A Step By Step Guide To Grow Weed Hydroponically
Most of the people aim at building the weed garden indoors but hydroponically. However, if you’re a beginner, you may have a tough time dealing with it. Although growing hydroponically for beginners can be satisfying, it can be tough at the same time too.
If you are growing cannabis plants on your own, you will not need to worry about the quantity and quality. This is because you get to choose the weed strains. Although, there are several methods through which you may want to grow the weed indoors as well as outdoors. Nonetheless, all these methods of hydroponics growing have their advantages as well as disadvantages.
What is hydroponics growing?
The beginners usually have a problem understanding how to grow weed hydroponically step by step. The hydroponic system of growing weed refers to cultivating and harvesting it in a water-based and nutrient-rich solution. In this case, soil isn’t used.
The roots of the weed plant are kept intact using different inert mediums such as perlite, clay pellets, moss, vermiculite or Rockwool. In this procedure, the roots of the plant come in direct contact with a nutrient solution. This direct contact ensures proper growth.
Advantages of hydroponics weed growing for beginners
There are a lot of benefits you acquire by hydroponics growing of the weed. The benefits of growing hydroponically include the following:
Growing hydroponic weeds ensures that the plants grow faster than with traditional methods. This is because they come in direct contact with the nutrients and can absorb more of it. Most of the experts have said that weed & cannabis plants grow 20% more quickly in hydroponics rather than in soil.
Growing weed hydroponically allows you to harvest in large quantities. Even in this case, the yields are about 20-25% more than that of the soil growth. You will need less space for each plant to grow.
Gardeners usually have a tough time cleaning up the mess caused by the overgrowth of weeds. You need to keep a check on the growth and pull out when it is in the soil. Though, this is not the case with hydroponics growing. You can’t get overgrowth of weeds in the soil because there is no soil.
Less disease and pests
Many plants are usually damaged due to the soil-borne diseases. However, with hydroponic growing, you are saved against that risk since no soil is used. The usage of soil usually caused a lot of diseases and pests which makes it tough for the gardeners to control the environment.
What are the disadvantages?
Although the hydroponics system serves a lot of benefits, it does have some drawbacks. One of the significant disadvantages is that the hydroponics system is expensive, since need to set everything up. Also, if you are setting the system on a large scale, it is very time-consuming. If there is any pump failure, it will lead to the enormous-scale damage of the plants.
High maintenance and high setup costs are the main disadvantages.
What are the types of hydroponic systems?
When you are considering hydroponic weed growing for beginners, you will have a tough time to determine which system to use. Many systems available in the market, and each one of them has unique hybrid hydroponics system features. Some of the prominent hydroponic grow systems include the following:
Deep Water Culture
This indoor hydroponics procedure is also referred to as the reservoir method. It is comfortable and very convenient.
In this method, the roots are given in the nutrient solution, and an aquarium pump is fitted which prevents growing. To ensure growth if algae you need to allow some light in.
In this method of growing hydroponically, the nutrient solution is sprayed on the roots and hanged in the air. Usually, the solution may reach the exposed roots in two ways.
In the first case, the solution needs to be sprayed using a nozzle. Secondly, the pond fogger method needs to be used. In this method, PTFE Teflon coated disc may surround the plant.
It is not only a comfortable but a cheap system as well. In this case, the wicking material like cotton needs to be covered or encircled with the growing medium on one side and the wick placed in nutrient on the other.
You may use a medium such as perlite or vermiculite. In this case, do not use mediums such as peat moss because they absorb excess nutrients which can be harmful to the plant.
Nutrient Film Technique
This procedure is also referred to as NFT. This is where there is a regular flow of nutrient solution. This flow happens above the roots of the plants. The system is a little tilted to ensure proper flow towards gravity.
It is very convenient because the roots get to absorb most of the oxygen from the air. They, however, absorb it from nutrient solution too. The tip of the root comes in direct contact to the nutrient solution. Thus, this increases the rate of growth for the plants.
This process of indoor hydroponics is straightforward and convenient. However, you will need to feed nutrients slowly to the plants.
