Yo, what’s good? It’s ya boy Dan here to give you a rundown on hydroponic growing. You may be wondering how a plant can grow with just water, but let me tell you, it’s possible. Hydroponic growing is a method of cultivating cannabis in a water and nutrient solution without soil. The Aztecs were using this method way back in 382 B.C., so you know it’s legit.
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of hydro substrates. The plants are grown without soil and instead are fed through a nutrient solution in the water. But the roots still need something to grab onto, so growers use different mediums as substrates for the roots to develop. This helps the plant structure and keeps the roots away from light, making them think they’re underground. Plus, it provides great oxygenation for the root system and leads to more efficient nutrient uptake.
There are pros and cons to hydroponic growing. These plants mature quicker, but nutrient deficiencies and other problems can develop faster too. However, with a big enough investment, growers can set up an automated system that only requires a few minutes of maintenance each week. Plus, hydro plants won’t catch soil-borne diseases and are less likely to develop pest-related issues.
Now onto the different hydro substrates. You’ve probably heard of mediums like perlite, gravel, sand, and volcanic rock – these have been widely popular in hydroponic grow rooms. But new substrates like clay pebbles, rockwool, perlite, coco coir, and mapito are now being used and experimented with.
Clay pebbles are arguably the most popular growing medium in hydroponic operations nowadays. These small brown spheres provide excellent oxygenation for the roots and make nutrient absorption extremely efficient. Make sure you find some that have already been washed and adjusted for pH.
Rockwool is another excellent insulating material that is very popular in hydro plantations. It has great oxygenation as well as water retention properties. Before placing your germinated seed into it, make sure the pH of the slab is around 5.5.
Coco coir results from natural waste of coconut plantations and is popular amongst Asian grow operations. It holds moisture better than soil and absorbs water very efficiently. Plus, it even contains naturally present nutrients!
Perlite is relatively inexpensive and easy to use, making it a popular option as a growing medium. It has excellent aeration and retention properties and can even be mixed with soil in a soil-based plantation.
Mapito is a mixture of rockwool and coco coir that’s popular amongst Dutch growers. This medium provides even better oxygenation than its component substrates and retains water more efficiently due to its flakiness.
There’s no perfect option out there for growing cannabis – it all depends on factors like your routine and preferences. Making mistakes is part of being a grower – that’s how you learn! With experience, you’ll find the best medium for your plants and yield goals.
So there you have it – a guide to hydro substrates for your cannabis grow operation. Now go forth and thrive!