Farming and agriculture have come a long way since their inception by humans some 12,000 years ago. There are new techniques that seem surprising, unique, and modern but at the root of growing still things stay the same. Take the best hydroponic systems for medical marijuana as an example. It is hard to imagine that growing plants without automation on a massive scale for industrial greenhouses. At the same time, the cannabis crops need the same things they have always needed for thousands of years.
A hydroponic system for cannabis plants is a quick path to cash, as it will produce the fastest growth. In fact, the primary advantage of growing plants hydroponically or in water is that the growth rate is faster by up to 50%. That’s because plants can easily absorb the nutrient solution in the water without looking for it in the soil. This also gets rid of a lot of bugs and insects that can be attracted to soil or dirt.
Let’s take a deep dive into the best hydroponic systems for cannabis.
Hydroponic Systems for Marijuana
It’s easy to set up an indoor hydroponic system for hobbyists. But if your a commercial greenhouse complex, growing medial marijuana with a license, you’ll have to grow to a higher standard. Both hobbyist and expert grower alike would still the basics, LED grow lights, growing medium, growing trays, planting pots, irrigation system, ventilation fan, oscillating fan, nutrient rich feed solution, and ideally a pH meter, E.H. meter.
Hobbyist Grow Set Up:
These are the basics, but you can also create a high-tech setup that will require you to invest in the automation and control of all of the above items and more. You can completely automate most aspects of the growth cycle, by ensuring the marijuana plants have everything they need by not only controlling the internal environment, but feeding them with nutrient rich water on timers.
Commercial Greenhouse Grow Set Up with Automation Control:
Choosing the Right Growing Medium
Your hydroponic system for cannabis will need an inert growing medium that will help the plant get sufficient air while the plant roots will reach out for the nutrients in the water. Different media can be used, and each comes with its own benefits. Let’s take a look!
a) Clay Pellets
These are popular as a medium because of the aeration they provide to the roots. You can buy pre-altered ones or take the responsibility of altering their pH to optimize growth. Pebbles have to be placed in plastic baskets that will allow the growth of roots through dedicated spaces.
Rockwool medium is created with volcanic rocks that resemble wool in texture. Rockwool’s main advantage is its ability to hold water. As a result, you will not need to worry about the hydration of your Cannabis plant’s roots. It works well in hydroponic baskets as well as buckets and tanks without lids.
Perlite, a volcanic glass, can come in handy as a growing medium for your hydroponic system. This works when the temperature is high. It is great at providing aeration for the plant and is often mixed in garden soil. It is one of the best growth media for your hydroponic system for marijuana.
d) Coconut Fibers (coco coir)
One of the best choices for a growth medium in a hydroponic system is coco coir. It is sustainable as it is made from the fibers of coconut. The fibrous nature allows aeration of the roots, besides retaining sufficient amounts of moisture. The fibers also provide protection for the roots against infections.
Different Hydroponic Systems for Cannabis Plants
Different hydroponic systems have one thing in common. They are all set up to provide a nutrient-rich water solution to the plant. They differ in setups, depending on a number of factors. Is it easy to use? Is it effective? Can they be automated? How much intelligence is integrated into the control system?
a) Deep Water Culture System
If you are a beginner who has never built or used a hydroponic system before, the deep water culture is the best. It is cheaper than the other options and easy to set up. You have to fill a bucket with the nutrient solution in water and place the cannabis in it. An air pump will have to be used for oxygen supply.
b) Ebb and Flow System
The ebb and flow is also referred to as the flood and drain hydroponic system. It uses multiple buckets and a growing tray. The buckets remain suspended above the tray. The waterways absorb nutrients from an external tank, and air stone is used for aeration, while a pump helps with the movement of water.
c) Drip System
This system is a popular hydroponic system. You have to place the plant in the medium in the tray. The system contains drip pipes. The plants get a constant supply of top feed dripping on them with the help of pumps connected to water tanks, along with air stones. Their roots are exposed to air, too.
d) Nutrient Film Technique
For the nutrient film technique, you need to place the plants in an angled tube. The angle allows the water to come in from one side with the help of a pump and air stone and leave from the other end by the force of gravity. The roots are exposed to the water flow in the tube, and they continue to grow.
e) Wick System
Wick systems are considered a basic hydroponic system to use a growing tray filled with the medium. This tray is above a water tank, and the system is equipped with several wicks entering and exiting the medium to allow the movement of water. This hydroponic grow system does not demand a pump.
The aeroponic system is the most advanced hydroponic system. It spreads misted water in the air for increased aeration and hydration. You have to place it over a large water tank. The pump sends the water to the misters, which creates a fine mist. This mist in the air is soaked up by the roots of your plants constantly.
Automation for a Growing Advantage:
Cannabis has become an essential component of the medicine world. From CBD oil to hemp powders, it is quite popular now. The demand for the plant has increased, and farmers are taking to different grow systems for growing cannabis. Hydroponic growing systems are highly effective for cannabis plants to grow in a healthy way.
Selecting the best hydroponic system for you will depend on how much effort and money you are willing to invest. You can choose a basic watering system that is easy to setup or can go for something with more advanced controls. Contact Climate Control Systems today for the custom greenhouse automation solutions.