You can use any medium that drains off faster. However, it is more convenient to use a slow draining medium. One of the significant drawbacks is that it the drip system can get clogged easily and blocks the dripping nutrients.
Ebb & Flow
This method of growing hydroponics weed for beginners is also referred to as the drain and flow method. It is the perfect method for plants that dry off quickly. Various weed plants that grow during the dry period and the root system are still able to retain the moisture.
Do you want to know which system is the best one for you? We wrote an extensive guide on all the types of hydroponic systems out there. We reviewed the best indoor hydroponic systems in various categories. Read the full article here to find your perfect system.
What are the nutrients required by the hydroponics?
The marijuana hydroponics needs some nutrients from the soil to ensure proper growth. The significant elements that marijuana requires are potassium, sulfur, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and nitrogen.
These are all the macro elements needed for the proper growth. Apart from the macro elements, the hydroponics also require microelements for adequate growth. These include chlorine, copper, molybdenum, boron, zinc, manganese and iron. Experts often recommend balancing the nutrient level to ensure the proper growth of plants.
How to grow weed hydroponically step by step?
In this case of growing hydroponic, you will need to set up a system. The easiest indoor hydroponics method is the deep water culture method. It is easy and needs the least amount of materials. Moreover, it is the best method for growing weed hydroponically for beginners.
Begin by filling up the reservoir with the required nutrient solution. Then suspend the root of the plant to the solution. This will allow the root to soak the nutrients steadily and continuously. Moreover, it will also offer a continuous supply of oxygen, water, and nutrients.
Go on adding the oxygen to water. One of the best ways into which you can add oxygen to the water is with an air pump. You can also use the air stone pump to bring about bubbles. This will prevent your plants from drowning. This procedure can be easily set up and requires deficient maintenance.
How to germinate the seeds?
If you are considering to grow hydroponics weeds on a large-scale basis, you will need to set up a garden inside a grow room. You can usually purchase the marijuana seeds online. The price of these seeds typically varies depending on the strain you choose. Thus, you will require to be very careful with the strain. You should set up the hydroponics garden and check if everything is working. You can then take your next step of hydroponics weed growing for beginners by germinating the seeds. If you have bought clones instead of seeds, you should not consider sprouting them.
There are a lot of mediums available in the market for the growth of the plant. Since you’re not using the soil, you will be in utter need of the medium as the substitute. One of the most used media include Rockwool. Although it does not offer nutrition, it can be a great support.
Place the seed in the midst of the nutrient solution and then submerge about 70% of the cube in water. Allow it to settle and germinate. If you notice growth in the seeds, you can take it out with the roots facing downwards, and place it in the nutrient medium to ensure growth.
Once the seed germination process is over, the marijuana will begin to develop to the first stage of the vegetative phase. In this stage, the plant gets long roots and grows leaves that assure photosynthesis. It is preparing itself for the budding phase.
In this phase, you need to provide light for about 18-24 hours. For this purpose, you can choose to put up the lamp 20 inches above the plant to prevent drying. Moreover, you can keep on decreasing the distance depending on the height you like and gives the best results.
The vegetative phase is best for indoor hydroponics and can last for about 2-4 weeks. However, the time may vary depending on the strain you choose. The growth rate of the plant depends on how much energy is produced by the plant. Bigger leaves ensure a better rate of photosynthesis that simultaneously allow faster growth.
Most of the plants grow about 6 inches a day if the conditions of the room are ideal. However, you will have to maintain the optimal conditions of the hydroponic garden too.
One thing to note is that in this phase, the blades between the leaves will keep on decreasing. Moreover, the distance between two leaves will reduce too. Thus, you need to ensure to maintain the ideal condition of your room and garden to allow proper growth. Make sure enough light is reaching the leaves.
Most of the experts have often stated the use of blue light to prevent stretching. If the plant does not get sufficient blue light, there will be massive space between the branches which also leads to a weakening of the plants. HPS lights provide a lot of blue light. However, the most popular ones that are used during the light phase include the MH lamps and LED lamps. Most of the growers use CFL lamps these days for better results.
