If you've ever picked up a juicy bud and wondered, "What gives weed its flavour…
For most selecting the method of growing your cannabis is fairly straight forward – especially selecting seeds. Using soil for the grow cycle. But there are a number of methods that you can utilise on your journey of reaping the best bud, namely: hydroponics, aeroponics and aquaponics.
All these methods come with their own benefits and disadvantages, but first what do these methods entail?
What is hydroponic, aeroponics and aquaponic cannabis?
All these grow methods replace the reliance on soil as a growing medium with water. Selecting one of these growing techniques means you’re not able to:
- Recycle or refresh soil;
- You have pest issues;
- Want to monitor nutrients closely;
- Need to check pH levels.
But what separates these methods?
What it means to grow hydroponic weed?
With hydroponic weed, there’s still a need for some growing medium. This is either Leca which are expanded clay pellets. These pellets are porous by nature and retrain water well, while allowing for great drainage. They can also be sterilised and reused. But generally speaking can be costly.
The alternative is to use rockwool plugs, which are cheap. This growing medium normally submerged in well aerated water that’s infused with nutrients.
When selecting this method you’ll be able to automate a lot of the processes with pumps, timers, and reservoirs. The biggest benefit of using hydroponic is you can make the grow area smaller and reap large results.
For the majority of the time you need to build the system yourself, or you can purchase a custom setup, but either way it is an expensive investment.
There are also a number of hydroponic setups to experiment with – such as the basic ebb-and-flow system. But whatever system you select you need to be aware that you’ll need to provide all the plant’s nutrient needs in regards to Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). As well as Boron, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Sulfur, and Zinc.
Finally, with hydroponics your plant won’t be getting the same support as it does when grown in soil, so make sure to trellis your plant. Also, pruning will also be important, making sure to remove all lower foliage off the plant.
Growing hydroponically takes time too perfect and requires a lot of money. Then again all these methods require some up front investment. Let’s take a look at aeroponics.
What it means to grow aeroponic weed?
This method sprays a fine mist of water in a contained area where your cannabis plant’s roots are exposed. Usually, these method is used for cloning, and helps boast root health. In this comparison this is the latest methodology being created in the first half of the 20th century.
Aeroponics uses a mist to water the plants and feed them.
Some of the main issues with aeroponics is the fact that sprayers can clog and does require maintenance on a regular basis.
This technique is for the professionals.
For your setup you will require a contained area that circulates the airflow and spray.
There are three main different techniques, low-pressure units, high-pressure devices, and commercial systems.
According to Wikipedia,
Low-pressure unit: In most low-pressure aeroponic gardens, the plant roots are suspended above a reservoir of nutrient solution or inside a channel connected to a reservoir. A low-pressure pump delivers nutrient solution via jets or by ultrasonic transducers, which then drips or drains back into the reservoir. As plants grow to maturity in these units they tend to suffer from dry sections of the root systems, which prevent adequate nutrient uptake. These units, because of cost, lack features to purify the nutrient solution, and adequately remove in-continuities, debris, and unwanted pathogens. Such units are usually suitable for bench top growing and demonstrating the principles of aeroponics.
Then the site state’s that High-pressure devices:
High-pressure aeroponic techniques, where the mist is generated by high-pressure pump(s), are typically used in the cultivation of high value crops and plant specimens that can offset the high setup costs associated with this method of horticulture.
And the commercial systems differ to the other two by scale and including biological systems matrix.
This is method that NASA uses to grow plants in space, so this should be an indicator at the expertise level required.