With advancements in indoor gardening techniques, one factor that keeps growers puzzled is whether to use soil or not. Although soil is a natural and proven medium, most growers and indoor cannabis aficionados vow that marijuana grown hydroponically has a fresher taste than soil grown ones. There is a constant debate over this topic as others argue that organic based, soil grown cannabis produce better and tastier buds.
While most growers believe that hydroponics is a method that helps to fix bad genetics and poor growing habitats, the President of the Hydroponics Society of America, Dan Lubkeman thinks the opposite. Hydroponics does not work like magic to fix a poor growing plant, but when done in the right way, it can work wonders to produce stronger, bigger, and larger yields. It allows growers to have more control over the temperature, pH levels, and nutrients as compared to other growing mediums.
If you are considering an indoor cannabis venture, here are some Dorm Grow tips/factors you need to consider as you set up your hydroponic growing system.
1. Select a Suitable System
While many growers think that hydroponic cultivation means to have a medium that is just water based, this is not the case. Growing plants hydroponically means growing them without soil. Today, there are ample styles of hydroponic growing, including the drip method that allows growers to drizzle nutrients via the medium and the “drain and flood” method that requires periodic flooding of the medium to keep the roots of plants submerged. Another method is the “aeroponic” one, which uses mini-sprinklers and sprays to keep the roots moist. Growers can also rely on the NFT (Nutrient Film Technique), which sets the roots in a thin nutrient solution film to expose them to more oxygen.
Although the NFT method is a preferred one among growers who take up small crop growing projects like lettuce, it is not the suitable choice for cannabis in commercial quantities. For Cannabis, it is best that you use a deep-water culture to keep the roots submerged completely in the nutrient water.
2. Keep an Eye on Water Levels
Once you have your medium in place, the next important factor to consider is the level of water. It is necessary to keep the water levels high to ensure that the plants stay hydrated. Just keep a check on the levels to prevent it from going too high or else the plants could face water logging. Water plants right at their tips and keeps the hydroponic grow room clean. Once the plants develop to their blooming stage, keep the water levels lower to expose more roots. This ensures top quality yield and aids in bud formation, and leads fresher cannabis. To maintain the water levels, it is advisable to top off the reservoir with a float valve connection to help maintain consistent water levels.
3. Control the Temperature
Temperature control is also a vital factor to consider. Ideal temperatures for cannabis are 65-960 Fahrenheit. You can install LED grow lights, which give off the right wavelengths that plants absorb, thus eliminating the chances of heat buildup in the grow space. They also help to maintain a stable temperature to keep away pathogens and pests but help to maintain the levels of dissolved oxygen in the nutrient solution.
4. Maintain the pH Levels
For healthy cannabis, a pH between 5.5 and 6.5 in a deep water system allows more chances of growth in all directions as compared to the soil system. However, it is advisable to adjust the pH level in the water solutions and keep them diluted to prevent concentrated levels. If the solution has a high pH, the result could lead to root shock and prevent the growth of cannabis.
5. Check the Nutrients
Cannabis requires similar nutrients as any other plant. It is advisable to keep the formula simple and clean. Use a genuine company based dissolved solution with mineral salts in water. These contain no organics and no bacteria. They promote efficiency for plant growth and keep the nutrient solution to last for a longer time. To ensure the optimum yield of indoor cannabis, change the water culture system every 14 to 21 days.
Using hydroponics to grow cannabis indoors is not a difficult task. You just have to make sure that you keep the grow space clean and provide the right factors for your plants. Install LED grow lights, regulate the water levels, adjust the pH and keep the nutrients in balance. Try these tips and you will see better yields indoors!