What is a hydroponic growing system?
Hydroponics is a growing system based on a very simple principle of recirculation. The system consists of an inert medium that supports the roots and the potted plants and a recirculation system. Water runs through hoses from a tank to the pot and then the surplus of water comes back to the tank. Plants always have water and nutrients available so they grow up more quickly and become more productive, while their cultivation requires less dedication than growing in regular soil.
One of the simplest hydroponic growing systems is Wilma, a type of pots set on top of a tank where water is permanently recirculated.
In hydroponic systems, water is paramount for the system to work properly. Therefore, you will have to ensure it has a proper acidity level (pH) and an adequate conductivity (Ec) for your plants. During the growth stage pH should be 5.5, whereas for the flowering stage it's usually around 6.5. Electric Conductivity reflects the amount of salts or fertilizers in the water. This value must be 0.8-1.0 EC during the growth stage and 1.2-2.0 during the flowering.
There is another important factor to be considered: water temperature. Water temperature is closely related to the level of oxygen that remains in the water; the warmer it is, the lesser p.p.m. of oxygen will be. Conversely, the cooler it is, the higher the concentration of oxygen will be. However, temperature must not be lower than 16°C or the roots will become blocked. Optimal temperature for the plant to take roots during the first few days is 25°C. In order to ensure a proper feeding and nutrient uptake, temperature must be 20°C.
Tips when growing with hydroponic systems
Using hydroponics can produce double the yield very easily, so it will become necessary to train them with plastic stakes or trellis nets. Otherwise, your harvest could be at risk. An additional risk to take into account is the possibility of a water pump breakdown that might deprive your plants from water. Therefore, a spare pump is necessary in case the breakdown takes place on a holiday since it'll let us save our plants. When deprived from water, plants are able to survive for a few hours with the lamp turned off but only very little with the lamps turned on.
The water in the tank must be changed every week, although a Bio Filter by GHE can be used to remove the organic matter and then it can remain unchanged for up to 2 weeks. In this case, you only have to refill the water that is effectively absorbed and fertilize it according to the optimal EC values to ensure the right parameters are kept at all times.
In short, hydroponics is a different method of growing cannabis automatically and obtaining some of the best yields. Take the next step in your cannabis journey.