sourced from a hydroponics supplies store. Growing Cannabis using a home hydroponic system does not have to be expensive: you can buy everything you need for less than $100.
- A good air pump that can provide plenty of dissolved oxygen is crucial for any successful hydroponics system. Typically, the pump and air stones will cost around $20-50 online or at your local grow shop.
- Water Pumps are a crucial component of your hydroponic setup. They keep the flow of water moving, which is essential to the health of your plants. These pumps are like those used in aquariums and can pump up to 800 liters per hour. A good pump online costs about $15, but it’s always worth getting two pumps (in case one break).
- Once you’ve decided on the type of hydroponic system you’d like to build, finding a tub that will serve as the reservoir for your nutrients is next. This may be a black plastic tub (a 20-liter one is best) that you’ll convert into a DWC system, or it may be a black plastic 50-liter tub.
- Air stones are small, air-filled chambers. They add oxygen and bubbles to the water, helping your plants’ roots to breathe and grow healthily. These products can cost less than $10. Extra stones are always useful to have around as a backup.
- If you want to build an NFT hydroponic system that looks like white plastic drainpipes, then it is easy to buy those parts at your local hardware store. As long as you clean the pipes between harvests with 10% strength hydrogen peroxide and rinse them thoroughly, they should last a lifetime.
- 15-Minute Timer: These timers are popular with our customers because they can feed their plants at the same 15-minute intervals throughout the day. Different growing methods have different feeding intervals based on the time of day.
- For Cannabis plants grown in a hydroponic environment, drip lines or drip rings can distribute nutrients. Drip lines and rings allow for easy maintenance and are affordable.
9 Tips for Grow Cannabis With A Hydroponics Setup
After mastering the fundamentals of hydroponic gardening, you can optimize each stage of your growing project to create the perfect cannabis plant. Here are our 9 best tips to help you along the way.
1. The perfect vegetative time in hydroponics
Optimal growth rates in hydroponics are achieved when a cannabis plant is kept in a vegetative stage for as little time as possible. It’s best to keep your plants in the vegetative stage for 7-10 days, especially when using DWC or Aeroponics.
2. When to feed cannabis plants with hydroponics?
What works for organically fed houseplants may not be best for indoor cannabis plants grown using hydroponic systems. In fact, it is better to feed 2-3 times each day during 18/6 (hour cycle) and 3-5 times during 12/12. Our tip is to use smaller amounts of fertilizer more often and monitor your plants to avoid overfeeding.
3. What is the correct water temperature for a hydroponic system?
To prevent a cloudy solution in the water and nutrient lockout, it is important to manage the temperature of your nutrient solution. It is advised to keep your water temperature between 18-21 Celsius (65-70 Fahrenheit). To do this, you need to use an aquarium heater and set it to turn on or off depending on the temperature you prefer.
4. How do you control pH water in a cannabis hydroponics system?
To get the most out of your cannabis plants, it is vital that you keep your reservoir water at the correct pH level. If it is too high, your nutrient solution can become too alkaline and prevent nutrients from being absorbed. If it is too low, the plant roots may become too acidic, which can affect the uptake of nutrients or even kill a cannabis plant. Our top advice is to use a digital pH tester, which will allow you to monitor the pH of your solution and keep it around 5.5-6.
5. What are the best growing mediums used with cannabis hydroponics systems?
When you’re just starting out with hydroponics and growing weed, there are many growing mediums you can use. Some of the best are perlite, rockwool, coco fiber, and clay pellets. Try using different mediums until you find the one that works best for you and your cannabis plants.
6. What are the best irrigation systems to feed hydroponic cannabis plants?
Dripper systems make it easy to give your plants a steady diet of nutrients. Our tip: Use a dripper ring instead of the basic stake. It gives nice coverage, and it keeps the growing medium fully saturated.
7. Boost hydroponic cannabis yields with extra oxygen!
When a cannabis plant’s roots encounter high levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, its productivity soars. One way to set your hydroponic garden up for success is by using an air pump to add bubbling oxygen to the reservoir of your passive system.
8. Dry-back period. What is?
There are two key things to focus on if you want to achieve large yields with hydroponic growing. First, your medium must stay saturated with water at all times, but not too wet. Second, you must be vigilant and check how dry your medium has become before feeding it again. Our top tip here is to be vigilant and to check how dry your growing medium has become before feeding it again; you should try to feed your plant just before it is about to get thirsty.
9. Hydroponics tips–always have a backup pump!
When your pump breaks, you can quickly be in trouble if you don’t have a backup pump as part of your gardening arsenal.
Best Cannabis Seeds for Hydroponics! Genetics makes The Difference!
Are you looking for the best cannabis genetics for your hydroponic garden? The first thing you should know is that you must buy from a reputable breeder if you want the best cannabis genetics for growing in hydroponics. This is because not all cannabis growers provide quality products and services to their customers. There are also some companies that will try to sell you bad or fake seeds so they can get your money.
Next, we have a list of the top 12 most popular strains to grow in hydroponics choose from the best cannabis seeds company on the market:
To wrap things up
For those considering hydroponic cannabis growing, the benefits of these systems are many. Larger plants, greater yields, and a faster harvest cycle are just a few of these. If you already know how to cultivate cannabis, then it is time to think about growing hydroponically! Our advice: assess a few different systems and find out which one works best for you. When moving your plants to a hydroponic system, remember to stay on top of your pH and EC levels. It’s important to calibrate your meters often, so they’re always working properly. You should also have a backup pH and EC meter, just in case the other ones break.
This guide was written and compiled with the goal of providing the most comprehensive set of resources available to aspiring growers. With it, we hope that you now have everything you need to grow like a professional! If you enjoyed this article, please follow us, subscribe to our email, and join us on our social media!