If you’re providing light for less than 24 hours, you should make sure that you work with a timer. The amount of light needed for growth depends on various factors so you can check with them. Some of the factors that affect the light include temperature, the distance between lamp and plant, the maturity of the plant, the strength of the lamp and more.
Grow room condition
You should check for the temperature of the room before allowing germination and growth. If this factor isn’t checked upon properly, it can lead to stunted growth of the plant. Usually, the ideal temperature is recommended to be 70-83 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, a higher concentration of CO2 is required.
For the dark period, it is necessary to check with the low temperature. For the growth period, experts often suggest using 72-77 degrees. You can use a thermometer to measure the temperature and humidity in your grow room.
The marijuana plants require carbon dioxide as well as light during the growing hydroponics phase. It is for this purpose that you need to ventilate your grow room. If you’re growing them in a room, you should ensure to put up the exit as well as intake vents. During the flowering stage, you can put up the oscillating fans for convenience.
How and when to switch to flowering?
The time for switching to flowering usually varies from plant to plant and person to person. While some people prefer switching to flowering from buds within two weeks, some seem to wait for 3-4 months. The period for switching to the flowering stage is entirely a matter of personal choice.
One key point to keep in mind is that the plants will continue to grow even when you have turned to the flowering phase.
Harvesting, curing and storing marijuana without the smell
This is one of the hardest parts about how to grow weed hydroponically step by step. By this time, your plants have grown enough and have big buds. You will get the result in this stage and also how is the quality of the bud. You need to know the proper timing, curing and drying to get the best results.
When is the best time to harvest?
The time you harvest the buds has an impact on the active substance in the weed. The primary active components of the buds include THC and CBD. If you harvest the plants too early, it can lead to lower concentrations. However, if you accumulate it for long, it can lead to damage in the substances. Either way, you need to be a little careful about the harvest time since it has an impact on the weed quality. The best time to do this really depends on your plants. There is not a fixed answer to this question.
How to dry marijuana?
As far as flavors and smell are concerned, marijuana has diverse categories. It has different flowers, and each has over 100 flavorful flavonoids. The taste also depends on the terpenes.
Drying the weed is one essential steps after germinating and growing. However, if the weed isn’t dryed, the molecules in it will get destroyed. The result would be a tasteless weed and a disgusting smell. You have to dry your weed slowly to ensure better flavor.
Next, you should ensure that there is enough room for air circulation to ensure proper preservation. This will keep away all the fungus and molds, which have a negative impact on the buds.
You should take care of the curing process for hydroponics growing. Usually, the buds need to be cured for 2-4 weeks. This improves terpenes and enhances the taste of the buds. Ensure that the drying area is dark and ventilated.
If you apply excessive heat for drying, it may have a negative impact on the buds. Thus, you should ensure to dry it at the average room temperature.
How to cure marijuana?
Before you begin curing the marijuana, you need to trim it properly. For this purpose, you may either use a bud trimmer machine or extremely sharp scissors. Make sure to get rid of the extra leaves on the buds. This helps to improve the look. However, the cutout leaves contain trichomes, which can be beneficial for the smoking process.
After trimming, separate the buds and the stems. Next, store the stems in an airtight container. A plastic bag is considerable, but you might want to store everything in an airtight container.
In the initial weeks, you should leave some space out so fresh air enters the container. You may do this for about 15 minutes. This will help the existent moisture to evaporate.
You can also try to smoke it. However, there will be a difference in the curing rate due to the strain. Nonetheless, if you have followed all the methods correctly, your indoor hydroponics setup will work and cannabis will grow with proper efficiency.
Hydroponics is one of the best systems for indoor weed growing. It is accessible and beneficial for every grow room. This guide of hydroponics weed growing for beginners will be helpful if followed correctly. It may be expensive to setup, but the results are often worth the investment. However, if you are a beginner, you need to be very dedicated to this process and keep a check on your work. This is the only way to get the maximum results.
Want to know about the best hydroponic systems for indoor growing? Read our review of the best indoor hydroponic systems.
Read our blog if you’re interested in all kinds of topics related to growing indoors.